Why I Chose Backun
"The innovation and care that Backun demonstrates is absolutely inspiring to me. My Lumière clarinets give me consistency while still providing the delightful flexibility to produce the tone quality and colors that are unique to my playing. From the moment I tried the Lumière clarinets, I was smitten with the sound I was able to achieve as well as the intonation, response, and feel. As a teacher, I am impressed with the quality of their products from their student line to their custom clarinets. It has been fantastic to see my students light up when they realize Backun equipment enhances their playing."
Sarah Manasreh is the Assistant Professor of Clarinet and Music Theory at the University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point and principal clarinet of the La Crosse Symphony Orchestra and Central Wisconsin Symphony Orchestra. Sarah is active with the International Clarinet Association serving as the editor for The Clarinet [Online] and on the Social Media Committee. Prior to her appointment at UWSP, she was the Instructor of Clarinet at Alma College and Albion College.
Sarah’s playing has been described as “powerful, rich, and virtuosic.” As a chamber musician, she performs with Trio des Éléments and The Way Out, a unique group that combines classical musicians with the accessibility of bar music. As a solo musician, Sarah often pushes the boundaries of traditional clarinet performance – engaging in commissions, premieres, and unusual programs – most notably her experimental new music project The Big Black Blotch.
Equity, diversity, and inclusivity in music is a driving force behind Sarah’s teaching and performance. In 2020, she established The Student Coalition for Equity in Music, a student directed group that leads conversations about disparities in the Western Classical Tradition and experiments with accessibility in performance practice. She has been the chairperson for the University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point’s Equity, Diversity, and Inclusivity Policy Committee since 2021. She is a fierce advocate for fair representation for composers and performers. Sarah founded and co-hosts the International Clarinet Association’s Clarinet and Community series – a videocast interview platform that explores how community building is achieved through clarinet performance, composition, and pedagogy.
Sarah completed her Doctor of Musical Arts at Michigan State University under the tutelage of Dr. Elsa Ludewig-Verdehr. She earned her Master of Music Performance from the Royal Northern College of Music and her Bachelor of Music Performance from Florida State University. Her primary teachers include Elsa Ludewig-Verdehr, Chris Swann, Deborah Bish, Frank Kowalsky, and Lori Lovato.