Sakiko Kanamori Prize Recipient 2011
Sarah is a graduate of West Ottawa High School. At Hope she majored in vocal performance and music education and was a student of Linda Dykstra.
In March/April 2011, Sarah won two prestigious singing competitions: the Opera Grand Rapids Collegiate Competition and National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS) Regional Competition.
During the academic year 2010-2011 at Hope, Sarah sang the role Anna Maurrant in the on-campus Theatre Department/Music Department production of Kurt Weill’s Street Scene. She also appeared in the Hope concerto and aria concert, and was a soloist in the Hope College Musical Showcase concert in Grand Rapids. You can listen to Sarah in her Hope Senior Recital singing Mercadante's "L'Abbandonata" by clicking on the following link:
She spent the fall semester 2011 in Philadelphia, where she fulfilled her student teaching requirements and continued her vocal studies. In the spring of 2012, she returned to Michigan for more practice teaching (to 1200 elementary school children each week)!
In the meantime, Sarah was using money from the "Sakiko Kanamori Prize" for intensive vocal coaching sessions and preparations for auditions. The latter were successful. In the summer of 2012, she was a member of the Young Artist Program at the Chautauqua Opera. And in the fall 0f 2012, she entered the prestigious Eastman School of Music in Rochester (NY) to begin a doctoral program in opera performance. At Eastman, she has appeared as Madame Lidoine in Poulenc's Dialogues des carmélites (for which she says she "learned a lot about the history of Carmelite nuns") and as Lady Billows in Britten's Albert Herring.
In August 2014, she married and has taken her husband's name. She is now Sarah VandenBrink.
Updated: January 2015