EMILY STRACHAN is a chamber musician, solo percussionist, and new music enthusiast. She has studied music since the age of seven. Her performance experiences are rich in variety: radio shows, house concerts, art gallery events, small chamber ensembles, university master classes, competitions, and orchestral performances. Although her training started in Minnesota on the piano, Strachan's musical endeavors have taken her across the United States.
In addition to her chamber groups, Emily has given solo performances at the MacPhail Center for Music, St. Olaf College, University of Texas at Rio Grande Valley, Louisiana State University, Southeastern Louisiana University, University of Southern Mississippi, and Hinds Community College. Strachan is most determined to bring new chamber music, solid percussion fundamentals, and contemporary partnerships of art and percussion to local communities. Her best facilitation of this is through her chamber groups: Balanced Structure, Duomo and Ensemble Impromptu.
Balanced Structure’s most recent project, Underestimation, addresses the issues of subtle sexism in collaboration with visual artist Abby Kapler to combat preconceived notions related to gender. Underestimation is part of a larger community outreach project that is currently collaborating with women’s shelters for side-by-side performances. Composers Martin Bresnick and Molly Joyce have helped make this project possible.
Duomo’s mission is to work with composers who engage their audiences through deep listening, intimacy, and vulnerability. This November at the Percussive Arts Society International Convention, Duomo will be featured on their Focus Day series highlighting composer Sarah Hennies with her piece “Settle.” “Settle” is a protest against assumption and a subversive reminder that identity is deceptive and malleable,” Sarah Hennies.
Ensemble Impromptu will be holding a residency at Avaloch Farm Music Institute this August in preparation for their material conscious concert series to be performed in a national park. This series will bring awareness to the urgency in finding new materials to perform on, particularly rosewood. It is estimated that within the next twenty years the access to such materials will be limited and potentially nonexistent.
Strachan’s roots in percussion started in orchestral literature. Through many different orchestral performances and programs, she has worked under conductors Zhonghui Dai, Cliff Colnot, Andrés Franco, Courtney Lewis, Manny Laureano, Allen Tinkham, and Osmo Vänskä. Currently Strachan substitutes with the Lansing Symphony Orchestra in Michigan.
Emily has had opportunities through summer festivals, workshops, and master classes to collaborate with artists Bob Becker, Andy Akiho, Eduardo Leandro, Tom Freer, Jim Babor, Mike Rosen, Peter Kogan, and Robert van Sice. Festivals including Sō Percussion Summer Institute, Sandbox Percussion Seminar, Chosen Vale International Percussion Seminar, Cloyd Duff Timpani Masterclass, and the Yarn/Wire Institute has left Emily invigorated about chamber music and hopeful for the future; particularly regarding new music.
Emily holds her Bachelor of Music in performance and minor in Entrepreneurship through the University of Kansas, under the tutelage of Ji Hye Jung. She is currently a master’s student at Michigan State University studying with Gwen Dease.