Goldmyth for Fall 2016 Group Lesson!

I am super excited to announce that the guest performer/lecturer for our Fall 2016 Group Lesson is Janessa Smith (aka Goldmyth). Read her bio and check our her social media pages so you can come prepared with some questions for this great artist. This is gonna be a good one, you guys. December 19, 2016, 5:00-6:00pm, Summerhays in Murray.

Golmyth Photo – Version 2


Goldmyth –aka Jenessa Smith– is an up and coming indie/electronic harp pop project based in the burgeoning Provo, UT music scene. Jenessa has spent time playing with bands like The National Parks and The Echo Chorus, and is releasing her debut EP Faded Dream in spring 2017, produced by Nate Pyfer (Kaskade, Neon Trees, The Moth and the Flame.) Under the Goldmyth name, she recently contributed guest vocals on Robert Loud’s (Robbie Connolly of Fictionist) debut single, “Intentional.”

Her other credits including arranging and singing Cyndi Lauper’s “All Through the Night” on the recently released Deseret Book album, Lullabys: Classic Songs for Bedtime, as well as recording harp on the other tracks of the album. She’s featured on three songs on various EFY albums under the name Jenessa Buttars, and wrote and sang “The Virtue of Gold” for Deseret Book’s Live What I Know album. 

Jenessa works as a freelance composer and musician and has written and produced tracks for Warner Chappell’s Nonstop Productions which have been featured on Buzzfeed videos and other media licensing. She also scored two short films while she was studying Commercial Music at BYU. 

When she’s not working on her upcoming Goldmyth projects, Jenessa arranges pop and indie music for her wedding quartet, Something Borrowed Harp and Strings, who play regularly for weddings throughout Utah.

You can stay tuned for Goldmyth’s releases at @goldmyth on Instagram, or

Birthday Cake!

Look at this amazing cake my BYU Students got for me for my birthday! We should definitely all LOVE JAZZ MORE!


EM Vocal Studio 2015 Concert Highlight Reel

Great job, everyone!


My first official music video! Shooting this video was an incredible experience. I loved how Lance was able to capture my lyrics and the mood of my song with the perfect visual companion! “Missing” is whole now! I hope you enjoy it!

The official music video for “Missing” by Emily Merrell off her debut album, Embark. © 2012 ASCAP
Directed by: Lance Fredric Lowry
Video by: LanVi Productions
Dress by Pinja Fristrom
Hair & Make-up Design by Shawna Turner

Download Embark on iTunes:
Download Embark on CD Baby:

More Jazz

Some fun pictures from my gig at the SLC Junior League Gala last week! The incomparable Matt Larson on bass, one of my favorites, Kenji Aihara, on guitar, and, of course, Andrew Merrell on drums!

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Jazz Gig at the Loveland Aquarium



Video from BYU Jazz Voices’ Fall 2015 Concert – check this funky thing out!

Aaron Schumacher

I recently flew my dear friend Aaron Schumacher out from LA to play a gig with us at the Grand America Hotel. Aaron is seriously one of the best vocalists (and general musicians) I have ever known. Check him out!



I am so excited to be the new director for BYU Jazz Voices! Here is our first performance together (after only four rehearsals)!

Earth: Imogen Heap

Waunana: Arr. Laura Otero

Not Like This: Arr. Paris Rutherford

Kinky Boots

While in NYC, we got to see Kinky Boots (one of the very last performances with the original cast)! It was amazing, and I want you to all go see it when you get the chance. Here is one of my favorite songs from the show:


Small World!

Well, NYC is a pretty big town, but the strangest thing happened . . . and I just randomly bumped into my friend Seth Weaver from college! How’s that for serendipity? While we’re on the subject, go give him your “likes” on Facebook! He is killing it in New York!

Accidental Advertising

I had a consultation yesterday with a new student (an adult). When I asked him how he heard about the studio, he said he was eating at Paradise Bakery and overheard some strangers in the adjacent booth talking about their voice teacher and how incredible she was and how they were so thrilled to have found her. Haha! My favorite story ever. Thank you whoever you are! ‪#‎accidentalwordofmouth‬‬


Shut Up and Dance!

So, here’s a cool story! Last night my band was playing for a wedding at Sundance. The bride requested “Shut Up and Dance” for the final song. Everybody sort of freaked out (more than usual) when we started playing. Afterward, the bride pulled Patrick, our male vocalist, aside to meet the best man, Ryan McMahon, who just so happens to be the COMPOSER of “Shut Up and Dance.” HELLOOOO! As it turned out, the whole family was made up of professional musicians and producers out of LA. And, they thought we were awesome!


