Canadian flutist Sarah (Gieck) MacDonald was born and raised in Calgary, Alberta where she continues to reside. A music lover from a young age, Sarah began to learn to play the flute at the age of 15 though she did not pursue a professional career until her university years. A fast and talented learner, Sarah completed three performance degrees and began playing professionally by age 24. During her studies Sarah was a first place winner at the Federation of Canadian Music Festivals national final in 2004, representing her home province of Alberta. Additionally, Sarah was asked to join the National Youth Orchestra of Canada in the summer of 2009.
As a soloist and chamber musician Sarah enjoys performing across Alberta, especially when she can bring music to small towns and rural communities. Sarah has performed at the Waterton Lakes Opera House in Waterton National Park, Canmore, Fort MacLeod, Nanton and Lethbridge. She is also active in the city of Calgary, performing recently as a soloist with the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra, Kensington Sinfonia, Luminous Voices and the Instrumental Society of Calgary. She is proud to be a featured soloist on the Luminous Voices album "Sea Dreams", nominated for a Juno award in 2020. She has also performed in Edmonton with a solo recital at the King’s University College and as a concerto soloist with the University of Lethbridge wind orchestra at the Cantando Music Festival in the Winspear Centre.
Sarah’s orchestral experience is extensive. She has played with the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra since the fall of 2009 as a regular guest musician. She has considerable experience in all positions including the piccolo chair. She has played as a full time orchestra member for several seasons as acting assistant principal flute.
Sarah has over 20 years experience teaching the flute. She joined the University of Lethbridge music sessional faculty in 2008 as the flute instructor for the BMus program where she continues to teach. Sarah has taught masterclasses for the University of Lethbridge, Mount Royal Conservatory, University of Calgary and King’s University in Edmonton, Alberta. Additionally, Sarah has been on the faculty of MusiCamp Alberta summer band program since 2008. She was recently appointed as the woodwind facilitator for the Academy and Advanced Performer Program at Mount Royal University, a position she will begin in the fall of 2022.
Sarah has a deep love for teaching the flute. She enjoys working with students of all levels and loves learning alongside her students as they work together. Her approach towards learning the flute is student-centered, focusing on a well-balanced approach. She feels explaining fundamentals in a clear, articulate way that produces tangible results is just as critical as exploring the artistry of musical works and helping students discover their own musical voice.
Sarah holds a BMus in performance from the University of Calgary, MMus from the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester, England and an Artist Diploma Degree from the College-Conservatory of Music at the University of Cincinnati. She has studied with many of the worlds most sought after teachers including Lorna McGhee, William Bennett, Peter Lloyd and Dr. Bradley Garner.