Sarah was born in Durban, South Africa, to a large and musical family. (However, she believes that every family is musical, they just don't know it yet!). Her father is a professional guitarist and singer, and her mother teaches choral and instrumental music at the Durban Boys High School. Her sister Annie is an incredible singer songwriter, producer and artist living in Toronto with her equally wonderful and talented husband, jazz pianist and producer, Stu Harrison and their baby girl.
Sarah began playing the piano by ear at the age of four, and after accompanying her school's Christmas Pageant (by ear) at age 7, her mother decided it was probably time for some formal lessons. Sarah began studying with Mrs Phyliss Hunt, local piano and choral teacher extraordinaire. She went on to win many local competitions and festivals as a young classical pianist, and performed with orchestras and chamber groups throughout her province. A highlight of her career was playing for one of Nelson Mandela's inauguration balls at the City Hall in her hometown of Durban.
Sarah was a soprano soloist with the Kwa-Zulu Natal Youth Choir, performing and competing throughout the country and traveling to Europe with them as soloist, coach and accompanist. She began writing music in high school, and one of her first songs was broadcast on SABC Television when she was 15 for a show called "The Shell Road to Fame". Sarah worked for the NAPAC Playhouse Company in a number of theater, opera productions and symphonic concerts during her college years. She played the role of music coach, piano soloist, and accompanist for the dance company.
Sarah earned her Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Natal, Durban, where she studied voice with Colleen Philp and piano with Isabella Stengel. She Then moved to New York to earn her Masters in voice at the Mannes College of Music under the tutelage of Ruth Falcon and Beth Roberts. Sarah continued to perform as a pianist and soprano in the Mannes Baroque chamber group and in various productions and concerts.
Sarah moved on to the faculty of the Hackley School, Tarrytown, where she taught middle and high school music, directed musical theater, taught piano and voice and advised students for eight years. She took summer courses at the New England Conservatory and Carnegie Hall in education and choral conducting, and also taught early childhood classes at The Diller Quaile School of Music, Manhattan. She studied Dalcroze techniques at the Kaufman Center and the Diller Quaille School of Music, NYC with Ann Farber, Ruth Alperson and Cynthia Lilley, all masters in their field.
Sarah was most recently the Choral Director at the Trinity School on the Upper West Side for 11 years. There she taught three mixed choirs, music theory, song-writing, directed music for the 5th-12th grade chapel program, directed musicals, advised two a cappella groups and also acted as an advisor to students when her schedule allowed. She was fortunate to take performance groups to Boston, Florida, Italy, Spain and Portugal during her tenure.
Sarah loves teaching music to all, and feels fortunate to have been led (by her amazing mom, Jenny) to a profession she is passionate about. She believes in the healing power of music, and knows firsthand the many educational and life long benefits of learning and mastering an instrument, singing from one's heart, and collaborating with others to create something beautiful. Sarah has found great solace in the practice of music making as a means to overcome struggles in her own life. Many of her songs are dedicated to the memory of her three beautiful brothers, Matthew, Jonathan and Thomas, who died as children and continue to inspire her journey. As a mother, she wishes for her children to discover and cultivate the things that bring them joy.
Sarah recently relocated to Nashville, TN where she lives with her husband, Steve, and their three boys. She absolutely loves her new home and exploring the town and surrounding areas. She adores her neighbors and all the friends she has made. Lately she can be found publishing piano books, writing songs, producing for sync, teaching (virtually and on her porch), reading, making lesson videos, performing, pretending to garden, pretending to play golf, binge watching Schitt's Creek for the 3rd time, and gazing at her miraculous children. Because that's what every human is. MIRACULOUS.
Sarah performs locally as a solo artist, and also with her amazing duo partner, Ashley Riley. Her music has been heard in several episodes of the Young and The Restless recently and she is beyond thrilled to be producing for sync. Sarah was also named a finalist in the John Lennon Songwriting Contest in 2019 (electronic category) with her co-writer and artist friend Beca. She is proud to have founded her new company SingPlayStudios.com which she launched in August 2020. There she hopes to bring free enrichment lessons to the world and to inspire people of all ages to tap into their innate musical gifts. That's the dream anyway! It's all a work in progress and the app is free. It only takes a minute to sign up and Sarah is beginning to curate mini lessons in all things music. Stay posted! Sarah is also teaching on Udemy.com and working on the launch of her first book, "20 Beautiful Piano Solos", a collection of over 20 progressive warmups and pieces for developing rhythm, technique, confidence and musicality for the beginner-intermediate level pianist. She began the book in honor of her beloved mother's 70th birthday, and it will be available on Amazon and everywhere else in March, 2021. Please find links to Sarah's Udemy discount codes every month on the home page. Music=Joy!! STAY CALM and SingPlay on... 🎶