Foreign Figures

We were SO spoiled in our Fall Group Lesson this year (2015)! Foreign Figures came and gave a private lecture concert for our whole studio! Among many other incredible songs, they performed their own arrangement of Adele’s “Hello,” as well as their original “Come Alive,” and gave us some fabulous advice for finding success in our artistic endeavors. Thanks, Foreign Figures! And thanks to Summerhays in Murray for providing the space! What a phenomenal end to a wonderful year!


Brand new song, “Villian” from Emily Merrell Group’s concert at Whysound in Logan.

Diamond Empire Band

Here is a highlight reel I just put together for my cover band “The Diamond Empire Band.” Check it out!


Excellence in the Community

Here are a couple of photos from Emily Merrell Group’s Excellence in the Community Concert last week. It is always such an honor to be featured in the Excellence lineup!

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Proud Teacher Moment!

One of my students went to her first blues jam last week. I’ve been working with her on “how to commuicate effectively with instrumentalists/how to be an effective band-leader.” So . . . she goes up to sing her few tunes for the blues jam, and as she’s describing the groove, preparing to count off, the band asks her “WAIT . . . are you like . . . a musician or something?” The answer is YES, you blues dudes! She is a singer, a non-instrumentalist, and she is a MUSICIAN! She also told me that her answer was “I don’t play any instruments, but I’m taking voice lessons from a jazz person.” And the band was like “Ohhhhh . . . well, that makes sense.”


A Day Maker

Just got a lovely note from a new pro-musician friend who had listened to my album Embark for the first time:

“Emily, your album is gorgeous. Great performance. And the arrangements and musicians are just superb. Very impressive. And I think those that know me will tell you, I don’t hand out compliments gratuitously. In addition to the fact that you composed and wrote the lyrics, which is impressive enough, your singing is just great. But what really blows me away is that the whole project shows such high production values. And I have to say, not to take away from any of the musicians, for me personally, the guitar solo work is goose bump material. I’m a serious romantic and it is a seriously romantic piece of work. I’m sure I’ll listen to it again and again. Thanks again.”

What a wonderful compliment, and great boost to my day!

Here is the title track:

ACDA Utah-State Conference 2015!

I am so honored to be serving as the State Conference Manager for the Utah Chapter of the American Choral Directors Association, and to have had the privilege of putting together (with lots of help from the board) what will certainly be a breathtaking conference. There will be three open-to-the-public concerts with a huge variety of choirs from all over Utah. Don’t miss it!


American Idol Casting

Just wanted to share: I got a call today from an American Idol Casting Agent. She said EM Vocal Studio is one of the most successful vocal studios in Utah, and asked me to recommend a few students to have “a free pass to the front of the line, and a guaranteed filmed audition” (basically, to skip the first several rounds of auditions, and jump right to the real stuff!) for the upcoming season. Pretty flattering for us as a studio!


Book Recommendations

I’ve been really into audiobooks lately. I am trying to target my listening to things that are applicable to performing and creativity. Here are some of my favorite inspirations:

  1. 7 Habits of Highly Effective People – Stephen Covey
  2. Bossypants – Tina Fey
  3. Leadership & Self-Deception – The Arbinger Institute
  4. Mindset – Carol Dweck
  5. Outliers – Malcolm Gladwell
  6. Rising Strong – Brene Brown
  7. Self- Compassion – Kristin Neff
  8. The Confidence Code – Katty Kay/Clair Shipman
  9. The Tipping Point – Malcolm Gladwell



Downbeat Award

Well, it’s two years late, and my name is spelled incorrectly, but here is my Downbeat Award! Here’s the award-winning piece!

Ondine’s Dance:

Thumbtack Small Business Awards

Feeling very honored to have been among a few local small business owners to receive an invitation to the Thumbtack Award Presentation and Small Business Services Panel Luncheon with Utah Governor Gary Herbert this morning! EM Vocal Studio is doing so well! I am all reenergized and pumped for our third year in Utah! Also, you can see the back of my head in this news story:

Gary Herbert

Ben Folds Orchestra Experience

What an awesome experience last night to sing with ben folds and the Utah symphony at the Deer Valley Music Festival! THIS IS WHY YOU NEED TO LEARN TO SIGHT-READ! 🙂


Salt Lake Jazz Festival

A picture from the SLC Jazz Festival – Music of Emily Merrell & Jim Guss


Ray Smith Quintet

A photo of me with my sister in law and student Amy Merrell after an Excellence in the Community Concert at the Viridian. Jazz, Jazz, Jazz!


Rhythms of Rio

Here are a few pics from some recent concerts I’ve played with some SLC friends! All Brazillian music! It’s always great to brush up on the Portuguese.



Spring 2014 Student Showcase!

The Party Band Showcase was a huge success! Here is our poster, and a photo from the show. I’m looking forward to making this an annual tradition for EM Vocal Studio!

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