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Arreon A. Harley-Emerson

Adjuct Choral Faculty
University of Delaware
Newark, DE 19716
 

Biography

​Arreon A. Harley-Emerson is the CEO & Artistic Director of Elevate Vocal Arts (EVA). EVA creates and expands professional as well as creative workforce development opportunities for vocal artists from all walks of life, with a commitment to engaging individuals from historically marginalized communities and musical traditions. EVA’s Vocal Artists speak to our time's relevant issues through music, storytelling, and spoken word, strengthening our communities and our democracy.

Harley-Emerson graduated from Goucher College in Baltimore, Maryland, with bachelor’s degrees in Music Theory & Composition and Vocal Performance (opera). There, he studied piano with Dr. Lisa Weiss, voice with Mrs. Betty Ridgeway, and conducting with Dr. Elisa Koehler. He received master’s of music degrees in Choral Conducting and Vocal Performance from the University of Delaware School of Music, studying Choral Conducting with Dr. Paul Head and Voice with Dr. Noel Archambeault. Mr. Harley-Emerson is a doctoral candidate and university fellow at the Boyer School of Music and Dance at Temple University in Philadelphia. He has had the opportunity to conduct in venues such as St. Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City, The Kimmel Center for the Arts in Philadelphia, and the Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall in Baltimore.​

Mr. Harley-Emerson has held a number of teaching and artistic director positions. He served as Director of Music and Operations of the Choir School of Delaware from June 2013 through December 2022. In this position, he was responsible for the musical components of the renowned Choir School program as well as serving as Executive Director, managing the day-to-day operations of the organization. An avid researcher and presenter, Mr. Harley-Emerson has contributed a chapter to The Oxford Handbook for Choral Pedagogy entitled “The Gang Mentality of Choirs: How Choirs Have the Capacity to Change Lives.” He also has a TEDx Talk that bears the same title and contributed to the research literature regarding culturally responsive choral and classroom practice.
Committed to the principles of Access, Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, Belonging,​ and Restorative Practice (ADEIBR), Mr. Harley-Emerson has established a thriving consultancy, Equity Sings, to assist arts and culture nonprofit organizations in remaining relevant in the 21st century. His work includes longitudinal studies, strategic planning, Board Excellence training, resource and asset development, and board diversification. Mr. Harley-Emerson currently serves as the National Chair of the American Choral Directors Association’s Diversity Initiatives Committee. An active member of the Wilmington, Delaware community, Mr. Harley-Emerson is on the Delaware Arts Alliance’s Board of Directors, where he served as President of the Board for three years and currently chairs the Advancement Committee, which is tasked with fundraising, membership development, and DEIB. In addition to conducting and performing classical and operatic works, Mr. Harley-Emerson is an avid lover of musical theater. When not performing, you can find him indulging in his true passion…potatoes! He has never met a potato that he did not eat!


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