Sarah Harper has been described as an outstanding vocalist, pianist and flutist. She began playing the piano before she could even read, and has later expanded her artistic pursuits into playing the flute and piccolo, painting and singing in the chorus.
“Art is a way to express myself without words,” she said. “I feel I have a lot of emotions inside that I can share with people — words don’t say everything I want to say.”
In high school, Harper became involved with the band not only as a musician but also as a leader.
Her leadership roles have ranged from flute section leader to band president. She’s also a fixture in the pit orchestra during Gig Harbor High’s musicals.
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“In my career, I have had the opportunity to work with many outstanding musicians. Sarah Harper is one of the very best,” said Wayne Lackman, Gig Harbor High School’s choral director and music coordinator for the Peninsula School District.
Harper is among the students credited with helping improve the school’s band program, which has doubled participation in the past three years. Last year, the group competed at state.
“Her leadership has helped lead the Gig Harbor band program to be an award-winning ensemble,” said band director Eric Swanson. “Sarah’s enthusiasm for success is well respected by her peers. She is always striving to push herself and her abilities.”
She doesn’t think she could ever stop playing music and she loves the energy created by a band.
“There’s something beautiful right before we start a piece. We’re focused and we have a connection with each other,” she said. “We breathe in together before the first note, and you can feel the energy bounce off each other.”
While art has been Harper’s major passion, she has a well-rounded resume that includes volunteer service at school, her church and in the community. She was recognized by United Way with a varsity letter in community service.
Harper has maintained a near-perfect GPA and said she’s effective with her time, but sometimes she just gives up sleep to accommodate her busy schedule.
“I work hard at everything I do, and I have to be realistic with myself and gauge the events in relation with my academics,” she said.
She plans to study physiology and developmental biology at Brigham Young University, as well as pursue a minor in music. She likes the medical field because the job has a service aspect.