Posting Date: March 25, 2013
Meet Sarah Fluker: Bent on bassoon
By Alyssa Sellors
Photo by Tracie L. Hinnant
Growing up with a father who was a music minister and both a father and mother who were bassoon players, perhaps it was destiny that Sarah Fluker picked up the bassoon. Who knew that a little advice from her high school orchestra teacher would lead Sarah to become a successful bassoon player at Kennesaw State University’s School of Music and a recipient of the Annual Flourish School of Music Scholarship.
Sarah took the advice of her high school orchestra teacher to play bassoon after wanting a change of pace from her flute playing. Hesitant of having to learn an entirely new instrument, she took the plunge anyway and found it was much harder than expected. Still, this delay did not affect her success with the bassoon. She soon found a mentor at her high school, KSU artist-in-residence Laura Najarian, who would lead her to Kennesaw State.
Sarah's main focus and priority, “putting music first, always,” is evident in her performances. "I have worked with Sarah since the year before her senior year in high school,” says Najarian. “I continue to enjoy working with Sarah because of her love of music, her willingness to try whatever I ask her and her fearlessness to put herself out there in any situation."
When playing, Sarah strives for the ability to express emotion through her music, believing that “technique can always be worked on, but getting the emotion and the music through to the audience is the harder part.” Sarah fondly remembers one such performance where she truly experienced such communication of emotions between performers and audience. The piece was Symphony No. 9 in D Minor, Op. 125 by Ludwig van Beethoven performed on April 21, 2012, by the KSU Symphony Orchestra and Combined Choirs with special guest faculty soloists. This performance was the first time she felt that all of her fellow musicians played as one big group, and she remembers this big piece as a true accomplishment. The concert, performed at KSU’s Bailey Performance Center, was a celebration of the naming of the Audrey B. & Jack E. Morgan, Sr. Concert Hall and can be seen on YouTube at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sf3R4lRTnHY.
Beyond her memorable performances, Sarah’s biggest accomplishment at KSU has been her improvement in general. This success could not be possible without the faculty and staff, who she finds to be her favorite part about being a KSU music student. “The faculty is amazing and I feel that I really get one on one attention and can meet with the faculty whenever I need to.”
Rehearsals and performances with the Wind Ensemble, Symphony Orchestra and Performance Chamber group take up most of her time in school, but when she is not rehearsing and performing Sarah enjoys playing at her church and working as a counselor at the Summer Bassoon Extravaganza at Emory University. After graduation Sarah hopes to be a part of a professional symphony and attend graduate school, possibly in Indiana.