Sarah MacDonald

Sarah is a Canadian organist, conductor, and composer, based in the UK, where she holds the positions of Fellow and Director of Music at Selwyn College, Cambridge, and Director of the Girl Choristers at Ely Cathedral. She has been at Selwyn since 1999, where she was the first woman to hold such a post in an Oxbridge Chapel. Sarah came to the UK from Canada in 1992 as Organ Scholar of Robinson College, Cambridge after studying piano, organ, and conducting at The Royal Conservatory of Music’s Glenn Gould School in Toronto with Leon Fleisher, Marek Jablonski, and John Tuttle. At Cambridge she read for a degree in Music, and studied the organ with David Sanger.

Sarah has played numerous recitals and conducted choirs throughout the UK, North America, the Middle East, New Zealand, and much of mainland Europe. She has made over 30 recordings, variously in the guises of pianist, organist, conductor, and producer, and currently works most frequently with Regent Records. Sarah is a winner of the Royal College of Organists’ (RCO) coveted Limpus Prize, and has taught organ and conducting for Eton Choral Courses, Oundle for Organists, the Jennifer Bate Organ Academy, and courses run by the RCO. For its first decade, she was a Director of the annual Girl Chorister Course at St Thomas Church Fifth Avenue, in New York City. Sarah is a Fellow and Examiner for the RCO, and spent many years as a Trustee and member of the Academic Board.

Her choral and organ compositions are available from a number of publishers, including Encore Publications, the RSCM, OUP, Banks, and St James Music Press, and her liturgical music is widely performed internationally. She is a Patron of the Society of Women Organists, an Honorary Patron of the Herbert Howells Society, and was recently awarded the Honorary ARSCM in recognition of her contribution to choral music, and especially to contemporary composers, in the UK and Canada. Sarah also writes a popular monthly column for the American Guild of Organists’ magazine The American Organist, called ‘UK Report’, and in her spare time, she is a keen amateur photographer.