Who is sarah gorak?
Instrument ninja Sarah Gorak combines her youthful vocals with her many stringed axes (violin, cello, ukulele, guitar) for a chamber acoustic experience. Her songwriting has been deemed as "dark yet melodically wonderful." Born in Hawai'i and raised in Seattle, she loves having any opportunity to share and incorporate the cultures that influenced her. Sarah's biggest passion is helping inspire new generations of music by engaging with families during her live shows.
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Sarah Gorak (Schmidt) began her musical journey in her elementary school orchestra program in Renton, Washington. She then furthered her interest in private violin lessons with Sara Roark (former Concertmaster of Village Theatre) and Gwendolyn Taylor (Associate Concertmaster of the Tacoma Symphony). In 2013, she graduated from Central Washington University with a Bachelor’s of Music Education and her K-12 teaching certification with specializations in Instrumental, Choral, and General Music. Her primary instrument during her undergraduate studies was the violin and she studied with Carrie Rehkopf Michel and Heather Netz (now staff at Idyllwild).
Sarah has filled many elementary through high school music ensemble instructor roles over the years. She was an active staff member in the CWU Preparatory Strings program and she was nominated as employee of the year in 2012. She student taught with Kara Hunnicutt (principal cellist of the Yakima Symphony and conductor of the Icicle Creek Youth Symphony) for the Ellensburg School District orchestras grades 2-12. She also did a brief practicum with jazz vocalist Cherrie Adams at Graham Hill Elementary in Seattle.
Sarah strongly believes in being a lifelong student so she enjoys pursuing learning other fiddle styles, improvisation, and other instruments. She has attended alternative strings styles workshops including Creative Strings Workshop, Rustic Roots, Fiddle Hell, and Strings Without Boundaries. She has been actively studying with international qualifying jazz cellist Greg Byers since 2016 and improvising extraordinare Rob Flax since 2017. She is currently active in the local music scene playing solo sets of violin looping, uplifting ukulele songs especially crafted for families. She also collaborates in several band projects: 1) an acoustic duo called "Nalu" with Kryst Kruer singing harmonies and playing ukuleles and violin 2) a full band expansion of her duo called "Kryst Kruer & the Secondhand Smoke" also featuring Nick Federinko on guitar, Nick Heffron on drums and Sam Reuscher on bass 3) playing cello in an acoustic trio with Anna Applegate and Preston Bell Charles III. You can find more information under the "Hire My Bands" page. You can find out more about her music projects at sarahgorak.com She also enjoys playing music with her husband, violist Peter Gorak.