by Rachel Warden
Talent comes from many different ages and backgrounds. In the small town of El Dorado Hills, there is a particularly talented young girl named Sara Mohr. As a senior in high school, Sara is busy filling out college applications, studying, and of course, playing music. Not only does she have a beautiful alto voice, she also plays the guitar and the piano and writes her own music! She has just released her first single, Savages. At such a young age, Sara has already accomplished so much with her musical talent.
It all began when Sara was in middle school. Despite having little family history of musical talent, she felt inspired to teach herself how to play guitar. When asked why she had felt inspired to pursue learning music, Sara responded, “I honestly don’t know when I started music or why – it just slowly happened. I would just sing all the time along with YouTube karaoke and then I wanted to start playing guitar, then piano, and it escalated from there.” Sara begged her mom to let her use her acoustic guitar. Her mother eagerly agreed and searched throughout the very depths of the closet to find her old acoustic guitar. “I played until my fingers hurt trying to figure it out and teach myself,” Sara admitted. After the “blood, sweat, and tears” she had finally mastered her first song – 500 Miles. She found the music sheets in her mother’s closet from when her mother and her father took guitar lessons together. Sara practiced the simple four-chord folk song over and over again until she had mastered it. Then, she was ready for a challenge.
A year later, Sara had learned more songs on the guitar, which came to be known as “Penelope” – and had begun to take up learning the piano. After playing independently for a couple of years, she was able to take professional piano lessons. Along with honing her skills in instrumentals, Sara began professional vocal training at One Eleven Studios, with a passionate and intelligent teacher private vocal teacher named Brianna Lee. “She is definitely one of the great teachers with so much knowledge and passion for what she does.” Another vocal instructor, Ms. Natalie Miller, was introduced into Sara’s life during her freshmen year when she enrolled in General Chorus, an all girls’ choir consisting of sopranos and altos.
At the young age of 17, Sara has already sung multiple solos since her first year in the Oak Ridge High School (ORHS) choir. Sara sang her very first solo in the General Chorus’ rendition of Bubbly, by Colbie Calait. Throughout the past three years of high school, she has performed solos with the choir as well as performances on her own, such as her cover of Benny and the Jets for ORHS chorale’s Prism Concert. Sara has been participating in ORHS chorale for almost four years now. Throughout her high school career, she has performed in General Chorus, Treble Ensemble, A Cappella, and Chamber Singers – the advanced, extracurricular singing group for excelling choir students.
Outside of the high school environment, Sara has performed at the California State Fair and has sung the National Anthem at the races up in Placerville. However, she does not participate in vocal competitions. “I’m worried I’ll lose sight of what really matters: the music. I’m realizing that in order to further my career that I need to probably enter into some competitions and I plan to in the future…Soon I’m planning to take some trips to cities so I can street perform, and also hit up some open mic nights, just to get out there and have people hear what I can do.” Although Sara does not want to major in Music, she does want to minor in it when she graduates college.
Music is not her only passion. She also enjoys exercising at the gym, going on hikes, and taking pictures. Her interest in photography has recently taken flight. “I’m still learning about it, but exploring and taking pictures is how I spend a lot of my time as well.” When asked about Sara’s personal music influences, she gives a diverse list. “I love Ella Fitzgerald and feel like she revolutionized the female voice. I’m also a fan of Beyoncé and Christina Aguilera – not because of their music specifically, but because their voices are spectacular and they have so much skill and excellent technique that’s great to emulate. They are also musicians with so much soul and their music has so much meaning…you can feel it when you listen to it.”
When Sara practices her skill, sometimes she will use repetition and other times she will challenge herself with a complicated vocal line. She may even simply just jam out to Beyoncé for fun practice sessions! On average, she practices at least three hours a day. When it comes to performances, the nerves rarely set in – at least in front of large audiences. “I actually get more nervous singing in front of friends and family than I do in front of large crowds. I’ve sung in front of thousands of people with no issue, but if you ask me to sing at a small party I’m a bit of a wreck.” So far, in her musical career, she has not made any mistakes during performances. Sara offers positive insight to those who suffer from nervousness during performance: “Not to say [mistakes] won’t happen because I guarantee it will, because it happens to everyone…when you make a mistake you need to move on. You can’t change the past, so just power through and keep the music going.”
Having accomplished so much in just a few years as an emerging musical artist, Sara Mohr has many exciting endeavors ahead of her. She has already recorded a single, titled Savages, which is now on iTunes for purchase. She has also been posting a few covers of her favorite songs and artists on her YouTube channel, titled: Sara Liz Mohr. “My fondest memories…are with music. I love when I’m home or out and about and I can just play and sing with so much passion like there’s no one watching…any time I remember involving music is positive. Its things as little as blasting music in the car with my mom or even dancing and singing in a store. Music is everywhere and it’s beautiful.”
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