Emily Schaad started her career on violin and viola, attending The Juilliard School and earning a B.M. in Viola Performance from Curtis Institute of Music. She holds an M.A. in Appalachian Studies from Appalachian State University and is a doctoral candidate in Music Education at Boston University.

Ms. Schaad is a founder and artistic director of Stringendo, Inc., a non-profit community music school in New York’s Hudson Valley comprised of 7 youth orchestras, 5 traditional fiddle groups, and a summer camp. During her tenure as a conductor with Stringendo, Ms. Schaad led annual student trips across the country and to the United Kingdom. Her ensembles have performed at music education conferences, competitions, evaluation festivals, and in schools, concert halls, and castles.

Ms. Schaad has taught elementary, middle, and high school strings in New York State and is a frequent guest conductor for all-county and regional festival orchestras. She has studied conducting with Donald Portnoy and David Rudge, and participated as a fellow in Conductors Institutes at University of South Carolina, Bard College, and Conducting Masterclasses of London.

Emily is also a seasoned old-time musician, and has spent time learning from older fiddlers in Tennessee and North Carolina. She has taken first place in fiddle and old-time band at numerous fiddlers conventions, and released an album in 2013 with Americana stringband Old Buck. She regularly teaches at traditional music weeks such as Swannanoa Gathering and Augusta Heritage Center, and teaches old-time fiddle at Warren Wilson College.

Ms. Schaad relocated to Asheville in 2015. In addition to GCYO, she conducts the Asheville Symphony Youth Orchestra and Prelude Ensemble, teaches violin and viola, and performs as a violist with Asheville and Greenville Symphonies.