Sarah was inspired to play the harp aged six, after seeing an episode of a well-known children's TV show featuring the instrument. After two years of pestering for lessons, she received a lap harp for Christmas and began to learn with Anita Aslin, and later Frank Sternefeld. She studied at the Royal Northern College of Music with Eira Lynn Jones, graduating with BMus (Hons).
During her time at the RNCM, Sarah was selected for the BBC Philharmonic Professional Experience Scheme, as principle harpist in the resident orchestra at the Cantiere Internazionale D’Arte Montepulciano, and to perform at the Bridgewater Hall and Wigmore Hall. As a member of the dynamic RNCM Harp Ensemble, she has performed in a celebration of John Cage’s works at the Baltic Art Gallery, and music by Catherine Kontz at the Natural History Museum. In 2008 she was honoured to be one of the 60 harpists to play for HRH Prince Charles’ 60th birthday celebrations at the Royal Opera House.
Back home in Saltburn-by-the-sea, Sarah enjoys an eclectic freelance career. In addition to teaching the harp privately and at Yarm School, she regularly plays for weddings and other functions, including the annual Memorial Dinner for the Lance Corporal Ben Hyde Memorial Trust. She is a keen orchestral player - an interest cultivated by three years in the National Children's Orchestra - and regularly works with Orchestra North East, St Cecilia Orchestra, Halifax Symphony Orchestra, Ripon and Wetherby Choral Societys, and Cleveland Chamber and Philharmonic orchestras, in addition to making two recordings with Sir Richard Bonynge (Victorian Opera Northwest).
Sarah has also collaborated on two theatre productions: "Keeping The Feast" - a new play by Djenane Watkins, which won multiple awards in the Preliminary Round of the All England Theatre Festival 2016 (including the Adjudicator's Cup for the music!) - and a recent production of "A Man For All Seasons" (part of the 150 year celebrations at Emmanuel Church, Saltburn)
As a soloist, Sarah was winner of the Irish Harp (Open), and five times winner of the Pedal Harp Class at Harrogate Competitive Festival of Music, Speech and Drama. While studying at the RNCM she won the Salon Prize, and was soloist in Mozart's Concerto for Flute, Harp and Orchestra with Richmondshire Orchestra. She was privileged to play the Mozart again with Cleveland Chamber Orchestra, with Ian Denley on flute in 2017, has given recitals for the Lupus UK Annual Conference 2013, Long Newton Music, with The White Rose Singers, Swale Singers (Swaledale Festival 2018), and Classical Café (Middlesbrough Town Hall). She also makes up one half of a newly-established cello and harp duo with Jeremy Harbottle. Recently they have given recitals for Long Newton Music, Classical Café, Classical Cleveland and with the Angrove Singers, whom Jeremy also conducts.
Future projects include a solo CD, due to be recorded in May 2019.