By this time, Sarah had already been training her voice classically for several years and had many amateur concerts and shows to her name. Deciding to take a break from the dirty world of pop, she enrolled at her local college and took music ‘A’ level achieving an A grade. She also gained distinctions at ABRSM Grade 8 and Advanced Certificate in voice (now called the DipABRSM), and went on to study and receive a Diploma in the Teaching of Singing from the Guildhall School of Music and Drama.
Her classical training continued and after gaining a place to read music at the University of Nottingham, she began her vocal studies with Pamela Cook MBE . Sarah gained a scholarship prize for 2 consecutive years whilst at Nottingham, sang with the University Philharmonia, the University Baroque Orchestra along with several ensembles, gave recitals and informal jazz concerts.
Shortly before her final exams, Sarah auditioned for the internationally renowned a cappella group, The Swingle Singers, and was fortunate enough to be offered the job of 1st alto. Her university career came to a rather swift halt and her life was turned upside-down! She did eventually finish her degree long-distance over the next few months, working on a dissertation in various hotel rooms across the globe whilst her fellow Swingles were off enjoying themselves!
Sarah has now returned to the Music Department as a singing teacher, and continues to develop her teaching skills at conferences and workshops in London.
Perhaps the most significant event in her life to date, she little realised the impact that being a part of such an institution would have. The group have a repertoire of hundreds of pieces of complex music that require an enormous feat of learning, memorising and virtuosic singing. This to be done whilst travelling the world – the proverbial airport, bus, hotel, bus, venue, bus, hotel, bus, airport, etc etc in a seemingly never-ending whirl of ecstatically received concerts.
A few of the highlights include performing with world class conductors, appearing several times in concert and in opera at La Scala, Milan, meeting and working with composers such as the late Luciano Berio, and Michael Nyman. Also, discovering the delights of performing, not only in cities like Paris, Rome and Tokyo, but in smaller venues tucked away in gorgeous parts of the world that one would never experience as a tourist. Outdoor concerts on balmy nights in Italian villas and French chateaux, hot volcanic springs in Japan - well, it was a tough job but the rewards were many.
After 3 and a half years of globetrotting, Sarah decided to leave the group and concentrate once more on her personal ambitions of becoming a better singer and expanding her already varied repertoire.
Being an ex-Swingle Singer opened some doors for Sarah and she has been fortunate enough to enjoy some exciting freelance work.
As part of the excellent Synergy Vocals renowned throughout the world for their vocal expertise, Sarah performed in Los Angeles at the Walt Disney concert hall with the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra. She also toured France with the group performing Steve Reich's fiendishly difficult 'Desert Music'.
She sang backing vocals for Jarvis Cocker (see photo) at London's Meltdown Festival at the Royal Festival Hall and a few years' later, backed up Anna Calvi at the same festival when it was curated by David Byrne of Talking Heads fame.
Choral film sessions include Harry Potter and the Order of the Pheonix, The Half Blood Prince and the Deathly Hallows; Star Wars III Revenge of the Sith, Troy, Shrek 2, Kung fu Panda etc.. Sarah has also appeared at the Royal Albert Hall singing live on stage with London Voices to the 'Lord of the Rings' movies with the London Philharmonic Orchestra. Also backing vocals for Hayley Westenra, Bjork and various commercials.
In recent years, Sarah's freelance work has been mainly in the Nottingham area. She appears regularly as a classical Recitalist , an Oratorio soloist, performs with bespoke backing tracks at weddings and private functions, and enjoys singing with The Shipstone Street Jazz Orchestra. She works regularly with local lad Paul K Joyce (Ivor Novello Award Winner, composer of Bob the Builder theme tune) in London and Cornwall. This year she has also been involved in Voice-over work and hopes to develop this in the future.
BA in music (University of Nottingham 1999)
LGSM – Licentiate in the teaching of singing from the Guildhall School of Music and Drama
Music A level – grade A
ABRSM grade 8 voice (distinction), Advanced Certificate (DipABRSM)
ABRSM grade 8 piano (distinction)
Teacher for University of Nottingham
Private teaching practice
Stagecoach Theatre Arts – Singing teacher
Clarendon College/New College Nottingham - Singing teacher
Adult Education group leader (singing)
FURTHER EDUCATION COURSES ATTENDED:
Incorporated Society of Musicians (ISM):
The Virtuoso Teacher with Paul Harris. London
British Voice Association (BVA):
Irritant Issues: Reflux, allergy and the Voice. London
Mind Body Voice. London
The Ageing Voice. Manchester
Singing and the Brain. London
Interactive Rock and Pop Day. London
The Voice Explained (TVE):
Belting. Royal Academy of Music, London
Breathing, support and Estill, RAM, London
Hereford Summer School
Dartington Summer School
Lead singer in pop/rock groups ‘Fatal Charm’ and ‘State of Grace’ (5 albums, 5 record deals, radio, tv, tours)
Swingle Singers (1st alto)
Session work, Metro voices, Hobsons (movie soundtracks, backing vocals, concerts, commercials)
Big band singer
Corporate/function work – solo, ensemble, opera, musical theatre, jazz, pop
Recital/orchestral classical repertoire
ACTING/SINGING STAGE PRODUCTIONS - SHOW & RÔLE
Marat/Sade - Polpoch (actor/singer/dancer)
A Midsummer Night’s Dream - Singing/dancing fairy (fairy dance captain!)
A cow, a moon, a full stop - Improvised role (contemporary installation dir. Martin Duncan) Nottingham Festival
Anything Goes - Hope Harcourt Theatre Royal, Nottingham
Into the Woods - Rapunzel Operating Theatre company
The Turn of the Screw - Miss Jessell Operating Theatre company
Carmen - Mercedes Clarendon College
Christie in Love - Christie The Loft, Nottingham
Yerma - Yerma Lace Market Theatre, Nottingham
Whodunnit - Lavinia Hargreaves Co-operative Arts Theatre
ACTING & MOVEMENT WORKSHOPS & COURSES
Acting – general evening class courses
Acting to camera
Speaking Shakespeare’s verse
Aerobic/step classes and yoga 2/3 x weekly
Salsa/jazz/tap/ballet/street dance/tango experience