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A native of Franklin, Tennessee, Dr. Sarah K. Crocker is a professional harpist and musicologist lecturing and performing solo, chamber, and orchestral music throughout the southeast and beyond. Dr. Crocker is Adjunct Professor of Harp and Musicology at Middle Tennessee State University, where she also serves on the faculty of the Honors College. Additionally, Dr. Crocker maintains a harp and piano studio in Franklin and Murfreesboro for private students and is the President of the Nashville chapter of the American Harp Society. (For more information about harp lessons and beginner to intermediate piano lessons, please visit the Lessons page.) Prior to her position at MTSU, Dr. Crocker was an Instructor of Musicology and Ethnomusicology courses and the Instructor of Secondary Harp at the University of Alabama.
In April 2013, Dr. Crocker made her debut as a concerto soloist performing Debussy’s Danses sacrée et profrane with the North Mississippi Symphony Orchestra, where she has been principal harp since 2006. Crocker also currently performs as principal harp with the Murfreesboro Symphony Orchestra, Tuscaloosa Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra Kentucky, Nashville Wind Ensemble, and with many ensembles at MTSU. In addition, she has performed with other orchestras around the Southeast, including the Meridian Symphony Orchestra (principal harp, 2005-2013), Alabama Symphony Orchestra, Albany Symphony Orchestra, and Montgomery Symphony Orchestra. Dr. Crocker is also 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 Contemporary Ensemble, 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. In June 2014, Dr. Crocker presented "Pierre Jamet and the Twentieth-Century Harp Quintet" as a invited lecturer at the 2014 American Harp Society National Conference in New Orleans, LA, and she has recently been invited to present at upcoming the 2016 American Harp Society National Conference in Atlanta, GA. She has also presented lectures on the musical legacy of the Hasselmans family of musicians, and is currently working on a manuscript about this topic. 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," was nominated for the 2013 Outstanding Dissertation of the Year Award. In addition to Hasslemans and Renié, her primary research interests include music’s intersection with French and German culture, politics, and gender identities in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries and the post-WWI and -WII avant-garde movements in Europe and America.
Having a love for chamber music, Crocker founded the Druid City Ensemble with flutist Dr. Whitney O'Neal and soprano Dr. Dawn Neely in 2010. Hailed as "truly inspiring," the ensemble has been honored to appear as guest performers appearing in numerous venues around the southeast to Chicago, IL. The Druid City Ensemble has been honored to appear as featured performers for the prestigious Second Saturday Concert Series at the St. James Chapel in Chicago from 2011-2014, for the 2012 and 2014 Midsouth Flute Festivals, for the 2012 Kentucky Flute Festival, and with the Alabama Contemporary Ensemble. As enthusiastic proponents of contemporary music, the trio has commissioned several pieces from the Birmingham Art Music Alliance to be premiered in the fall of 2015. The ensemble also regularly performs and presents masterclasses at universities across the country. The trio is in the process of recording their first CD, set for release in 2016. For more information about the group and upcoming performances or to book a concert or masterclass, please visit their website: www.druidcityensemble.com
Dr. Crocker and Dr. O'Neal also regularly perform together as the flute and harp ensemble the Delta Duo, founded by the pair in 2008. The duo can frequently be seen in concert, selected as featured performers for the 2015 Midsouth Flute Festival, the 2011 Kentucky Flute Festival, and performing in recital at Mississippi State University in 2010. In August 2011, the duo collaborated with composer and harpist Anne LeBaron to present the Southeastern premiere of her work Solar Music for flute and harp. In addition to concerts and masterclasses, the Delta Duo is also available for weddings, church services, and private events. For more information, please visit their website: www.deltaduo.com
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, where she studied with Judith Sullivan-Hicks. She also completed summer harp studies with Mary Brigid Roman (FSU), Judy Loman (Toronto), and Katie Buckley (Brevard Music Festival). She has performed in masterclasses for famed jazz harpist Deborah Henson-Conant and Maxim Rubstov, principal flute of the Russian National Orchestra.