Biography

In this section, you can read in detail about my incredibly varied performing career and you can check out my ongoing teacher training.



Pop Singer

Sarah started her career as lead singer/frontwoman in Fatal Charm, an 80s pop band. At the tender age of 20, having signed major deals with Double Dee Records, Albion music publishing and Asgard agency, she found herself touring the country with Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark and Ultravox. She performed in major venues the length and breadth of Britain whilst promoting her first single with the band – produced by Midge Ure. Video shoots, radio interviews and live sessions followed.



Throughout the 80s and 90s, the band went from strength to strength, appearing on the first ever ‘Tube’ – the revolutionary Channel 4 music show hosted by Jools Holland and Paula Yates – and returning for a new band special alongside Kajagoogoo. The single ‘Summer Spies’ was aired frequently on Radio One and after a third appearance on the Tube, made an exciting although brief appearance in the UK charts. Fatal Charm became quite at home at BBC Radio One, recording a total of 10 sessions for the likes of Janice Long, Annie Nightingale, Bob Harris, and Mark Radcliffe.

During the 90s, the band ventured into a new ambient/dance/pop field, and became ‘State of Grace’. The first single, ‘Miss You’ was voted ‘Single of the Week’ in NME and Melody Maker and was followed by an album Jamboreebop, which led to another major record deal with RCA (New York). A remix of one of the tracks – ‘Hello’ – became a dance floor anthem and made the top ten dance chart in the U.S. One of the finest moments in Sarah’s career was the night she premiered ‘Hello’ and appeared on stage at the biggest gay club in the city to an audience of 1000 men, surrounded by semi-nude male dancers and 7 foot drag queens.

A U.S. tour with Depeche Mode was in the pipeline when things fell apart...

Back to School

By this time, Sarah had already been training her voice classically for several years and had many amateur concerts and shows to her name. Deciding to take a break from the dirty world of pop, she enrolled at her local college and took music ‘A’ level achieving an A grade. She also gained distinctions at ABRSM Grade 8 and Advanced Certificate in voice (now called the DipABRSM), and went on to study and receive a Diploma in the Teaching of Singing from the Guildhall School of Music and Drama (London).


Her classical training continued and after gaining a place to read music at the University of Nottingham, she began her vocal studies with Pamela Cook MBE . Sarah gained a scholarship prize for 2 consecutive years whilst at Nottingham, sang with the University Philharmonia, the University Baroque Orchestra along with several ensembles, gave recitals and informal jazz concerts.



The Swingle Singers

Shortly before her final exams, Sarah auditioned for the internationally renowned a cappella group, The Swingle Singers, and was fortunate enough to be offered the job of 1st alto. Her university career came to a rather swift halt and her life was turned upside-down! She did eventually finish her degree long-distance over the next few months, working on a dissertation in various hotel rooms across the globe between concerts!

Sarah little realised the impact that being a part of such an iconic vocal ensemble would have. The group have a repertoire of hundreds of pieces of complex music that require an enormous feat of learning, memorising and virtuosic singing. This to be done whilst travelling the world – the proverbial airport, bus, hotel, bus, venue, bus, hotel, bus, airport, etc in a seemingly never-ending whirl of ecstatically received concerts.


A few of the  highlights include performing with world class conductors, appearing several times in concert and in opera at La Scala, Milan, meeting and working with composers such as the late Luciano Berio, and Michael Nyman. Also, discovering the delights of performing, not only in cities like Paris, Rome and Tokyo, but in smaller venues tucked away in gorgeous parts of the world that one would never experience as a tourist. Outdoor concerts on balmy nights in Italian villas and French chateaux, hot volcanic springs in Japan - well, it was a tough job but the rewards were many.  


After 3 and a half years of globetrotting, Sarah decided to leave the group and concentrate once more on her personal ambitions of becoming a better singer and expanding her already varied repertoire.


Freelance Singer

Being an ex-Swingle Singer opened some doors for Sarah and she has been fortunate enough to enjoy some exciting freelance work.


As part of the excellent Synergy Vocals renowned throughout the world for their vocal expertise, Sarah performed in Los Angeles at the Walt Disney concert hall with the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra. A live recording of Steve Reich's 'Tehillim' was produced to rave reviews: "Synergy Vocals, the all-female quartet that sings Tehillim, is outstanding. Pure-sounding and fluent, they accomplish the essential interlocking of their parts with seeming effortlessness. " Sarah also toured France with Synergy performing Reich's 'Desert Music'.


She sang backing vocals for Jarvis Cocker at London's Meltdown Festival at the Royal Festival Hall and a few years' later, backed up Anna Calvi at the same festival when it was curated by David Byrne of Talking Heads fame.


Choral film sessions - many recorded at the famous Abbey Road Studios -  include Harry Potter and the Order of the Pheonix, The Half Blood Prince and the Deathly Hallows; Star Wars III Revenge of the Sith, Troy, Shrek 2, Kung fu Panda etc.. Sarah has also appeared at the Royal Albert Hall singing live on stage with London Voices to the 'Lord of the Rings' movies with the London Philharmonic Orchestra. Also backing vocals for Hayley Westenra, Bjork and various commercials.


In 2013, she shared the stage with Oscar and Bafta award-winning actress Olivia Colman CBE on a production of 'The Snow Queen' at London's Cadogan Hall.


In recent years, Sarah's freelance work has been mainly in the Nottingham area, appearing regularly as a classical Recitalist, an Oratorio soloist, performing at weddings and private functions, and singing with The Shipstone Street Jazz Orchestra. She also worked on several projects with local lad Paul K Joyce (Ivor Novello Award Winner, composer of Bob the Builder theme tune) in London and Cornwall. 


Ongoing training:

British Voice Association courses:

Mind body voice – exploring alternative approaches inc. Feldenkreis, Alexander technique, mindfulness . London

Irritant issues: reflux, allergy and the voice. London

Voice and the brain – neurology of voice disorders, neural processing, brain plasticity, gender. London

Weak, wobbly or working? Multi-disciplinary management of the ageing voice. Manchester

Rock the stage – rock and pop voice in musical theatre. London

Finding your inner jazz: voice, style & pedagogy. London

Tension release . Dealing with anxiety and physical tension. Manchester

Interactive rock & pop day. Vocal distortion, primal sounds, beatboxing, riffs & runs, tv voice coaches. London

The Voice Explained courses: (Estill voice training) London

Shifting style – moving from Disney to Rodgers & Hammerstein to Sondheim

Breathing, support & Estill 

Belting – an overview. 

Association of Teachers of Singing (AOTOS) courses:

Advanced Professional Development course. 3 day residential Uppingham School.

Teaching musical theatre in the 21st century 

Summer conference inc. workshop with Mary Hammond (vocal coach to Guy Garvey, Muse, Coldplay etc)

Incorporated Society of Musicians:

The Virtuoso Teacher with Paul Harris. (London)



ADDRESS:
79 Russell Road
Forest Fields 
NOTTINGHAM
NG7 6HA

CONTACT:
Email: sarah@simplysinging.co.uk
Phone: +44 (0)7790 454622

simplysinging.co.uk