A native of Franklin, Tennessee, Dr. Sarah K. Crocker is a professional harpist performing solo, chamber, and orchestral music throughout the Southeast. Dr. Crocker is Adjunct Professor of Harp and Musicology at Middle Tennessee State University and maintains a harp and piano studio in Franklin for private students. For more information about harp lessons and beginner to intermediate piano lessons, please visit the Lessons page.
In April 2013, Sarah made her debut as a soloist performing Debussy’s Danses sacrée et profrane with the North Mississippi Symphony Orchestra (formerly Tupelo Symphony Orchestra), where she has been principal harp since 2006. Her professional orchestral experience also includes principal harp of the Meridian Symphony Orchestra since 2005 and acting principal harp of the Murfreesboro Symphony Orchestra. Sarah also performs regularly with Orchestra Kentucky, Tuscaloosa Symphony Orchestra, Alabama Symphony Orchestra, Albany Symphony Orchestra, and Montgomery Symphony Orchestra, and is in demand as harpist for numerous wind ensembles, choirs, and churches. Festival and conference performances include the 2014 CBDNA Southern Division Conference in Jacksonville, the 2013 and 2011 National Concert Band Festivals in Indianapolis, and the 2009 Midwest Clinic in Chicago. At the University of Alabama, Sarah was principal harp of the Huxford Symphony Orchestra, Alabama Wind Ensemble, and Alabama Symphonic Band from 2003-2013, and she is still called upon to perform with these ensembles regularly.
In addition to performing, Dr. Crocker also has a passion for teaching and researching both harp and musicology. Her D.M.A. Document, "The Descriptive Miniatures of Alphonse Hasselmans and Henriette Renié: An Examination of the Pedagogical and Artistic Significance of Salon Pieces for Harp," focuses on the relationship between and the salon works of these noteworthy virtuoso harpists and composers and is nominated for the 2013 Outstanding Dissertation of the Year Award. In June 2014, Dr. Crocker will present "Pierre Jamet and the Twentieth-Century Harp Quintet" as a featured lecturer at the 2014 American Harp Society National Conference in New Orleans, LA. She has also presented lectures on the Hasselmans family of musicians. Before beginning her position as Adjunct Professor of Music at MTSU, Sarah was an instructor of musicology and ethnomusicology courses and the instructor for secondary harp students at the University of Alabama.
Developing from Sarah's love of chamber music, the Delta Duo was founded with flutist Dr. Whitney O’Neal in 2008. The duo can frequently be seen in concert, selected as featured performers at the 2014 and 2012 Midsouth Flute Festivals and the 2012 and 2011 Kentucky Flute Festivals and performing in recital at Mississippi State University in 2010. In August 2011, the duo collaborated with composer Anne LeBaron to present the Southeastern premiere of her work Solar Music for flute and harp. In 2012, soprano Dr. Dawn Neely joined the duo to form the Druid City Trio. Since its conception, the trio has been in demand as guest performers appearing in venues from Tennessee, Alabama, and Georgia to Chicago, IL. The Druid City Trio has been invited to perform at the 2014 Midsouth Flute Festival in March and the prestigious Second Saturday at Two Concert Series at St. James Chapel in downtown Chicago in April 2014. In addition to concerts, the Delta Duo and Druid City Trio are also available for weddings, church services, and private events. For more information, please visit the Delta Duo website.
As an enthusiastic proponent of contemporary music, Sarah was the principal harpist for the Contemporary Ensemble at the University of Alabama from 2007-2013, performing works by George Crumb, Anton Webern, Peter Westergaard, Mario Davidovsky, Luigi Dallapiccola, and Milton Babbitt. In 2009, Sarah consulted with George Crumb regarding his trio for flute, harp, and soprano Federico’s Little Songs for Children. Later that year, Sarah worked with Peter Westergaard on his chamber work Ode and his Cantata no. 2. In 2011, Sarah performed George Crumb’s Federico’s Little Songs for Children and Anton Webern’s 5 Geistliche Lieder for Soprano and 5 Instruments, Op.15 with the University of Alabama Contemporary Ensemble at the Second Saturday at Two Concert Series at St. James Chapel in downtown Chicago. Sarah returned to the St. James Chapel in Chicago in April 2012 with the Druid City Trio’s performance of Debussy’s Sonata for flute, viola, and harp and in April 2013 with the Alabama Contemporary Ensemble.
Dr. Crocker holds a B.M. summa cum laude, M.M., and D.M.A. in Harp Performance with Musicology cognate from the University of Alabama. Her harp instructors include Judith Sullivan-Hicks, Mary Brigid Roman, Judy Loman, Katie Buckley, and Carol McClure, and she studied piano with Noel Engebretson and Julia Pilgrim. She has performed in masterclasses for famed jazz harpist Deborah Henson-Conant and Maxim Rubstov, principal flute of the Russian National Orchestra.