Sarah Summers – so talented, so young
SVHS senior raises funds for award program
Sarah Summers, at home with her banjo, also plays guitar and ukulele, writes her own songs and designs her own album covers.
A very special concert was held in November for a select group of fans of local teen singer/songwriter and artist Sarah Summers.
The concert was a benefit, organized by Sue Albano, who is Sarah’s senior project mentor. The purpose was to raise money for the Sonoma Cultural and Fine Arts Commission’s 2012 Student Creative Arts Award program in the hopes of offering an additional award. Summers, the 2011 recipient, was eager to give back to the organization that believed in her and helped her further her burgeoning career as a performer.
If you haven’t heard her music yet, you can sample Summers’ latest songs on her music web page, www.summerspd.com/sarah/songs.html. She is a singer, a songwriter and a musician skilled on the guitar, the banjo and ukulele, and her style tends toward folk music, bluegrass and Americana.
In addition to her musical talents, Summers also designs her own CD covers, the artwork for which also impressed the CFAC commissioners. “You have to see Sarah perform to appreciate the depth of her talent,” said commissioner Lisa Carlsson. “We were amazed that someone could have taken their talent so far at such a young age, and we were impressed by – and became big believers in – her plans for her future. As a commission, our goal is to foster talent that we believe will one day be recognized on the national stage.”
The annual Student Creative Arts Award program is open to Sonoma Valley students, ages 16 to 21, who demonstrate unusual promise in the visual, literary or performing arts. The panel received a total of 21 entries in 2011 and the array of talent in the Valley was truly impressive, according to the commissioners. The program was launched in its current form in 2010, and that year the recipient was Michael Starr who is now active in the theater scene at UCLA.
Summers said her idea for a benefit concert came from a desire to show her appreciation for the CFAC’s program. “I know now how much value the money and the recognition holds for young artists,” said Summers, “especially as art programs at the high school continue to lose support and resources. The scholarship has allowed me to invest more in my music and painting during a time in my life that has been dominated by schoolwork. I hope the money we raised continues to grow so that more student artists in the Valley can have the same opportunity.”
Thanks to the $500 raised by Summers, this year the CFAC will have $2,500 available to award.
Summers has plans to record all her songs professionally, to promote her music online and to play live shows at bigger venues. In addition to her music and painting, Summers is also a talented actress and she intends to also pursue her passion for acting. She focused her college search largely on colleges with strong theater arts and dance programs in cities with a vibrant music scene. Summers will spend the winter waiting to hear from a list that includes Lewis & Clark College, Tulane University, Barnard College, Sarah Lawrence College, Hampshire College, Bennington College, Green Mountain College, UCSC, UCLA and Princeton University.
You can catch Summers performing all around town if you check local listings, but she will also be performing in the community center’s Emerging Artists series on Feb. 17.