HYP Alum Nominated for Grammy!

The Hoosier Youth Philharmonic, the Jane A Gouker Endowment group, and the MCCSC string program congratulate our own Sara Caswell, violinist, on her Grammy nomination!

Sara has been nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Improvised Jazz Solo for her performance on “Can’t Remember Why”, a track from the Chuck Owen and the Jazz Surge album “Whispers on the Wind”, released in September.   Sara has been a performer in groups previously nominated for a Grammy, but this is her first time nominated as a solo artist.  Now residing in New York City, she has already had a storied and incredibly active career with over 100 honors and accolades.  What makes this nomination all the more impressive is it is thought to be the very first for a female solo jazz artist, and the first for a violin solo in jazz.

Sara is an alumna of our MCCSC orchestra program, having been in our orchestras through Tri North Middle School and Bloomington HS North, and in turn a member of the Hoosier Youth Philharmonic.  She was concertmaster of the BHSN Orchestra and HYP through her high school years, graduating in 1996.  Not only did she earn the National School Orchestra Award, but she was also honored by having an award created that bears her own name, the “Sara Carls Caswell Award”.  This award is a highly unusual honor bestowed on a BHSN senior who, because of such amazing ability, single-handedly promoted the MCCSC Orchestra program – as Sara surely did! – and is still doing!!

Sara attended Indiana University under a full scholarship as a Wells Scholar, and earned a Bachelor of Music degree with high distinction and an Artist’s Diploma in both violin performance and jazz studies.  She earned her Master of Music degree in jazz violin at Manhattan School of Music in 2006, where she is now a part of their faculty.  Sara is also on the faculty of the Berklee College of Music, besides her constant full calendar of performances in both jazz and classical music.  She has been selected as a “Rising Star” in DownBeat Magazine polls every year since 2013.

We are so proud of Sara and we congratulate her!  Her parents, Dr. Austin (now deceased) and Judy Caswell, have been loyal supporters of our program all these years.  Sister Rachel, jazz vocalist, (also an alumna of our string program in cello), performs with Sara, and individually, quite regularly around the U. S., and frequently can be heard in Bloomington.