Director, Sarah J. Baker
Sarah J. Baker began her teaching career in 1992 as an elementary music specialist with the Marietta City Schools, then with the Noble Local Schools, where she taught vocal music, k-12. Since 2001, Mrs. Baker has served as director of choral music at Little Miami High School in Morrow, Ohio (about 30 miles northeast of Cincinnati), where she leads four ensembles and and teaches two levels of music theory. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Music Education from Muskingum University (1992) and a Master of Music in Choral Conducting from Ohio University (2001), where she studied with Dr. Peter Jarjisian. Further conducting work has been with James Gallagher, Richard Mathey and Jerry Blackstone.
In 2003, Mrs. Baker established the Little Miami Select Women’s Chorale. This ensemble, at times dubbed the “Cinderella story of Cincinnati,” is in constant demand throughout the community and region, engaging in nearly forty events per year. The chorale enjoys singing in women’s chorus festivals, as well as engagements with local community choirs. LMSWC has appeared in OMEA and ACDA professional conferences, the 2012 and 2014 World Choir Games champions divisions, and the Musica Mundi International Choral Festival, Musica Eterna Roma. Highlights of the tour included singing for Mass at St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome and St. Mark’s Basilica in Venice. The chorale has performed for joint sessions of the Ohio State House of Representatives and the Ohio State Senate honoring fallen soldiers from Ohio for Medal of Distinction ceremonies and the Veterans Memorial Dedication at the Ohio State Capitol. This ensemble, along with members of the select mixed choir, serves as the demonstration ensemble for Baker’s use of synesthesia (color and voice) to achieve balance and blend in the choral ensemble.
Mrs. Baker also finds great joy in accompanying. She worked from 1994 – 2002 for the All-Ohio State Fair Youth Choir, as the principal accompanist and an arranger for the choir. Still maintaining a fulfilling career as a collaborative pianist, Baker has performed with the OMEA All-State Choir, Ohio University Honor Choir, District 13 Honor Choir, the Laura J. Adkins Voice Studio, and the OCDA Women’s and Men’s Honor Choirs. She has held the accompanist/organist position at Heritage Presbyterian Church in Mason, Ohio, since 2010.
Memberships include the Ohio Music Education Association/NAfME, the American Choral Directors Association, the Pi Kappa Lambda National Music Honor Society and the American Connemara Pony Society.
Mrs. Baker served as the Southwest Region Chair of the Ohio Choral Directors Association from 2013-2015.
Professional honors include the 2011 Warren County Project Excellence Innovative Teacher Award, featured
director in the September 2012 issue of Choral Director Magazine, and the 2013 All-Ohio State Fair Youth Choir’s Distinguished Service Award. In 2016, Baker was appointed as a member of the ENVOY (Educators for National Voices of Youth) and was designated a premiere conductor for the newly formed choral division of Music for All national festival.
Sarah J. Baker, Director
3001 US 22 & 3
Morrow, Ohio 45152
Piano, Joyce Lawson
Joyce began her music studies in Atlanta, Georgia where she was born. The Bachelor of Arts in Music was earned from Kentucky Christian University, and the Bachelor of Science in Music Education was received from Elon University (North Carolina). Mrs. Lawson was Music Director of First Christian Church in Martins Ferry, Ohio before becoming the Music Director of Reidsville Christian Church in North Carolina. She has taught pre-school through senior age singers with special expertise directing hand bell choirs. Since moving to Ohio, she has accompanied various community and church choirs including the Mason Chorale, Ambassadors Choir from Mason Christian Village, and Master’s Men from Christ’s Church at Mason. Mrs. Lawson also enjoys accompanying students from Mason High School and Mason Middle School for OMEA Solo and Ensemble Adjudicated Events. This is her second year serving as collaborative pianist for the Little Miami High School Choirs.