B i o g r a p h y
Dr. Sara Erb is a bassoonist and pedagogue based in the Bloomington, Indiana area.
Sara has had the privilege of studying with prominent bassoonists and pedagogues such as Doug 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, Will Short, and the bassoonists of the Berlin Philharmonic. She has also collaborated on projects and in concert with the Netherlands Wind Ensemble, the Mahler Chamber Orchestra, the BBC Philharmonic, and the Academy of Ancient Music at Cambridge. Recent orchestral engagements include the Carmel Symphony Orchestra, the Evansville Philharmonic, and the International Chamber Orchestra of Puerto Rico.
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 and the Piccadilly Symphony Orchestra. She holds a deep love for new music and has worked with composers like Thea Musgrave, Anthony Gilbert, Michael Schelle, P.Q. Phan, and Hollywood composer Christopher Young. Sara was a featured soloist in RNCM’s 2018 New Music Festival, in which she performed 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.
As a chamber musician, Sara has performed in quintets that have won the Tunnell Trust of Scotland (2018 and 2019), have been guest performers at St. Martin-in-the-Fields in London, and were resident artists at the Cantiere Internazionale D'Arte in Montepulciano, Italy, in 2018. She is in high demand as a coach for groups in Bloomington and Indianapolis.
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 in which she has served as Treasurer and as the officer for Fraternity Education. Sara has led efforts to engage the Bloomington and surrounding communities with music by organizing recitals, musicales, and fundraisers with her SAI sisters.
Sara completed her Doctor of Music degree from the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University in May 2023. Her capstone document, a set of performer's guides for Dai Fujikura's three solo bassoon pieces, discusses how performers can approach the contemporary techniques within the pieces and how teachers can implement contemporary techniques into undergraduate curriculum. Sara was invited to present this work at the 2023 International Double Reed Society Conference in Bangkok, Thailand.
Sara is the assistant professor of music in bassoon at DePauw University in Greencastle, Indiana. She maintains a busy schedule teaching and performing in the Indianapolis and southern Indiana areas. Other current projects are: developing an undergraduate curriculum with contemporary techniques included in daily routine exercises and preparing repertoire for her first solo album.
When she’s not fussing over reeds, Sara loves traveling to Europe, reading Kurt Vonnegut, cooking, scuba diving, and going wine tasting.