Sara Ann is Freeway Music Northeast’s Assistant Director, and 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. She is currently studying under Jazz singer and pianist, Jenna McSwain based in New Orleans. She is also finishing up her Specialist Certificate in Vocal Technique and Musicianship from Berklee College of Music. Berklee has been a dream of Sara Ann’s to study under, as many of her musical influences are alumnae, including John Mayer, Esperanza Spalding, and Diana Krall.
Sara Ann also currently sings and plays a bit of percussion (meaning serious tambourine/shaker skills), as well as uke bass with husband, Don Russo, in their duo act 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 and you may also see them at a few restaurants around town.
Sara Ann is thrilled to be teaching among instructors and musicians that she regards so highly. As far as her teaching philosophy goes, she first likes to identify the music that each student is truly excited about. She then merges that music with appropriate vocal concepts 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!