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Name That Tune: Sarah Grace

Pooja Salhotra
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Sarah Grace

Sarah Grace, now a junior at Kinder HSPVA, demonstrated her trumpeting abilities during her blues-inspired rendition of “Amazing Grace,” which she performed on NBC’s The Voice in December 2018. (Photo: Trae Patton/NBC)

The Buzz was lucky enough to chat with Sarah Grace, teen musical sensation from NBC’s Season 15 of The Voice. The native Houstonian has built a reputation for her strong, soulful sound. Read our Q&A to find out what she’s been up to while social distancing.  

Sarah Grace  
Age: 17
Junior at Kinder High School for Performing and Visual Arts
Instruments: Trumpet and Keys (Piano and Organ) 

Last time we talked, you were going through the craziness of The Voice. Now, we’re dealing with the craziness of the coronavirus. What have the past few weeks been like for you? 
Crazily boring. Having school cancelled has been a real bummer because I’m in orchestra this year, and we were going to perform Tchaikovsky’s Sixth Symphony, and of course the recital got cancelled. Also, a lot of my friends are seniors, so having to say goodbye to them without actually saying goodbye has been tough on me. 

What do you miss most about in-person school? 
Definitely the people. My school has such a unique and talented group of people. My teachers are all very in love with what they do. Their passion for teaching and the subjects they are teaching rubs off on us. Getting to spend every day with my friends who are also in love with their art is inspiring. I’ve been having a hard time writing music and getting motivated to play because I don’t have everyone’s infectious love for music around me. I miss playing with an ensemble too, because you can practice over and over but it’s not as rewarding as hearing how your sound fits with the team. [Sarah Grace plays in four ensembles at HSPVA: Band, Orchestra, Jazz and Chamber] 

I saw on your Instagram that you signed a record deal in February. Congratulations! What does that mean for you? 
First of all, it was really exciting to now be on a team and have a team supporting me in creating a new record. It’s an international team so that’s also really cool – it’s interesting to see how different countries handle record labels. It’s been so nice to have the support of a label and the support of other artists. The prospect of creating a record is so cool. I’ve never created a full record before. I was supposed to record over Spring Break. Now I’m looking at recording over the summer, so hopefully my record will be out for spring 2021. 

Do you already have the songs for the record ready to go? 
Making a record is such a fluid process. I just keep writing music whenever I feel like I’m ready to write some music. This extra time has been nice because it’s given me the luxury of really getting to think about what story I want to tell with the record and how I want the songs to go together. I’ve written way more songs during this time, so now I have the luxury of choice. 

What are you thinking you might want to do after you finish high school? 
My plan is always changing. My top three colleges right now are University of North Texas, Belmont University and Frost School of Music at the University of Miami. I would definitely be studying some sort of music and probably some form of music business. I love school, so stopping education and stopping school as an 18-year-old is fine, but I’d rather continue to study.  

What have you been listening to over the past few weeks while at home? 
My favorite is Lake Street Dive. I’ve been listening to them a lot. Josh Ritter is one of my favorite songwriters ever. I just found a new artist – well, new to me – named Adam Melchor. It’s been really nice to listen to his music on repeat and just hear a new lyric every time. Another new artist I found is Eloise. 

What made you decide to play “Faith” for The Buzz Magazines’ Name That Tune
I love George Michael – I’m a huge George Michael fan. I tried to do one of his songs on [The Voice], but we didn’t end up choosing it. I really love that song [“Faith”]. I felt like it has an iconic intro also. Who thinks of putting a pipe organ cadence at the beginning of a pop song? Apparently, George Michael. The song is also a nice little nod to having faith and sticking with things in this hard time.

Editor's note: Read more about Sarah Grace here and here. If you play an instrument and want to participate in Name That Tune, just email [email protected]. (Don't worry, you don't have to be a celebrity!) 

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