Meet Our Office: Sarah Constable
December 20, 2017
Sarah Constable is the secretary for the GVSU Charter Schools Office. Prior to joining the office in the fall of 2017, Sarah was with the Department of Visual and Media Arts at GVSU.
Sarah was born in Muskegon, MI., and has been deeply connected with music for her entire life. Sarah’s family is full of musicians, and she knew from an early age that she also wanted to be involved with music. She first tried the violin, but traded that in favor of an oboe, an instrument she loved that also allowed her to be part of a band.
Sarah’s musical talent quickly became evident when she was invited as a fifth-grade student to play in a junior high orchestra, which was for students who were three or four years older than her. She then furthered her skills at the Interlochen Arts Academy, a fine arts boarding high school located near Traverse City, MI.
Sarah then travelled to Rochester, NY., to study music, earning a bachelor’s degree in music with a specialization in oboe performance from the Eastman School of Music. She followed that by getting her master’s degree in music for oboe performance from the University of Minnesota, where she studied with the principal oboist of the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra.
A few years after receiving her master’s degree Sarah won a job in Birmingham, AL., where she played with the Alabama Symphony Orchestra. During her ten years in Alabama, she had the opportunity to play with many big name performers including Ray Charles, Luciano Pavarotti, Bernadette Peters, and Harry Connick Jr. She has also played internationally, travelling to Canada, Germany and Japan for performances.
Sarah returned to Michigan in 2007 and was looking into pursuing other career opportunities. She earned her elementary education teaching certification and worked for a year with Wyoming Public Schools. An opening with GVSU’s Department of Music, Theatre and Dance, however, allowed her to work in an atmosphere that combined both of her passions. During her time in the department, Sarah was asked to teach a handful of music education classes focused on oboe instruction.
Sarah is still connected to music today. She offers private lessons to young musicians and regularly plays with the Grand Rapids Symphony Orchestra.
What is a book you would recommend to others?
"All The Light We Cannot See" by Anthony Doerr. That book spoke to me. It was an amazing story of perseverance.
Who is/was your favorite teacher, and why?
Richard Killmer at the Eastman School of Music. I learned a ton from him, not only as a musician but as a citizen. He would attend every performance, and believed that you could learn something from everyone’s performance. I still believe that in what I do now - that you can learn something from every situation, from every person...the opportunity is there.
What sparked your interest in education?
My parents. My mother taught music at Muskegon High School before teaching at GVSU, and she has just loved her career in education. My brother and his wife are also in education. It’s important for our society and I’m fascinated by it, and it’s amazing what kids can do when they have the right help.
What do you like to do for fun?
My husband and I go to Traverse City to see the airshows every July and we also enjoy visiting the Gilmore Car Museum. We like being tourists in our own state!