Sara Shute is a professional harpist in Houston, TX. She regularly performs throughout Houston, Galveston, Spring, Katy, Austin, and the surrounding areas. Sara earned her Undergraduate Degree in Harp Performance as well as a Master’s Degree in Harp Performance from Indiana University, with a minor in Harp Pedagogy. As a harp player Sara especially enjoys performing modern music and the standards.
Sara grew up in Lake Jackson, TX. At the age of eight she was inspired to begin piano lessons after hearing the Van Halen song Jump. After three years of piano lessons she also took up the harp. During the first several years of playing she studied with Maria O’Brien and Bea Rose, former harpist with the Houston Symphony.
During the summers, she attended Susann McDonald Masterclasses in Indiana and Switzerland and spent five consecutive summers with Lucile Lawrence at the Boston University Tanglewood Institute in Lenox, Massachusetts. Sara studied in Boston, Houston, and New York prior to enrolling at Indiana University where she completed three degrees in harp performance. Indiana University has the largest harp department in the world and is also home to the USA International Harp Competition. Both the department and competition are headed by Susann McDonald, Artistic Director and founder of the World Harp Congress.
While at Indiana Sara completed her Bachelor’s Degree, Master’s Degree, and Artist Diploma with Miss McDonald in harp performance. For her Artist Diploma audition Sara was the only candidate to be admitted unanimously by the 10 member panel, which included the Dean of the School of Music as well as other distinguished music professors.
She has also competed in several national and international harp competitions including the USA International Harp Competition, The International Harp Contest in Israel, The American Harp Society Competition, and The Anne Adams Awards. She has garnered several top prizes in national competitions and has given many noteworthy performances.
In 2006 she attended the Aspen Music Festival and studied with Nancy Allen, New York Philharmonic Principal Harpist, and Gretchen Van Hoesen, Pittsburgh Symphony Principal Harpist. During that summer Sara performed Britten’s Opera Albert Herring with ACE, conducted by Robert Spano. She currently lives and performs throughout the Houston area. As a top choice for Houston wedding music, Sara has provided ceremony music and reception entertainment for hundreds of Houston area brides. If you would like to know more about her wedding services please visit the Weddings page.
Past notable wedding performances include the wedding ceremony music for Miss Universe and the wedding ceremony music for Miss Nevada. Sara’s upbeat song list also lends itself well to the post-ceremony celebrations including the cocktail hour and reception.