A native of the Chicagoland area, Dr. Sara Fruehe is a versatile artist with a varied career as chamber musician, orchestral performer, educator, and arts administrator.
An active and in demand collaborator, chamber music is a central part of Sara’s musical identity. During the six years she performed with Volante Winds, Sara has performed at premier festivals including Jeju International Wind Ensemble Festival, Juneau Jazz and Classics, Chamber Music Wilmington, American Music Festival, Mineral Point Chamber Music Festival, and many more. Volante Winds was named semi-finalists at the 2017 Plowman Chamber Music Competition, 2018 Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition, 2021 NOLA Chamber Fest, and most recently as finalists for three American Prize awards including 2022 American Music (Bacon Award), 2022 Chamber Music, and 2021-2022 Virtual Performance categories. Sara currently performs with 10th Muse, an all-female reed trio that places emphasis on innovative programming, community engagement, and new musical commissions.
Sara has held the position of second bassoon with the Terre Haute Symphony Orchestra in Indiana since 2017, and frequently performs with other orchestras and ensembles throughout the Midwest, including Columbus Indiana Philharmonic, Battle Creek Symphony, Carmel (IN) Symphony, Danville (IL) Symphony, and Owensboro (KY) Symphony orchestras.
An advocate of new music, Sara actively commissions and premieres new works. Recent commissions include works by composers Brian Raphael Nabors (Until Dawn for Woodwind Quintet) and Kevin Wilt (Incantare for solo bassoon; Forest Bagatelles for Woodwind Quintet). With 10th Muse, she is in the process of commissioning reed trios from Leigha Amick and Don Freund. In February 2023, Sara premiered P.Q. Phan’s Fantasia Concertante for Bassoon with the IU New Music Ensemble.
As an educator, Sara has worked with students of all ages and levels. During the 2022-2023 school year, Sara served as Visiting Assistant Professor of Music (bassoon) and Coordinator of Chamber Music at the IU Jacobs School of Music. She has also served as Adjunct Faculty of Bassoon and Chamber Music at James Madison University in 2016, and between 2011-2014, she maintained a robust private lesson studio in San Antonio and the south-central region of Texas. Sara is currently artist-faculty at the IU Summer Music Clinic.
An active clinician and presenter, Sara has presented masterclasses and clinics across the United States, including the University of Alabama, Middle Tennessee State University, University of Northern Iowa, Bowling Green State University, Auburn University, and Campbellsville University.. She has presented lectures at the 2021 Colorado State University BassoonaRAMa and multiple presentations at Indiana State University’s Osher Lifelong Learning Institute.Sara holds a Doctor of Music in Bassoon Performance and Literature from the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music, with minors in music history and literature, and arts administration. Her dissertation, “The Operatic Bassoon: A Pedagogical Excerpt Collection,” serves as the beginning of a new excerpt collection focused on a comprehensive review of opera excerpts for the bassoon that strives to provide a meeting point for conversation of bassoon study and performance infused with preliminary musicology and music theory concepts for the bassoonist-scholar. She also holds a Master of Music from DePaul University and a Bachelor of Music from the Jacobs School. Sara’s primary teachers include William Ludwig, Arthur Weisberg, William Buchman, and Robert Barris.