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Emilie Amrein, DMA

Assistant Professor of Choral Studies

Emilie Amrein, DMA, is an accomplished conductor, scholar, and educator, specializing in creative programming practices and community engagement. At USD, Dr. Amrein serves as the conductor of the USD Concert Choir and Choral Scholars. Prior to this appointment, she taught for six years at Lake Forest College, just north of Chicago. A champion of new music, Amrein has commissioned and premiered works for choral ensembles by acclaimed composers Emma Lou Diemer, Jocelyn Hagen, Rami Levin, J. David Moore, and John Osterhagen.



D.M.A., University of Minnesota, Conducting

M.M., University of Arizona, Choral Conducting B.S., Indiana University, Vocal Performance

B.S., Indiana University, Italian

Dr. Amrein studied conducting with Kathy Saltzman Romey, Matthew Mehaffey, Craig Kirchhoff, Jeffrey Stirling, and Bruce Chamberlain, and voice with Faye Robinson, Mary Ann Hart, and Virginia Botkin.

Scholarly and Creative Work

Dr. Amrein is active as professional choral conductor and ensemble musician. She is the founding artistic director of the Peregrine Vocal Ensemble, a professional chamber group dedicated to imaginative performance through narrative programming. As a singer, Dr. Amrein has performed with many of the finest choral ensembles around the country, including Bella Voce (Chicago), the Oregon Bach Festival Chorus, the Tiffany Consort (NYC), Holy Trinity Bach Choir (NYC), the Santa Fe Desert Chorale, VocalEssence (Minneapolis), and Conspirare (Austin).

As an author, Professor Amrein has contributed to Wisdom, Wit, and Will: Women Choral Conductors on Their Art and to Teaching Music Through Performance in Choir (Vol. 2-3). She has presented her scholarship at for several distinguished professional organizations, including the American Choral Director’s Association, the National Youth Leadership Council, and the Group for Early Modern Cultural Studies. Her research interests include community engagement through choral programming, interdisciplinary studies, service learning, and cultural criticism.

Teaching Interests

Dr. Amrein conducts the USD Concert Choir and Choral Scholars, teaches individual conducting lessons, as well as courses in Music Education. In her previous position, Dr. Amrein taught Music History, Music Theory, Choral Literature Seminar, and Careers in Music.