Sarah Clewett is a professional oboist in the Appleton, WI area with a background in Western classical music and free improvisation. She graduated from Lawrence University in 2017 with a Bachelor of Music in Oboe Performance (Pi Kappa Lambda) and a Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology (Psi Chi National Honors Society). While at Lawrence, she was a student of Howard Niblock and Andrea Hixon and has been studying improvisational music with Matt Turner. She also studied under Robert Stephenson while at the Sewanee Summer Music Festival in Sewanee, Tenn. Sarah is a recipient of the Conservatory Trustee and Community Engagement Scholarships and the Edwin H. Olson Award in Human Services.
She has been a member of the Lawrence Symphony Orchestra, Lawrence University Wind Ensemble, the Improvisational Group of Lawrence University (IGLU) and the Lawrence Baroque Ensemble. Sarah co-founded the Deep Listeners of Lawrence University (DLLU) after developing an interest in deep listening practices during an internship at the Center for Deep Listening in Troy, N.Y., under the direction of Tomie Hahn. While studying abroad in London, Sarah was a student of Christopher Redgate and performed in the London Improvisers Orchestra. She also had the opportunity to work with members of the Cheltenham Improvisers Orchestra and the Transitions Trio (Charlotte Hug, Maggie Nicols, and Caroline Kraabel) in various workshops. In addition, Sarah was a performer in Chris Sharkey’s “Make It/Break It” workshop at the EFG London Jazz Festival.
In the past year, Sarah released an album with her ambient/soundscape duo, Cloth. The album, “settle, repose” was originally inspired by sound recordings she made while studying abroad in London. The album was a collaboration with composer Jason Koth. She also recorded for Jason’s solo project, The Midlands, and collaborated with guitarist, composer and songwriter Sam Genualdi for the release of his debut album, “Looking Through the Glass.”
Currently, Sarah is working as the Conservatory Admissions Counselor at Lawrence University and performing in the Fox Valley area with several professional and community orchestras, including the Oshkosh Symphony Orchestra and the Neenah Community Orchestra where she is principal oboist. She is in the process of obtaining her Deep Listening Certification through the instruction of Bjorn Eriksson, Sharon Stewart, and Jennifer Wilsey. Sarah is frequently called upon by old colleagues and professors at Lawrence for performances, including the recent premier of works by composers Joc Polczynski and Madeleine Moran. Her experimental pop duo, “Smile,” in which she plays piano and sings, is releasing its debut album in July.
For her senior experience project in Psychology, Sarah focused on how improvisational music therapy can improve communicative behaviors in children with Autism Spectrum Disorder. This has inspired her to pursue a Masters Degree in Music Therapy and her dream is to become a Music Therapist, using improvisational music therapy techniques in her own practice.
In August, Sarah will be moving to Minneapolis where she will be performing and preparing for graduate school auditions.