Heather Gilligan is Assistant Professor of Music at Keene State College in New Hampshire, where she teaches composition & theory and coordinates the Theory and Aural Skills program. An active composer and performer, she has recently written works for harpist Franziska Huhn, the Keene State College Chamber Singers, the Keene State College Concert Band, The Chamber Singers of Keene, The Rivers School’s “Seminar On Contemporary Music For the Young,” Juventas! New Music Ensemble, and Lorelei Ensemble. Having spent over a decade living in the Boston area, Dr. Gilligan has a history of collaboration with many fine Boston-based performers, including sopranos Brenna Wells, Margot Rood, and Emily Culler; mezzo-soprano Sara Bielanski; trumpeter Jonah Kapraff; clarinetist Todd Brunel; flutist Sarah Brady; and pianist Lisa DeSiro. She is a member of the Boston Composers Coalition, a group of seven composers dedicated to the creation, performance, education, and dissemination of new American music.

At Keene State College, Dr. Gilligan has been responsible for a number of initiatives in the area of composition. Most recently, she helped establish a Bachelor of Music degree in Composition, which will begin in the 2013-14 school year. She established the annual Keene State College Call for Scores, which culminates each fall in a pre-concert panel discussion in addition to the premiere of a newly written work. She has particular interest in bringing opportunities in "Undergraduate Research" to students in the Arts and Humanities; to that end, she had several students participate in Keene State's 2013 Academic Excellence Conference in addition to acceptance at the 2013 conference of the National Council on Undergraduate Research in La Crosse, WI. In addition to her responsibilities as a member of the faculty at Keene State College, Dr. Gilligan has served since 2009 as the accompanist and Composer in Residence for the Chamber Singers of Keene, for whom she has written several choral works. In 2012, the group traveled to Einbeck, Germany to collaborate with a German choir, the Voices of Salzderhelden, and will reciprocate as hosts to the German choir in November 2013. In 2010 Dr. Gilligan was appointed Composer of the Year by the New Hampshire Music Teachers Association. Her work, Winged Reflections, was commissioned by NHMTA and premiered at its state conference in October 2010.

Dr. Gilligan received her D.M.A. in Composition from Boston University in 2008, where she won the Malloy Miller Prize in Composition, a Dean Scholarship, and a Department Honor Award. At BU she studied composition with Richard Cornell, Martin Amlin, and Ketty Nez. She earned her M.M. in Composition from the Longy School of Music, where she studied composition and piano. A classically trained pianist, she has studied piano with Randall Hodgkinson, Sally Pinkas, Judith Gordon, and Martha Marchena. In summer of 2002 she completed, with distinction, a course at La Schola Cantorum in Paris, under the auspices of the European American Musical Alliance. She also holds a bachelors degree in Chemistry from Lehigh University where she minored in music and studied composition with composer Paul Salerni.