Sara Saarela – Cello
Sara has been playing the cello since the fourth grade. She performed with the Cadillac Area Youth Symphony, the Cadillac Symphony Orchestra and the Manistee Orchestra. Sara graduated from CHS in 2008 and is presently a sophomore at Western Michigan University. She is majoring in cello performance and studying with Professor Bruce Uchimura.
Musical performance fills most of Sara’s time: at WMU she is performing with the university symphony orchestra, a string quartet, and a cello trio. Very likely there will be a master’s degree in her future, leading to teaching at the college level.
Sara’s parents are Ron and Terry Saarela.
Sarah Lamphere, the daughter of Craig and Maureen Lamphere, began taking violin lessons in middle school. She spent three summers at Interlochen, studying violin for two summers and voice for one summer. While in junior high and high school, Sarah performed with the Cadillac Area Youth Symphony, the Traverse City Youth Symphony, and the Cadillac Symphony Orchestra. At one point she even studied voice with Maureen Carlson! Sarah graduated from CHS in 2007.
Presently Sarah is a junior at Alma College where she is majoring in psychology and minoring in music. She studies violin with Takeshi Abo and takes voice lessons with Vicki Walker. Sarah performs with both the Alma College Orchestra and the Alma College Choir. Just a few weeks ago the two groups presented a combined “Masterworks Concert” in which Sarah participated. In May the choir will be touring Scotland for two weeks, and Sarah is looking forward to the travel (volcanic cloud permitting) and to the opportunity to perform.
Maureen Carlson – Soprano
Soprano Maureen Carlson is on the faculty at Truman State University in Kirksville, Missouri as an Assistant Professor of Music. After graduating from CHS in 1989, Maureen received her Bachelor of Music in Education degree from Heidelberg University, plus a certificate in Italian language from the Centro Linguistico Italiano Dante Alighieri In Florence, Italy. She has since earned both the Doctorate of Musical Arts and the Master of Music degrees in vocal performance at Michigan State University, where she studied with Professor Melanie Helton, soprano.
Dr. Carlson has been a guest clinician for high school choir throughout Michigan and Missouri. She has also been an adjudicator for the National Association Teachers of Singing since 2005. During the summers of 2006 and 2007 she was visiting Professor of Music, Art, Literature and Language in Bregenz, Austria, through Michigan State University.
In addition to teaching full-time, Maureen has performed with the Truman State University Orchestra, Michigan State University Orchestra, Heidelberg University Orchestra, the Rochester Hills Symphony, and the Adrian College Symphony, among others. She has also given many solo recitals, including Florence, Italy, Interlochen Arts Academy, and Truman State University.
Dr. Carlson is the daughter of Ed and Eileen Carlson.
Laura Elizabeth Erickson – Flute
Nationally recognized flutist Laura Erickson has held positions with the Lansing Symphony Orchestra and the world-renowned North Texas Wind Symphony. In 2008 she was one of three top prize winners in the National Flute Association Orchestral Audition and Masterclass competition. Recently Ms. Erickson has performed as principal flutist of the University of North Texas Symphony Orchestra, and she is currently a member of NOVA, UNT’s new music ensemble. Laura has also had the opportunity to collaborate with artists such as Doc Severensen, Linda Ronstadt, Dr. Frederick Fennell, Dr. Harry Beglan, and composers such as Boknam Lee, Eric Lyon, and Mario Lavista. Ms. Erickson can be heard performing with the North Texas Wind Symphony on the GIA Windworks label and on the Mark Masters label performing with the Michigan State University Wind Ensemble.
Laura, a 2000 graduate of CHS, is the daughter of Loretta Erickson and the late Roy (Skip) Erickson. She began her formal studies with Tyra Gilb at the Interlochen Arts Academy before studying with Richard Sherman at Michigan State University, where she received her Bachelor of Music in Flute Performance and won the Budres Award in Music. Currently, Ms. Erickson is pursuing her Master of Music in Flute Performance at the University of North Texas, where she is a Priddy Fellow in Arts Leadership. In addition to frequent solo, masterclass and ensemble performances, Ms. Erickson is a dedicated music teacher and arts advocate. This summer she has been selected to intern with the Shropshire Music Foundation, an organization dedicated to bringing healing through music to children affected by war.
Laura would like to express eternal gratitude to her former CAPS band teachers, Mrs. Rochelle Carroll, Mr. Walt Whitmer, and Mr. Mike Filkins, for their passion for teaching and dedication to excellence through music; the Cadillac Philharmonic Club for their generosity and support; the Cadillac Symphony Orchestra for giving her the first orchestral experience of her career; and her amazing family for their inspiration, encouragement, and love.