The Children’s Department thanks Sarah for taking the time to answer our interview questions. Read on to find out about the life of a local musician and be sure to check out her favorite book series as a child. Don’t forget to click on her YouTube link to hear her sing!

What is your name?

Sarah Wright

What is your job title and where do you work?

I am the Music Director at Christ the Teacher Parish, as my main job.

What do you do for a living?

I teach music for a living. At the church, I plan the songs that we sing at Mass and I help the musicians learn the music. I also give tips to the singers on how to sing better and healthier, and I direct a group of singers to sing together in harmony. As a private music instructor, I also teach people of all ages how to play the piano and how to sing. Additionally, I am paid to sing in professional choirs.

If someone is interested in your line of work, what should they do to achieve their desired outcome? Is there a certain field of study or certain experiences that they should strive for?

To work in the music industry, someone can start by learning a musical instrument from a teacher. I highly recommend to start with piano, because many of the skills someone can learn from the piano can be transferred to other instruments. It takes a lot of personal practice to improve as a musician. Then, it is a good idea to look for colleges with music programs that fit the career path you want to take. A degree in music education will lead to teaching general music in schools. To get jobs like mine – working at a church, as a private music teacher, and playing and singing in professional ensembles – then a music performance degree is sufficient. Making connections in the music world is sometimes more important than the education you have. Someone may be an excellent musician, but it often takes knowing the right person to recommend you to a gig or a job.

With regards to your work, what is the most amazing or exciting thing you have ever discovered, learned, or created?

I love helping people discover their voice. It is much different than learning how to play a musical instrument that you can hold or see. Everyone’s voice is unique. Everyone has different obstacles they have to overcome to open up their voice. It is always amazing to see the joy on people’s faces when they have a vocal breakthrough, or when singing becomes easier. Or when they realize they can do much more than they thought they could.

What are your hobbies? Do you like comic books, manga, music, scifi? Sewing or art? Tell us what you like!

I like to Irish dance. I have been dancing for many years and even teach dance, too. I also love to read and write.

Tell us something fun about yourself! A silly story, a fun thing you have done, or something you are proud of… what would you like the children and families of DeKalb to know?

I am proud of something that I did when I was around ten years old. I had the opportunity to have a sleepover at the Field Museum in Chicago (the event was called ‘Dozin’ with the Dinos’). We brought sleeping bags and set up camp in one of the exhibits. Before lights-out, we could go around to a number of stations that were set up. My cousin loved bugs, so we stopped by a station with a bug petting zoo. For some reason, I agreed to hold a tarantula. For the record, I am terrified of spiders. I must have had much more courage as a ten-year-old than I do now.

Do you have a favorite section in the library to read or find books? What is your favorite memory of time spent in the library?

My favorite section is the fiction/fantasy section, particularly in the young adult or adult areas. The library in my hometown is only a few blocks from my house. I used to love talking walks or bike rides to the library with my siblings or friends. It would be nice to get out of the summer heat and spend time looking for books and reading in the cool library. My favorite memory, though, was when a program came to the library where we got to make paper.

Please list your favorite book (or books!) from when you were a child. Why did you love this book so much and how old were you when you read it?

One of my favorite series as a child was “The Guardians of Ga’hoole”. The characters in the books were owls, and I thought that was very unique. I loved the story line, too. I think I was in third or fourth grade when I read them. I enjoyed the Spiderwick Chronicles. I liked that the stories were quick reads but still had a lot of plot. I also liked the art.

What genre do you like to read now that you are an adult? Do you have a favorite author?

My favorite genre is fantasy, specifically medieval fantasy. One of my favorite authors is Kristen Britain (the Green Rider series). I also like the eclectic writing of Ted Dekker (the Circle Series was a personal favorite).

If families wanted to see the work that you have done or read a book or research paper that you have written, where would they go to view your work?  

To hear Sarah’s Senior Voice Recital, click here. (It starts around 13 minutes).

Thank you, Sarah! It was wonderful to hear about your career and your love of reading.

If anyone would like to read Sarah’s childhood favorites, here is what you need to know:

The Guardians of Ga’hoole by Kathryn Lasky is a 16 book set that starts with The Capture. Here is a list of the books, in order :

  1. The Capture
  2. The Journey
  3. The Rescue
  4. The Siege
  5. The Shattering
  6. The Burning
  7. The Hatchling
  8. The Outcast
  9. The First Collier
  10. The Coming of Hoole
  11. To Be a King
  12. The Golden Tree
  13. The River of Wind
  14. Exile
  15. War of the Ember
  16. The Rise of a Legend

The first book can be found as an audiobook on OMNI Overdrive. The entire series can be found in paperback at the DeKalb Public Library.

The Spiderwick Chronicles is a series by Tony DiTerlizzi and Holly Black. The order of the books is:

  1. The Field Guide
  2. The Seeing Stone
  3. Lucinda’s Secret
  4. The Ironwood Tree
  5. The Wrath of Mulgarath
  6. The Nixie’s Song
  7. A Giant Problem
  8. The Wyrm King

Books 6, 7, and 8 can be found on Hoopla as audiobooks. All of the paperback books, the audiobooks, and a DVD can be found at the DeKalb Public Library for curbside pickup.

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