Dr. Emerson Eads serves as Director of Choral Activities at Minot State University. As a composer and conductor, Emerson has devoted himself to music of social concern.
His Mass for the Oppressed, a setting of the Ordinary of the Mass featuring textual interpolations by his brother Evan Eads and a Credo adapted from the diary of Pope Francis, reflects on some of the most poignant social issues of our time. The Mass was written to muster public support for the Fairbanks Four, Native Alaskans from the composer’s hometown who were wrongfully imprisoned for eighteen years. Eads’ cantata “…from which your laughter rises” was written for the mothers of the Fairbanks Four. It was conducted to acclaim, paired in a concert featuring Haydn’s Stabat Mater. His newest opera, The Princess Sophia, is about the sinking of the SS Princess Sophia. It was premiered in Juneau, Alaska, on October 25th, 2018—the disaster’s centennial–to rave review in Opera Magazine.
His most recent large-scale project, A Prairie Cantata, recovers lyrics from a neglected North Dakota woman poet, Huldah Lucile Winsted, and was premiered with the Minot State University Choir.Dr. Eads studied choral conducting with Carmen-Helena Tellez at the University of Notre Dame, working with eminent choral conductors including Joseph Flummerfelt, Stephen Cleobury, Anne Howard Jones, and Peter Phillips. Prior to his graduate work, he studied composition with Alaskan composer John Luther Adams.
We are pleased to present his work in a commission for The Unquiet Country by Patrick Milian.