Emily Williams Burch began teaching in 2007, including time in children and youth community choirs, the public school setting, the professional development world, and at the university level. She is currently a visiting professor of music and coordinator of music education at the University of South Carolina, Aiken as well as the founder and artistic director of the RISE Young Women’s Chorale in Savannah, GA. On the side, Burch serves as an artistic advisor for Perform International and as a choral specialist for QuaverMusic.com. Burch holds a Doctorate of Musical Arts in Choral Conducting with doctoral minors in music theory and music history from the University of South Carolina, where she directed the University Women’s Chorus, taught Introduction to Music, and developed a course on the history of rock and roll. With a background in education, including a bachelors in music education from Louisiana State University and a masters in music education from Florida State University, combined with business classes from HBX, Harvard’s online business school, Burch has a passion for exploring and sharing innovative and effective teaching techniques and strategies and making music with choirs of all ages, as heard on her podcast “Music (ed) Matters.”
Dr. Burch has served in various service positions for the American Choral Director’s Association at the state, regional, national level in a variety of roles, including co-programming chair and honor choir coordinator for the Southern Region ACDA Conferences since 2014. Additionally, after completing a six-year term as Children’s and Youth Repertoire & Resources Chair, Dr. Burch now serves as the Youth Coordinator for the Southern Region ACDA and as a member of the National Standing Committee for Advocacy and Collaboration.
Choirs under Dr. Burch’s direction have performed regionally, nationally, and internationally including appearances at the Georgia Music Educator’s In-service Conference and the 23rd Anal Concors Internazionale Di Canto Corale, an international choir competition in Verona, Italy, where they received a gold award. That event sparked a passion for travel and the value in cultural exchanges in Dr. Burch which resulted in her being selected to travel to Sweden as part of the International Conductors Exchange Program in 2015.
She and her husband live in Savannah, GA where they are members of the Metropolitan Savannah Rotary Club and marathoners and run ambassadors who train with the Fleet Feet Savannah Run Club.