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Hochstein Percussion Faculty - Emma Gierszal

Instrument/Department: Percussion

Joined Hochstein Faculty: 2020 - 2024


Hailing from Charleston, South Carolina, Emma Gierszal is an active performer and teacher in the Rochester area. She is currently the percussion instructor at The Hochstein School and also teaches Percussion Methods and coaches the Chamber Percussion Ensemble at the Eastman School of Music as a Teaching Assistant.

Before joining Hochstein, Emma taught piano to all ages at Atlas Music in Webster, NY.  In South Carolina, she taught 6th-12th grade band classes as a student teacher, coached middle and high school percussion ensemble, and instructed the front ensemble and drumline for the marching band. She performs frequently with the Eastman Percussion Ensemble and Musica Nova and has attended summer music festivals including Chautauqua Summer Music Festival and the National Repertory Orchestra.

Emma has made several solo appearances including the world premiere of Arnold Marinissen’s Totem IV at the 2019 TROMP Repertoire Day and the Sigma Alpha Iota National Convention in Scottsdale, AZ after winning the Mary Ann Starring Memorial Award in 2018. She was also featured on Furman University’s Spring Honors Recital in 2017 and performed with the Furman Symphony Orchestra as a winner of the Furman Biannual Concerto Competition also in 2017.  Emma is currently pursuing her Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Percussion Performance and Literature at the Eastman School of Music after finishing her master’s degree and Arts Leadership Certificate at Eastman. She earned a B.M. in Music Education from Furman University.


More About Emma Gierszal

Hometown: Mount Pleasant, SC

What inspires me: I am inspired by the many diverse voices in classical music today. There is a lot of work ahead to make classical music a more inclusive field that brings value to all people. I hope to be a part of this work over the course of my career in music.

Why the arts matter: Creating and consuming art is an essential human need.    

Favorite things to do in Rochester area: Run around the reservoir at Cobbs Hill Park, eat garbage plates afterwards

When I’m not at Hochstein, you can find me: Practicing at Eastman

My favorite local restaurant: Sinbad's on Park Ave.

Favorite place(s) to travel: Home to Charleston, South Carolina, New York City

Favorite style of music: Funk and Jazz Fusion

What people would be surprised to know about me: I am growing a pineapple plant in my apartment and so far, it is going well.