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.


Shenandoah by Eads featured by St. Mary’s Belle’s Voix Seniors

Note from their conductor, Dr. Nancy Menk: The Belles Voix seniors requested that we bring this piece back this year after we first performedit during the pandemic in masks. It’s one of their favorites! Emerson Eads earned his DMA inChoral Conducting at Notre Dame and...

MSO & MCC Premiere Eads’ Mass for the Oppressed

The Minot Symphony Orchestra and Minot Chamber Chorale, under the direction of Emerson Eads, gave the North Dakota premiere of Eads' Mass for the Oppressed, March 16, 2024. Soprano, Teresa Eickel, Mezzo-Soprano, Toby Newman, Tenor, Barry Banks and Baritone, Jason...

Puget Brass Premieres Eads’ Invincible Amiability

Organist, Douglas Cleveland, joined the Puget Brass ranks to premiere Eads' Invincible Amiability, a work for organ and British Brass Band. It was to be premiered a year ago, but just before the performance the organ was ruined by water damage, making it only possible...

The Unquiet Country Recording Released

Emerson Eads & Patrick Milian's songs A Prime Number of Lines for Lili & Nadia Boulanger, and for Raïssa Boulanger have been recorded by soprano, Arwen Myers, mezzo-soprano Hannah Penn & pianist Susan McDaniel and are now released. They were commissioned...


Mass for the Oppressed

Song of the Sikuliaq

Color of Gold

Composition Catalogue