Hailed as “deeply expressive” (Chicago Sun Times) and a “first-class soloist” (Chicago Classical Review), Sarah Ponder enjoys a busy career as a soloist and ensemble singer in genres from classical to contemporary to a cappella. Some of Sarah’s favorite performances include featured solo appearances with the Grant Park Music Festival, playing Julia Child in performances of Lee Hoiby’s one-woman opera Bon Appetit!, and a rousing trio rendition of “Row, Row Your Boat” with Yo-Yo Ma at Children’s Memorial Hospital as part of her ongoing work with the Citizen Musician Initiative.
A dedicated teacher and mentor, Sarah holds positions at Loyola University and University of Illinois Chicago as well as with Music of the Baroque’s Strong Voices and has helped to establish innovative programs with the Negaunee Music Institute such as Notes for Peace and Chicago’s branch of Lullaby Project (Carnegie Hall). As part of this work, Sarah has also “beguilingly” (Chicago Tribune) performed several solo concerts with famed Maestro Riccardo Muti at the piano. Sarah is featured as a technique model in the award-winning pedagogy book, Vocal Technique: A Guide for Conductors, Teachers, and Singers. In her free time, Sarah loves cooking, reading and rowing with the breast cancer survivor’s team, Recovery on Water.