Sara Bielanski

Assistant Professor
Affiliated Departments
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Sara Bielanski is a multigenre vocalist whose repertoire encompasses everything from jazz to opera, and who has been described as "an artist of great dexterity and versatility" (All about Jazz) and "exceptional" (The Daily News of Newburyport). As a jazz musician, she has worked with artists including Yusef Lateef, Sheila Jordan, Ra Kalam Bob Moses, Rufus Reid, and Jim McNeely, among many others. She has performed in such venues as the Regattabar, Ryles, Les Zygomates, the Boston Esplanade, and the JP Morgan Penthouse, among others. She's a founding member of the Boston-based musical improvisation group the Meltdown Incentive.

Bielanski's collaborations in the classical genre have most notably included Opera Boston, the Tuscia Opera Festival in Rome, Boston Ballet, MassOpera, and the Chorus Pro Musica, among others. Recording projects include an ensemble demo of opera choruses for BOSE, ensemble work with the Boston Modern Orchestra Project, a Bob Dylan project for WICN Radio, and her debut jazz album, From the Heart.

Career Highlights
  • Demo recordings of opera for BOSE, the Boston Modern Orchestra Project, WICN Radio, and the Boston Ballet
  • Performances with Opera Boston, the Boston Modern Orchestra Project, MassOpera, Commonwealth Opera, and the Tanglewood Festival Chorus, among others
  • Performances with Duke Daniels, Rufus Reid, Ra Kalam Bob Moses, the Paul Winter Consort, and Boston Pops Holidays on TV
  • Coachings with Charlie Banacos, Sheila Jordan, Dominique Eade, Steven Santoro, and Peter Cassino, among others
  • Voice studies with Paulina Stark, Robert Honeysucker, Penelope Bitzas, and Dana Varga
  • Voice faculty for jazz and contemporary improvisation at the Longy School of Music, Bard College
  • Summer studies at Lake Placid Jazz Institute, Jazz in July
  • First Prize, National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS) Boston Professional Division
  • Finalist, Peter Elvins Vocal Competition
  • Semi-Finalist, American Traditions Vocal Competition
  • Faculty Development Scholarship: Vocal Jazz Institute at Stanford University
  • M.M., Longy School of Music of Bard College, modern American music, voice
  • B.M., University of Massachusetts, Amherst, vocal performance
In Their Own Words

"Teaching the magical art of singing necessitates a patient exploration into one's own body as the instrument; after all, your voice lives inside of you. From that realization, I teach my students to sing in a healthy and consistent manner, carefully cultivated from concepts grounded in self-awareness, freedom, understanding of anatomy, the use of imagery and movement when necessary, and the marriage of the breath and alignment (posture). Along with these principles, I create a custom toolbox of vocal exercises tailored to each student's needs. I am a big believer in 'vocal yoga,' that is, anything that stretches the voice in a free and easy way. I find the Alexander Technique, body mapping, vocal fitness, breathing for your body type, and, in my own terms, 'building the house' (chest = foundation, mix = interior, head/falsetto = roof) very effective." 

"I focus on empowering and inspiring my students to be true to their sound and artistry; the ultimate goal is to help them find their own voice, celebrate their unique assets, encourage them to take expressive risks, and guide them to be confident in forging a musical path that separates them from the rest."

"As a multigenre vocalist, I find it encouraging and rewarding to know that many creative opportunities exist. Being technically, musically, and mentally prepared to sing in various styles has broadened my scope of work. It is my desire to help my students think outside the box as they learn to navigate through today's musical roadmap; it's about being flexible, creative, and progressive, not just doing gigs and concerts, but participating in music projects that aid today's world, leaving a positive footprint on the musical landscape that exists."