Lyric mezzo-soprano Sarah Hicks is a graduate of the Schulich School of Music at McGill University with a Bachelor of Music degree, specializing in vocal performance. Growing up in Toronto, she spent her early years developing her passion for singing as a member of the Toronto Children's Chorus and later as a graduate of Cardinal Carter Academy for the Arts. Sarah completed her degree at McGill with teacher and baritone Michael Meraw before returning to Toronto.
Selected recent performances include: Annio in the Royal Conservatory's summer production of Mozart's La Clemenza di Tito, Flosshilde in Opera by Request's production of Wagner's Das Rheingold, Mrs. McLean in Floyd's Susannah, and Ma Moss in Summer Opera Lyric Theatre's production of Copland's The Tender Land.
This past fall, Sarah showcased her repertoire in a solo recital with pianist Michael Rose at Grace Church on the Hill, featuring Schumann's Frauenliebe und leben and Barber`s Hermit Songs. Sarah also sang the alto solo in Bach's Christmas Oratorio with the Toronto Classical Singers under Jurgen Patrenko as well as performed at Roy Thompson Hall with Iranian singer Parvaz Homay in his opera Love, Wisdom, Humanity under Maestro Kerry Stratton. In February, Sarah performed as Mrs. Harple in the professional world premiere of Taptoo! by John Beckwith with the Toronto Operetta Theatre.
Sarah is currently one of two Young Artists in the Arcady Young Program under composer and conductor Ron Beckett where she has been featured as a soloist performing contemporary works by Ron Beckett and an alto soloist in Handel's Messiah. Sarah has been featured in the Ermanno Mauro Young Artist Concert Series.
Sarah Hicks began teaching while attending the Schulich School of Music at McGill University in Montreal. After completing her degree Sarah returned home to Toronto and began her career as a musician and teacher.
In Toronto, Sarah has worked as a voice teacher with students of all ages and levels. As a performer she has been featured in opera, oratorio, and recitals. She recently worked as the interim director of music at Grace Church on the Hill, conducting the women and girl's choir there. Sarah is a dedicated musician and teacher with a passion for educating and performing.
I believe in an individualized approach to teaching that assesses each student's ability, ambition, and interest in order to design a curriculum that best suits their unique talents and goals.
"My philosophy of teaching is very much influenced by my philosphy of art, in that I believe that art and music have the capacity to profoundly enhance life. A Picasso says 'art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.' It is through the expression of our own creativity that we find purpose and beauty in life. In the pursuit of artistic excellence we are able to more deeply express our own innate creativity.
"As singers, we are all blessed with our own unique voice and the role of the teacher is to assist each student in finding their individual voice, both literally and artistically. As such, I believe in an individualized approach to teaching that assesses each student's ability, ambition, and interest in order to design a curriculum that best suits their unique talents and goals.
"I believe that healthy vocal technique is the surest way to achieving excellence and enjoyment in any genre of singing. Regardless of what style or music is being pursued, a foundation in healthy classical technique allows us the freedom to use our voices to express ourselves and our creativity. As the old adage goes 'one must learn the rules before we can break them'. The stronger our application of technique becomes, the less time and energy is used to produce sound; which means we are free to express, create, and make music. As a teacher, I am a resource and a catalyst in the artistic life of each student and my role is to encourage, instruct and guide them towards individuality, creativity, discipline and excellence."