Emorja Roberson

Assistant Professor

Emorja Roberson is a conductor, vocalist, and composer who specializes in classical and gospel music. After obtaining his Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance from the University of North Florida (’13), he began his graduate experience at the University of Notre Dame. In 2017, Roberson graduated as the first African-American to obtain a Master of Sacred Music in Vocal Performance (’17).

In 2019, Roberson began as a doctoral student with a focus African-American repertoire. He made his national debut on Season 9 of BET’s Sunday Best competition as a top 20 contestant and served as the choir director for Kathleen Battle's The Underground Railroad: A Spiritual Journey tour with the DeBartolo Performing Arts Center at the University of Notre Dame. He was awarded with the 2021 Academic Freedom Award from the Department of Africana Studies and is the recipient of the 2022 Sr. Jean Lenz Award for his leadership that promotes a more diverse, inclusive campus community for all students.

In April 2022, he premiered his oratorio, BE-SPOKEN, which highlights the experiences of the Black experience through jazz, hip-hop, and gospel. The premiere included artists, such as, Anthony Walker, King Chav, HarRell D. Young, Donishisa Ballard, and Grammy-Award winner, Ledisi. Making history once again, on June 30, 2022, Roberson became the first African-American to receive a Doctor of Musical Arts in Choral Conducting from the University of Notre Dame.

Roberson is a 2022 recipient of the Future of Music Faculty Fellowship with Cleveland Institute of Music and the Assistant Professor of Music and African American Studies at Oxford College of Emory University.


BM| University of North Florida| 2013

MM| University of Notre Dame| 2017

PhD| University of Notre Dame| 2022

Courses Taught

Introduction to Music (F22)

Black Artistry: A Survey of Black Cinematography, Soundtracks, and Lyrics (S23)

Special Topics in Music History: Case Studies in Hip-Hop Lyrics (S23)

Oxford Chorale (F22, S23)

Research Interests

Gospel, Hip-Hop, Choral Music by Black Composers