Faculty and Staff Directory
Sarah Ponder, M.M.
Originally from Nebraska, mezzo-soprano Sarah Ponder found her way to classical singing after early dreams of pursuing a career in jazz. After a fateful trip to the opera house to see Turandot, she was hooked! Since graduating with masters and certificate degrees at Northwestern University, Sarah enjoys a busy career as a soloist and ensemble singer with Lyric Opera Chicago, Chicago Symphony Chorus, Grant Park Chorus, Chicago a cappella, and many others.
Hailed as “Deeply expressive” (Chicago Sun Times) and a “first-class soloist” (Chicago Classical Review), some of Sarah’s recent favorite performances include two featured solo appearances with Grant Park Music Festival, a full recital at the Cultural Center as part of the Musicians Club of Women “Award Winners in Concert” series, playing one of the Lehrbuben boys in Lyric’s Die Meistersinger, and a rousing rendition of “Row, Row Your Boat” with Yo-Yo Ma at Children’s Memorial Hospital as part of her ongoing work with the Citizen Musician Initiative. Through her outreach at Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Sarah has also “beguilingly” (Chicago Tribune) performed several solo concerts with Maestro Riccardo Muti at the piano.
A dedicated teacher, Sarah holds positions at two highly acclaimed suburban music programs in addition to her work at Loyola. Ms. Ponder’s students have performed leading roles in many productions and have continued studies at major universities and conservatory training programs. In addition to training voices, Sarah has assisted young composers through workshops at Merit School of Music and Chicago Academy for the Arts, providing specialized feedback and instruction. Her work as a technique model was also recently featured in the new book, Vocal Technique: A Guide for Conductors, Teachers, and Singers.
B.F.A. Vocal Performance, Cert. Spanish Translation (summa cum laude) – University of Nebraska (Kearney)
M.M. Vocal Performance (with honors) – Northwestern University
Cert. in Vocal Performance (with honors) – Northwestern University