Emily Crossland completed her undergraduate and postgraduate studies at the University of York, specialising in Community Music, and is currently undertaking a PhD through the White Rose College of Arts & Humanities. She has worked in academia since 2010 – with roles at the universities of York, Leeds and York St John – and simultaneously enjoyed a varied career as a community musician, composer and project manager. She spent eight years co-ordinating the Learning & Participation programme of the National Centre for Early Music and, as a freelancer, has delivered projects for clients including Hallé, National Concert Hall Dublin, Jessie’s Fund, Castaway Accessible Music Theatre and Orchestras For All.
She is driven by inclusive and facilitative approaches to music-making and much of her practice centres on Javanese gamelan ensemble work. She has been director of York’s Gamelan Sekar Petak since 2017, coaching student and community groups, co-ordinating the Northern Gamelan Network, and leading on the Youth Music funded Sound of Bronze programme with young people across Yorkshire. She is a facilitator with Good Vibrations, exploring the team-working and expressive elements of gamelan playing with people living in challenging circumstances, including prisons, referral units, and mental health institutions. She has also worked with Converge (a York St John & NHS partnership) on inclusive education projects involving gamelan, improvisation and composition.
As a composer, Emily's work is shaped by her passion for collaboration (with amateurs and professionals, across genres, and with other art forms), theatricality, and audience engagement. Her compositions have been performed across the UK and internationally, at the National Concert Hall Dublin and as part of Gaudeamus Muziekweek. She was commissioned through the BBC Performing Arts Fund and as part of Hull City of Culture 2017, and spent four seasons in residence with multi-arts performance ensemble Engine Room Theatre. Emily has been a mentor on the Adopt a Music Creator Scheme since 2018, supporting collaborations between early career composers and leisure-time music groups, in partnership with Making Music.