Sara Ann is currently serving as Studio Director of Freeway Music Northeast and Freeway Music’s Director of Marketing and Brand Development. She has had a passion for music since she was a toddler, humming nonsense in grocery aisles. She began vocal training at age 14 with Dr. Rhoda Paschal and has continued studying with various instructors throughout her adult years, Jazz singer and pianist, Jenna McSwain based in New Orleans and Sarah Kervin, SLP and voice faculty member at Berklee College of Music. Sara Ann completed her Specialist Certificate in Vocal Technique and Musicianship from Berklee College of Music. Sara Ann also graduated Magna Cum Laude from The University of South Carolina with a bachelor’s degree in Advertising, which she has put to use managing and evolving Freeway Music’s brand over the last 10 years.
Sara Ann has also played in a duo band with husband, Don Russo, around Columbia, Charleston and the surrounding areas. Their repertoire pulls from a variety of genres like jazz, rock, indie-rock, folk, bluegrass, pop, motown, r&b, funk and more. They enjoy playing weddings, company parties when they have time.
Sara Ann’s teaching philosophy revolves around first identifying the music that each student is truly excited about. She then merges that music with appropriate vocal techniques to help the student reach their goals. If you identify where the passion is, and build upwards with that as a foundation, students are more likely to succeed, add other knowledge to that foundation & have FUN learning!
In 2023, Sara Ann transitioned out of teaching to focus on her management and brand development roles. Though she misses her wonderful voice students, Sara Ann is excited to devote all of her energy toward ensuring that Freeway Music continues to thrive as a positive, creative, exciting place to teach and to learn.