An Interview with Emma Germann

Meet Emma Germann:
DSO Saxophonist and Passionate Music Educator!

By: Forrest Schauer, DSO Summer Intern

Emma Germann’s love for music began at an early age in Watseka, Illinois, where she started playing the saxophone in fifth grade. Growing up in a small rural area, she knew she’d have to work hard to compete with other professional performers. Emma’s commitment was evident from the start, as she drove an hour just to study with her first saxophone instructor!

To pursue her dreams Emma moved with her family to the Chicago suburbs to attend Elmhurst University. There, she focused on her professional career as a music educator and her passion for performing. Emma immersed herself in countless ensembles, building her musical repertoire and connecting with fellow musicians. She graduated from Elmhurst University with a major in music education, a minor in jazz, and a classical saxophone performance certificate. Today, she’s a 5th-8th grade band director and music teacher at Hillside Middle School. In addition to teaching, she is a winds and brass coach for the Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestra.

While living in Elmhurst, Emma began attending live performances for the first time and discovered the DuPage Symphony Orchestra (DSO). Reflecting on her journey, Emma said, “I have actually been a patron and an audience member of the DSO longer than I have been one of their regular musicians.”

Now, Emma plays saxophone with the DSO and performs with the Naperville Winds. When asked about her favorite piece performed with the DSO, Emma shared, “every new piece is my favorite. I am just excited to dive in. Learning a new piece is like a puzzle.” Emma performs in all genres and loves listening to a wide range of music. She encourages everyone to enjoy the music they love, not just for its educational benefits but because it holds personal significance.

Emma passionately believes in the importance of music education for children and emphasized the role music plays in our daily lives: “Learning music teaches us so many skills; it gives you community in a really special and beautiful way, and you learn about yourself and about life through the act of learning music.” She lauds the DSO for its role in introducing students to performance. Last year during the DSO’s 70th Anniversary Season, Emma invited her students to attend the “Modern and Melodious” finale concert, where they took advantage of the DSO’s student and chaperone ticket prices at only five dollars each. Seeing their much-loved band teacher perform live was an unforgettable experience for the students and their parents. Emma highlights, “The DSO is taking advantage of their position as a high-level community orchestra and using that as an opportunity to hook the next generation of performers and consumers of music.”

To inspire future artists, Emma believes in the need for more organizations like the DSO, emphasizing access and equity. She asserts, “I’ve never heard of someone who went to a live concert for the first time and regretted it.” Emma hopes everyone will attend DSO concerts and become lifelong consumers of music and culture.

Interested in learning more? Checkout the DSO’s website,, which includes resources for audiences, musicians, and educators through our Connect with Music program and outreach programs.