My Story

Vocalist, composer, arranger and jazz combo leader, Emma Hedrick, 18, is a Freshman at the highly acclaimed University of Miami Frost School of Music where she is a member of the JV2 vocal jazz ensemble (under the direction of Charlie Christensen) and the Dafnis Prieto jazz combo . A native to Indianapolis, Emma has performed regularly at The Jazz Kitchen, with the auditioned Butler University Youth Jazz Ensemble, led by Dr. Matt Pivec and at Indy Jazzfest and Penrod Art Fair, with The Indy Jazz Futures, led by Rob Dixon. Additionally, Emma was a docent at The Great American Songbook Foundation for the Songbook Exhibit Gallery at The Palladium in Carmel, IN. Emma is inspired by the jazz greats: Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughan, Cecile McLorin Salvant and Betty Carter.

Emma is a two time DownBeat Student Music Award Winner.  In 2017 and 2018, DownBeat Magazine named Emma the national winner for their  annual Student Music Awards in the high school vocal jazz soloist category.  The Downbeat adjudicator said of Hedrick, "Totally engaging performances, very expressive. A mature jazz concept throughout.... Enormous talent here."

In 2017 and 2018 Emma was a National YoungArts winner in Jazz Voice and a 2017 GRAMMY jazz camp finalist for voice. She attended the New York Regional YoungArts program in April 2018. In the summer of 2018, Emma performed at the Telluride Jazz Festival as part of the elite group of Telluride Jazz All Stars. She was also a featured guest artist at the Indianapolis Jazz Foundation "Big Beat" fundraiser.

In 2018, Emma composed an original score and song, "You've Been On My Mind", for a short film, directed by Justin Park.  She performed the vocals for this movie score as well.  This score won the 'Best Original Score" award at the All American High School Film Festival.

Emma has had the privilege to share the stage with many Indianapolis musicians including Rob Dixon, Everett Greene, Nick Tucker and Kenny Phelps.


Emma started performing at the age of 9 with the Indianapolis Children’s Choir. With this choir, she had the opportunity to perform at various prestigious venues around Indianapolis and to travel to New York City to perform at Carnegie Hall.  During this time, Emma also was selected to be a member of the Indiana All State Choir (2 years). At age 11, she started performing solo jazz performances at local talent contests and Cabarets. At the age of 12, she was also personally invited to perform on Cole Porter’s piano for his family.
 
In 2014, Emma performed on vocals and piano, as the youngest artist, at Carmel Porchfest. At the age of 14, Emma started her own small jazz combo band, The Main Street Jazz Band.  Emma was the arranger, band leader, vocalist and keyboard player for this band. Her jazz combo has performed at the Indianapolis Jazzfest, The National Mayor's Conference, The Junior Diabetes Research Foundation Gala and most recently as the youngest featured band at Jazz on the Monon, two years in a row.

In addition, Emma has experience arranging music for both small jazz combos and big bands.  Her arrangements have been played by The Main Street Jazz Band, The Butler Youth Jazz Ensemble, The Butler Jordan Jazz Choir and the Telluride Jazz All Stars. Emma has taken private lessons with Erin Benedict (Butler University professor, Jazz Voice, 3 years), Dr. Gary Walters (Butler University professor, Jazz Piano, 3 years) and Maggie Arcoleo (Classical Voice, 4 years).  

Emma gives back to the community by performing on a regular basis at community events, local nursing homes and homeless shelters.  She was a member of Perfect Harmony, a part of Michael Feinstein's The Great American Songbook Foundation. With Perfect Harmony, a music program that collaborates with  Alzheimer's patients and their caregivers, Emma performed jazz standards weekly for residents of local nursing homes.

Currently, Emma is attending the University of Miami Frost School of Music studying studio music and vocal jazz on a full tuition Presidential Music scholarship.