About Sarah Cole

Sarah holds degrees in Violin Performance from Baldwin Wallace Conservatory (B.M), Performance and String Pedagogy from the University of Louisville (M.M) and a Performance Degree from the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama in Cardiff, Wales (M.A). 


Sarah has taught applied and secondary violin lessons at the University of Louisville, as well as multiple workshops, sectionals, chamber music coaching and private lessons in the Louisville public school system.


In addition to her work in secondary and higher education, Sarah maintained a large private studio at the Louisville Academy of Music and since her 2020 move to NY, in her Kenmore home.


Sarah will be the summer 2021 violin instructor at at the Buffalo String Works Summer Camp.


She has performed as a violinist and viol da gambist at Oberlin’s Baroque Performance Institute, Sewanee Summer Music Festival and as a member of the Royal Welsh String Soloists performing across Britain.


Sarah performed and taught as a member of the Graduate String Quartet during her second masters degree at the University of Louisville.  The Graduate Quartet won first prize in the McCauley Collegate Chamber Music Competition and performed their Spring recital on Louisville Public Radio. 

In Britain, Sarah was a finalist and competed in the Cavatina Intercollegiate Chamber Music competition at RAM in 2015 with her piano trio. This piano trio later won the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama’s Beethoven prize in 2015. 

During her last year studying in Wales, Sarah and colleagues programmed Messien’s Quartet for the End of Time as a major project. The ensemble titled "The Messy Anne Players" was coached regularly by the Gould Piano Trio and appeared in masterclasses for Paul Watkins, Claefax Ensemble, Meyrick Alexander, Michael Young and Natalie Clein.


The quartet toured Wales and England in 2016 performing in Chepstow, Cardiff, Sheffield and Lincoln. The quartet partnered with the UK charity Hope for Heros Foundation and performed in the Lincoln Cathedral donating all proceeds. 

Chamber Music 


Sarah has performed in public masterclasses for notable violinists such as Simon Fischer, Itzhak Rashkovsky, Daniel Phillips, Rachel Podger and Simon Rowland Jones. Her primary teachers were David Updegraff, André Swanepoel and Patrick Raferty having also studied with Rachel Podger, Hal Grossman and Jullian Ross.

During her conservatoire training, Sarah was concertmaster of the University of Louisville Symphony Orchestra and Sinfonietta, and violinist in the Graduate String Quartet as a Teaching Assistant. While studying in Wales, Sarah was Principal second violin in the Royal Welsh String Soloists, the concertmaster of the Royal Welsh College Opera Orchestra under David Jones and Co-Leader of the Royal Welsh College Symphony Orchestra under Carlo Rizzi.

Early Music 

In Sarah's free time, she enjoys tending to her garden, hiking with her husband Alec and two senior dogs (Delia & Hugo) and visiting art museums.  

Quartet with Piano.jpg

Sarah’s interest in early music was first sparked by performing in Baldwin Wallace University’s Bach Festival each year during her undergraduate career.. At BW Conservatory, she joined the viol da gamba consort and learned tenor gamba. Once in Wales, she studied bass viol da gamba privately in weekly lessons with Lucy Robinson and was a member of an active consort. Sarah performed on bass viol da gamba for Richard Boothby of Fretwork in a public masterclass at the Royal Welsh. 

Recently, Sarah attended Oberlin Conservatory’s Baroque Performance Institute on full-merit scholarship to further her gamba studies with Catharine Meints. At BPI, Sarah performed in many masterclasses on baroque violin as well as on viol da gamba. At BPI Sarah enjoyed playing tenor gamba each evening in the faculty consort with Kenneth Slowik, Mary Ann Ballard and Nicola Canzano. Oberlin holds a special place in her heart because that’s where she met her husband! 

At the University of Louisville, Sarah was an early music teaching assistant during the Fall and Spring semesters of 2017/18. As the early music teaching assistant, she taught secondary viol da gamba lessons weekly as well as organised music and coached beginner consort groups. 


Aside from energetically pursuing her viol da gamba studies, Sarah began taking private and group baroque violin lesson from esteemed UK baroque violinist Rachel Podger during her studies in Wales. On baroque violin Sarah performed in many historical ensemble performances at the Royal Welsh on and still continues her studies today.