B i o g r a p h y
Sara Erb is an international bassoonist who is passionate about chamber music, pit orchestras, and collaborating with composers to create new music. She received her Bachelor of Music degree from Butler University (Indianapolis, Indiana) and her Master of Music degree from the Royal Northern College of Music (Manchester, England). She is currently completing coursework for the Doctor of Music degree at Indiana University’s Jacobs School of Music where she also teaches undergraduate reed classes and coaches chamber groups.
Sara has had the privilege of studying with prominent bassoonists and pedagogues such as Douglas Spaniol, Gretha Tuls, David Chatwin, Stefano Canuti, Peter Whelan, and William Ludwig. She has played in masterclasses for bassoonists such as Bram van Sambeek, Ole Kristian T. Dahl, Matthew Wilkie, John Clouser, Billy Short, and the bassoonists of the Berlin Philharmonic. She has also collaborated with the Netherlands Wind Ensemble, the Mahler Chamber Orchestra, and the Academy of Ancient Music at Cambridge.
As a solo artist, Sara has been a part of numerous professional recordings, including for the Kaleidoscope Orchestra (Manchester), the RNCM Wind Orchestra, the Jacobs School of Music, and, most notably, the premiere Naxos recording of Alfred Cellier’s opera Dorothy with maestro Richard Bonynge. She holds a deep love for new music and has worked with composers like Thea Musgrave, Anthony Gilbert, Michael Schelle, and Hollywood composer Christopher Young. Sara was a featured soloist in RNCM’s 2018 New Music Festival, performing Anthony Gilbert’s “Dark Singing, Dancing Light” for solo bassoon and strings. She was the bassoon finalist in the woodwind concerto competition at Jacobs School of Music in the spring of 2020.
Sara was also a member of the award-winning wind quintets Prima and Festivo Winds in Manchester. Currently, she plays in a wind quintet with other doctoral students at Indiana and is in high demand as a coach for undergraduate groups.
Sara's doctoral dissertation will be a discussion on Dai Fujikura's extended techniques in his solo bassoon compositions Calling, Following, and Secret Leaves. More information on that project will be posted as it is developed.
Sara is a member of the international music fraternity Sigma Alpha Iota. She was initiated into the Zeta chapter in 2013 and served as the chapter's Vice President of Ritual in 2014-2015 and President in 2015-2016. She is currently active in the Bloomington (IN) Alumnae chapter and has served as Treasurer since 2019.
When she’s not fussing over reeds, Sara loves traveling to Europe, reading Kurt Vonnegut, cooking, doing Kayla Itsines' workouts, and going wine tasting.