Performing for Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg, University of Notre Dame 2016
photo credit: Matt Cashore


Dr. Emerson Eads currently 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 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.


Todd’s Song Published & Recorded

Todd Mathistad won a bid at Western Plains Opera Company's fundraising gala in March of 2022 to have Emerson Eads write a song with a text of his choice, and this commission was gifted back to the opera company by Eads. The gala featured the tenor, David Cangelosi who...

Published Songs by Eads Premiered in Boston Edward Vogel, baritone sings the world premiere performance of Emerson Eads' setting of Joseph Smith's Evening Poem for a concert with soprano, Laura Strickling's 40@40 project along with Calliope's Call in June 2022....

Love Is… a song cycle by Eads Published

North Star Music LLC has published Emerson Eads' song cycle, Love Is... in their 21st Century American Art Song Series. This delightful short song cycle is perfect for beginning singers and seasoned performers alike.  Based on children’s insights surrounding...

Eads’ Words of Hope & Joy Published

Emerson Eads' setting of his twin nieces' text, Words of Hope & Joy, has recently been published by North Star Music and is available here: Soprano, Arwen Myers commissioned these two songs...


Mass for the Oppressed

Song of the Sikuliaq

Color of Gold

Composition Catalogue