Emma Gierszal is an active percussionist, teacher, and arts leader working to promote new music and serve the Rochester, NY community. While earning her DMA at the Eastman School of Music, she teaches Percussion Methods and coaches the Chamber Percussion Ensemble as a teaching assistant, gives percussion lessons at the Hochstein School of Music, and is on the advisory board for the community-oriented new music ensemble, fivebyfive.
Emma began a commitment to promoting new music performing in the John Psathas Percussion Project, a multi-year recording project led by her undergraduate professor, Omar Carmenates. Emma continues to participate in Eastman’s Musica Nova and student-run new music ensemble, Ossia, while also appearing in premiere recordings of Michael Burritt’s new works, spero and Iunctio. Emma also gave the world premier performance of Arnold Marinissen’s Totem IV at the 2019 TROMP Repertoire Day and on her master’s recital.
Emma has attended several summer music festivals including the National Repertory Orchestra and the Grafenegg Academy in 2021. She has also attended the Chautauqua Summer Music Festival in 2019 and The Center for Advanced Musical Studies at Chosen Vale in 2017. In 2018, Emma gave a solo performance at the Sigma Alpha Iota National Convention in Scottsdale, AZ after winning the Mary Ann Starring Memorial Award.
While earning her undergraduate degree in South Carolina, she taught 6th-12th grade band classes as a student teacher, coached middle and high school percussion ensemble, and instructed the front ensemble and drumline for the Mauldin High School Band in 2017 and the Easley High School Band in 2015. Emma’s marching band experience also includes drum majoring with the Furman University Paladin Regiment.
Emma earned her M.M. in Percussion Performance and Literature with an Arts Leadership Certificate at Eastman and her B.M. in Music Education at Furman University in Greenville, SC. Emma has studied with Michael Burritt, Rich Thompson, Chip Ross, James Ross, Brian Kushmaul, Omar Carmenates, and Justin Watt. Emma is a proud Malletech Performing Artist.