Where Are They Now? spotlights Minnesota Varsity Featured and Showcase Artists from 2011 to 2016.
Oboist Sarrah Bushara from Eden Prairie, Minn. was a 2014 Showcase Artist and 2015 Showcase Artist with Trio Tesoro. She recently got in touch with Classical MPR's Christine Sweet to share her latest news.
Sarrah Bushara, 2014 Showcase Artist, 2015 Showcase Artist with Trio Tesoro
Hometown: Eden Prairie, Minn.
Attends: Curtis Institute of Music, Philadelphia, Penn.
Minnesota Varsity was a phenomenal experience for me in 2014 as a soloist, and again in 2015 as a member of Trio Tesoro. The entire experience, from submission, to being selected as a featured artist, recording in the Maud Moon Weyerhaeuser Recording Studios, then performing at the Fitzgerald Theater as a showcase artist, was a great inspiration for me; I was able to share the stage and radio waves with some of the brightest young artists in the region.
I continue to be humbled, encouraged, and emboldened by this experience at every step of my musical journey, as it was one of the most musically and personally significant honors I have received. Over the past 2 years, I continued to serve as principal oboe of the Minnesota Youth Symphonies (MYS) and Greater Twin Cities Youth Symphonies (GTCYS) Symphony Orchestras, which concluded with an amazing GTCYS tour in Argentina this past summer. As a Post-Secondary Enrollment Options student at the University of Minnesota, I was a member of the University of Minnesota Orchestra, Wind Ensemble, and Symphonic Band. I was also honored to have been selected for the National Youth Orchestra of the United States of America and had the incredible experience of performing at Carnegie Hall and touring China in 2015 and Europe in 2016 under the batons of Charles Dutoit, Christoph Eschenbach, and Valery Gergiev. I continued to perform chamber music with Trio Tesoro, and the Rustling Winds and Vento Silva wind quintets. As a soloist, I performed with GTCYS, the Minnetonka Symphony Orchestra, and the Northeast Orchestra under the direction of Mark Russell Smith, Roger Hoel, and Dr. Jeffery Stirling, respectively.
I was fortunate to have won multiple local concerto competition awards and was a national winner in the YoungArts Foundation and the Walgreens National Concerto Competition. As a composer, I continued to study with Dr. Sarah Miller at the MacPhail Center for Music, and completed a second year with Dr. Edie Hill in the Schubert Club Composer Mentorship Program. I was a finalist in the 2015 ASCAP Foundation Morton Gould Young Composer competition and was named Emerging Composer in the 2015 Tribeca New Music Young Composer competition. I owe a great deal of gratitude first and foremost to my teachers and mentors, John Snow and Julie Madura. I am also infinitely appreciative of the training and support I received while in GTCYS and MYS in addition to programs such as Minnesota Varsity, Schubert Club, Thursday Musical, Salon se Lève, and the multitude of other organizations that exist to support young classical musicians in the area. It is sometimes difficult to fathom how truly lucky I am to have grown up in Minnesota.
I am currently living in Philadelphia where I study oboe performance with Richard Woodhams at the Curtis Institute of Music and continue exercising my passion for dog-spotting. Minnesota will always be in my heart, and Minnesota Varsity especially. Best of luck to all who are submitting this year!