Allison studied music (horn) and new media/journalism at Valparaiso University (’05), where she also continued piano and vocal training. In 2011 she graduated from Concordia University in Wisconsin with a Master of Church Music degree in choral conducting.
Allison teaches piano and plays piano for weddings, funerals and other special events on a freelance basis. She has been a choral accompanist, service music leader and soloist. As a vocalist she has done comparable things; generally freelance wedding and funeral solo work. In addition to church choirs she has also sung with The Milwaukee Choristers (Soprano 1) and Vox Antiqua early music ensemble (Soprano 2).
Allison teaches French horn and currently plays horn with Avec le Bois Woodwind Quintet and The Firefly Brass Duo; she’s performed with the Sheboygan Symphony Orchestra, Menomonee Falls Symphony Orchestra, Milwaukee Summer Philharmonia and Concord Chamber Orchestra.
Allison has directed a number of groups, ranging from children’s choirs to handbells to woodwind ensembles. She is looking forward to her first year as Director of Choral Music at Pius XI High School in Milwaukee, beginning in the 2022-2023 school year. There she will be conducting choirs as well as instructing group piano.
In 2019 Allison founded Wisconsin Music Ventures – a live music series with a focus on outdoor and/or unusual event sites; putting great Wisconsin musicians in great Wisconsin places. Since the COVID era, WMV has become a community for musicians that supports them in their work, alongside hosting live events. In the fall of 2020 WMV launched its podcast The Musician’s Venture, which Allison hosts. In “the biz” Allison is known by the name Allison Emm.
Allison has worn a variety of hats within the arts and entertainment field: from music journalism to house management to box office to arts education to orchestral business management to marketing; being the Executive Director of a local symphony orchestra to a Guitar Festival Consultant. She’s also been a volunteer with local non-profits such as 88 Nine Radio Milwaukee (Music Education Task Force) and the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra (Docent for Educational Programming).
Allison was born and raised on the east side of Wauwatosa. She was actively involved as a board member for the Tosa Farmers Market from 2015-2019 (Fundraising Chair/Vice President). She and her husband Nick currently reside on the west side of the Milwaukee suburb, with their two energetic but extremely lovable dogs.