Elissa May Murphy (EMM) is an active director, woodwind specialist, and music educator in wind symphony, musical theatre, musicology, and new music idioms.
She serves as the Director of Bands for Southern Cayuga CSD in Aurora, New York. Courses include Senior High Band (9-12), Junior High Band (6-8), Comprehensive Music Theory, 7th Grade General Music, and all woodwinds, brass, and percussion lessons. Additionally, she directs various chamber groups, jazz band, and pit orchestra for the district. As the fifth director in six consecutive years, Elissa has more than doubled the instrumental program in her second year of residency and is nominated for the 2024 GRAMMY Music Educator Award.
Elissa is in high demand as a woodwind doubler (flutes, clarinets, saxophones) for musical theatre in New York State. Recent appointments include Blackfriars Theatre (Spamalot!, Jerry’s Girls, Guys and Dolls, Rocky Horror Picture Show, A Chorus Line, Avenue Q), and JCC CenterStage (Ragtime!, Indecent). Her passion lies in collaboration and giving voice to unsung music of underserved populations. She has performed as flutist for OSSIA New Music Ensemble and as clarinetist for the Masterworks Chorale. Additionally, she has performed as flutist for the Brighton and Greece Symphony Orchestras, and the Onondaga Civic Symphony Orchestra.
Elissa continues to adjudicate for regional solo festivals as well as present at conferences, including the 2023 National Association for Music Education's All-Eastern District Conference. Prior, she held executive board positions of Artistic Director and Newsletter Editor for the Rochester Flute Association.
A New York State Certified Music Educator, Elissa obtained her Bachelor of Music degrees in music business and flute performance with a minor in film studies from the Crane School of Music at SUNY Potsdam. Most recently, Elissa obtained her Master of Arts degree in Music Education from the Eastman School of Music at the University of Rochester.