Clocking in, clocking out, board meetings, staff meetings, grumbled bosses and disgruntled employees often make a life worth living feel meaningless. It’s not often one is granted the opportunity to do what they love and make money doing it.
Doctor Sarah J. Graham, the new artistic director for the Palouse Choral society,has built herself a life where she can make an impact on the lives of community members, make a living and fill that place in her soul that only art can satisfy.
“Music is a way we can affect and have an effect on people emotionally and mentally,” Graham said. “I think in the choral arts we can create programs that educate and open people up to new ideas and cultures.”
The choral arts embody the traditions of societies across the globe. These traditions and the cultures that come with them can be shared through choir. When these different cultures are shared, an empathetic understanding is developed for the different type of people that inhabit our planet, Graham said.
Graham received her undergraduate education from Whitworth University in Spokane, Washington,in music education. She continued her education and received a Masters from Michigan State University in English and classroom teaching. She also holds a doctorate in conducting, Graham said.
During her undergrad, Graham studied abroad and taught in Jamaica her senior year. She said her experience of different cultures during college inspires her to share the many different traditions and cultures she has been exposed to through choral arts. She continues to incorporate programming from cultures around the world in her choral endeavors, Graham educates herself and others in the hopes that she can open her mind and the mind of her community.
“When I taught high school, I got involved doing cultural programming,” Graham said. “We did a December around the world concert where we focused on music of the world.”
When she conducted this choral program she gave the audience programs with maps on them containing numbers marked in the countries that corresponded to the songs, signifying what region of the world they originate from.
For the last 10 years Graham has taught at the college level, and currently teaches at the Lewis-Clark State College in Lewiston. She is also the choir director at Episcopal Nativity Church and has been for the past year.
Graham said she plans to take her goals of sharing different cultures with her audiences to the Choral Society of the Palouse and continue to do the work she loves to do.
“The society will remain the same in their high standards and quality that they already exhibit,” Graham said. “I will hope to add programming designed to create awareness for ideas and cultures and current events.”
Graham is excited to bring life into the Palouse through music and the cultures of the world.
“I’m living my dream, doing what I love, I am exited to bring new music to the area,” Graham said.
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