A New York native, Sara Holtzschue’s career in music began as a classically trained flutist. She graduated with a degree in music with honors from Barnard College at Columbia University where she studied with David Rakowski, Mario Davidovsky, Jeff Nichols and Harold Jones. Sara’s interest in jazz led her to a master’s degree with honors in Jazz Composition from New England Conservatory of Music. She adopted voice as the focus of her performance studies while at the Conservatory and studied voice and composition with Dominique Eade, John McNeil, Bevan Manson, George Garzone and Jimmy Guiffre. She now serves as an Assistant Professor at the City University of New York. Her shows are eclectic as her interest lies in performing her original work as well as composing works based on the poetry of such varied writers as Derek Walcott and William Butler Yeats. She is the recipient of numerous awards and scholarships from the City University of New York Research Foundation, New England Conservatory, The Brooklyn Conservatory, Reed College, Columbia University, Barnard College and the AscaPlus Award for Performance and Composition. September, 2005 saw Sara as a featured artist on Skyjazz Internet Radio. She has performed with and/or had compositions recorded by the Kingsborough Community College Orchestra, Bruce Barth, George Colligan, Michael Kanen, David Berkman, Nate Radley, Dave Ambrosio, Rez Abbasi, Roberta Piket, George Garzone, Andrew Rathbun, Peter Retzlaff, Christian Howes and Taylor Haskins, among others.
Ms. Holtzschue's compositions show a high degree of creativity which successfully synthesize the variety of influences she acknowledges. The haunting quality of her lyrics is greatly enhanced by melodies which often alternate between chromaticism and unexpected intervallic leaps. Her harmonic language successfully incorporates modality, ostinato patterns, and colorful non-functional chord progressions. The use of odd and/or changing meters helps keep the phrasing from sounding routine. Her excellent band deserves a lot of credit for bringing her music to life with great empathy and for meeting the improvisational demands
Voice / vocals
Willing to teach
Beginner to advanced