Heather Gilligan serves as Chair of the Music Department; oversees the areas of composition, theory, and aural skills; teaches Composition, Music Theory I-IV, Counterpoint, and Analytical Techniques; and is the co-founder and co-director or Currants, the department’s Contemporary Ensemble.
As a composer, she seeks to write music that is edgy and lyrical, both direct and compassionate while exploring the limits of emotion from humor to anguish. She is a member of the Boston Composers Coalition, a group of seven composers dedicated to the creation, performance, education, and dissemination of new American music.
Her recent successes include the publication of Dialogue, her work for solo flute, in the 2015 SCI Journal of Music Scores; the premiere of her choral work, I’ll See You in the Morning, at the 2014 New York Choral Festival at Carnegie Hall; and the premieres of works for orchestra and wind symphony in the 2015 and 2016 Washington D.C. International Music Festivals, which took place at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.
She is currently working on her debut album, Living in Light, a CD of her vocal chamber music in collaboration with soprano Margot Rood. The album is expected to be released by Albany Records in Spring 2017.
Dr. Gilligan served as Accompanist and Composer-in-Residence for the Chamber Singers of Keene from 2010-2014 and she was named the NHMEA Composer of the Year in 2010. More recently, she has written works for American Modern Ensemble, the East Winds Quintet, soprano Margot Rood, the Arneis String Quartet, the Chamber Singers of Keene, Anthology vocal quartet, and Ensemble 451.
Dr. Gilligan received her DMA in Composition from Boston University in 2008, where she won the Malloy Miller Prize in Composition, a Dean’s Scholarship, and a Department Honor Award. At BU she studied composition with Richard Cornell, Martin Amlin, and Ketty Nez. She earned her MM in Composition from the Longy School of Music, where she studied composition and piano.
In summer of 2002 she completed, with distinction, a course at La Schola Cantorum in Paris, in a program sponsored by the European American Musical Alliance. She also holds a Bachelor’s degree in Chemistry from Lehigh University.