Founding Director

 

Grad.Dip.Ed., B.Mus.Hons., Grad.Cert.Mu.St., Dip.ABRSM

Emily Gann

"She consistently seeks to break new ground artistically, while positively impacting the lives of all those involved"

Eric Booth

A highly experienced arts leader, cellist, conductor, producer and educator, Emily brings a wealth of valuable knowledge & skills to the arts and education sector. Having established herself within an international network of arts education leaders, Emily has a deep understanding of best-practice music education and community engagement models.

 

Leadership

Emily founded Connecting the Dots in Music in 2018, following her passion and commitment to demonstrating a more connected way of working in music that prioritises true community engagement. With an aim to proving the significant possibilities that collaboration holds, Emily has conceived and delivered a growing portfolio of pioneering projects - each one addressing an identified need within the current music ecosystem. The level of innovation and positive community impact of her most recent initiatives has received international attention by organisations including Carnegie Hall, London Symphony Orchestra, Jeunesses Musicales International and the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. By establishing Lullaby Project Australia, Emily built an international partnership between Connecting the Dots in Music and Carnegie Hall. ​

Global Connections

Selected to the Global Leaders Program in 2020, and supported by Arts SA, Emily is committed to achieving positive social impact through music and strengthening worldwide connections.

 

As a recipient of a 2019 Arts SA Individual Development Grant, Emily spent time with numerous arts organisations, government bodies and music leaders in the UK and US. She explored different examples of education partnerships, collaborative structures and collective leadership approaches, with a view to tailoring a unique platform for South Australia. In 2014, she won a NGS Scholarship to travel overseas to learn about creative collaborations involving leading arts organisations and educational institutions, including the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, Voces8, London Symphony Orchestra, Wigmore Hall, Birmingham Symphony Orchestra and Aldeburgh Music. She was invited to present her research and concept to the SA Premier and Economic Advisory Panel in late 2019. 

Creative Output

From 2013-2018, Emily led the Learning & Community Engagement Program for the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra, where she overhauled and redesigned the organisation’s education program. Her unique student mentorship and workforce development initiatives, community partnerships, and cutting-edge creative projects have been widely acknowledged.The Petrushka Project – the first creative program of its kind by an Australian orchestra and a 2016 Ruby Awards finalist – saw 32 young musicians work with acclaimed artist Paul Rissmann to collectively reimagine one of Stravinsky’s ballet scores.

 

Committed to generating new works for young people, Emily has conceived and produced a number of noteworthy commissions for families and schools. The Bush Concert, composed by Mark Simeon Ferguson for the ASO in 2015, has since been performed across Australia and China, including performances by the Sydney Symphony Orchestra at the Sydney Opera House and Melbourne Youth Orchestra. 

Most significant of her commissions is the orchestral production What Do You Do With An Idea?, composed by Paul Rissmann. Based on the award-winning book by Kobi Yamada and Mae Besom, the work was premiered by ASO and Young Adelaide Voices in 2018, and has since been performed by the London Symphony Orchestra at the Barbican in London. Emily is now heading an international collaboration with Kobi Yamada (author), Paul Rissmann (composer) and Compendium Inc (publisher) that will see the "Idea" transformed into a new community-focussed creative project. The work is due to be recorded by ASO and YAV in 2021 for international distribution.

In recent years, Emily established two of Connecting the Dots in Music's most acclaimed projects: Music For All Project and the Lullaby Project Australia. As Project Leader and Artistic Producer, she formed partnerships with organisations including Carnegie Hall, Raising Literacy Australia and Australian Youth Orchestra.

 

Community Connections

Highly respected across the community for her passion and commitment to access and innovation in music, Emily sits on the Board of Young Adelaide Voices, and has previously served as a council member of the Australian Society for Music Education and Kodály SA. Emily was instrumental in establishing the SA Music Education Roundtable in 2015 and was an Artistic Vibrancy Peer of the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra in 2019. 

As a music educator and conductor, Emily works as a Director of Strings, conductor and secondary music teacher. She has researched & developed a unique integrated approach to instrumental learning, involving a study trip to Helsinki in 2008, and the writing of a string teaching resource String Song. 

"Most admirable is the fearlessness with which Emily embraces challenge. Indeed, Emily is one of the most dedicated, imaginative and meticulous arts educationalists I have ever met."

Paul Rissmann, Composer (UK)

"Emily has exceptional ability to lead a team of collaborators and to achieve the best possible outcome for the project, no matter what challenges are thrown at her."

Kobi YamadaAuthor (US)

"Emily has passion and an immense drive which has helped her programs soar to new heights. Emily has a great track record of building up partnerships with community and cultural organisations. She nurtures, encourages and provides support for emerging musicians. Most of all I am impressed by Emily’s vision and ability to develop and deliver that vision into an extremely successful program."

Julian Ferraretto, Jazz Violinist (Au) 

"I admire the ways that Emily has developed strong and promising relationships across the network of arts leaders in other countries, studying their work, borrowing the best of it to build upon. She consistently seeks to break new ground artistically, while positively impacting the lives of all those involved"

Eric Booth, Author/Teaching Artistry Leader (US)​

"Emily has the rare and exceptional ability to combine visionary and strategic thinking with the focussed planning and attention to detail needed to deliver on her vision."

Gill McFadyen, Community Development Consultant (Au) ​

 

"I don't think I'll ever stop being blown away at the passion, effort and hard work Emily possesses. Her sheer determination has given me a whole new perspective"

Loni Fitzpatrick, AYO Momentum Ensemble (Au)