Sarah Willis is a talented brass player from Maryland, USA. She grew up in Tokyo, Boston, Moscow, and London, finding her musical passion and inspiration through multiple different cultures.
Sarah started out playing the piano at a very young age before moving onto playing The French Horn (a horn is any of a family of musical instruments made of a tube, usually made of metal and often curved in various ways). She had a great friendship with her teacher, a trombone player, who helped to inspire her musical journey. Below is a video of Sarah performing with “The Havana Lyceum Orchestra”. The Orchestra has performed extensively in Cuba and abroad to widespread critical acclaim.
Musical talent runs through Sarah’s family, she is the sister of Alastair Willis, a Grammy-nominated conductor and music director of the South Bend Symphony Orchestra.
Sarah started playing the French Horn aged 14 at the Royal College of Music’s Junior Department in London. Sarah knew she wanted to continue to play the horn after her very first lesson. Even at a young age, Sarah had such a connection with her instrument that her practice started to affect her social life at school. With her peers not sharing or understanding her musical passion, she was left feeling quite lonely.
To counteract this and to further her unstoppable passion, Sarah joined a youth orchestra and practiced with them every Sunday evening. Playing and socialising alongside young people with the same shared musical interests was a very important part of Sarah’s journey. She points out on her website bio, that playing in various different youth orchestras was one of the most important parts of her musical training.
Sarah moved to Berlin where she watched the Philharmonic Orchestra perform live for the first time and said, “the first time that I heard the Berlin Philharmonic live, I decided that I just had to be as close to this orchestra as possible”.
After many years of hard work and dedication to her instrument, in 2001 Sarah got offered a position in the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra. A job she loves and says she is “grateful every day to play in this incredible orchestra.”
Sarah is also a TV presenter for her own show called “Sarah´s Music” on Deutsche Welle TV since 2014. She is also very active on YouTube and is a massive advocate of online music sharing. Aiming to help those without access to live music an online alternative.