Here's an interview with Sarah in 2020:
What instruments do you play?
Oboe, English Horn, Xylophone, Piano, and Harpsichord.
How long have you played these instruments?
I started playing piano when I was four years old, and picked up oboe when I was eleven. I learned to play xylophone for marching band when I was fourteen. English horn came next at fifteen, and I started playing harpsichord when I was twenty.
How long have you been a Wilmington Symphony Orchestra musician?
I started playing with the Wilmington Symphony as a sub in 2006 while I was still in school at East Carolina. I joined the orchestra as a regular member after I graduated in 2008. So I guess I've been playing with the WSO for fourteen years!
What do you do for a career?
I teach oboe lessons privately and run a handmade oboe reed business online. I've sent oboe reeds all over the world! I also freelance for all of the many wonderful performing groups in our area.
Where did you grow up?
Right here in Wilmington, NC!
What is your favorite song, artist, and/or musical memory?
It's a toss-up between Beethoven's Fifth Symphony and his Piano Concerto No. 5, the "Emperor". I love how the second movement of the concerto is just transcendently beautiful, where the transition of the third movement into the fourth movement of the symphony always makes me feel like I could take over the world. I love Beethoven, so I'm really enjoying watching the WSO celebrate his 250th birthday on social media. Hopefully, we'll get to celebrate it in person soon!
Favorite meal or restaurant?
Fuji Japan in Greenville, NC.
London Fog Latte
What is your favorite vacation?
It's not exactly what most people would call a vacation, but I really love getting to teach the double reeds at East Carolina's Band Camp each summer. I get to stay in a room by myself for a week with none of my usual responsibilities, and I get to do my two favorite things: teach music and make reeds. It's like introvert heaven, and I always come home feeling really refreshed.
You're stuck on a desert island... What book, music/album/artist, and/or movie do you want with you??
ALL the books: I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith, the Harry Potter Series, the Outlander Series, as well as everything ever written by Phillipa Gregory, Margaret George, and Jane Austen.
What's your pet situation?
We just lost Cody, our Great Dane mix to cancer, which has been really hard; we still have our happy-go-lucky lab mix, Jethro. He was born without the cones in his eyes, so he's blind, but you'd never know it. He's delightfully goofy, so he keeps us all laughing!
What do you want people to know about the Wilmington Symphony Orchestra?
The Wilmington Symphony helps hold the music community in Wilmington together. It gives professionals a place to play the best music from the orchestral repertoire, and it gives our students a training ground to learn how to play in an orchestra. This isn't something that we always get as wind musicians, since playing in band is really different than playing in orchestra. It's a wonderful training ground for the talented students in our community.
How are you keeping yourself occupied while being at home all day?
I worked from home before the pandemic, so my day-to-day hasn't changed that much, other than my lessons being taught virtually now. The bigger challenge has been having my family home with me. My husband is a high school band director, so the combination of my virtual teaching, his virtual teaching, and my daughter's virtual learning has been a lot to coordinate!
Any words of wisdom to help others through this?
Keep yourself moving and try not to get stagnant. Our surge capacities are really depleted right now, so if you're feeling down, start with the basics. Make sure that you're getting enough of these three things on a regular schedule: water, food, and sleep. It sounds simple, but you'd be amazed at how much better you feel when you've got those three covered.
Christine Maynard, Concertmaster
Mary Jo White