Performer and Voice/Acting Teacher
B.M and M.M. from Northwestern University. Sarah is one of Broadway’s most esteemed leading ladies, having starred as Christine Daae in over 1000 performances of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Phantom of the Opera, as well as an acclaimed portrayal of Magnolia in Showboat! (Both for director Harold Prince). After a highly successful run in the New York company of Showboat! with John Cullum and John McMartin, she toured in the show with Tom Bosley. Also on Broadway she was seen in Children and Art directed by Richard Maltby, celebrating Stephen Sondheim’s 75th birthday. Off-Broadway she played Anna Smith in Meet Me in St. Louis at the Irish Repertory Theatre directed by Charlotte Moore. Regionally Sarah has appeared in The Music of Andrew Lloyd Webber at The Kennedy Center in Washington D.C., Maria in Sound of Music (IRNE award – Independent Reviewers of New England – for Best Actress) with John Davidson and Patrick Cassidy, Julie in Carousel (IRNE award for Best Actress) with Shirley Jones, Marian in The Music Man (IRNE award nomination), Anna in The King and I (IRNE nomination), Kate/Lilli Vanessi in Kiss Me Kate, Belle in Beauty and the Beast (IRNE nomination), and Eliza Dolittle in My Fair Lady. A Metropolitan Opera semi-finalist, Sarah has sung in concert with symphonies around the world with performers such as, Shirley Jones, Michael Feinstein, Take Six, Brian Stokes Mitchell, Betty Buckley, Ciaran Sheehan, Nat Chandler and Ruben Studdard and has worked with some of the world's leading conductors. Among them are Michael Tilson Thomas, Andrew Gerle, Joseph Thalken, Kevin Stites, David Lai, Kristen Blodgette, David Caddick, Eric Stern, Michael Krajewski, Scott Speck and John McGlinn. She is featured in the Library of Congress, London's Abbey Road recording of Jerome Kern’s “Oh Boy” under the direction of Mr. McGlinn. Sarah has a busy concert schedule with her husband, actor Rick Hilsabeck, and with Broadway Pops International. She has appeared on The Today Show, The Rosie O’Donnell Show, and on The Food Network. Her experience as a successful actor and her passion for teaching, have led Sarah to a busy private voice studio. She finds joy in communicating the knowledge of her craft and takes great pride in her students’ many accomplishments. Her students have appeared in film, television, and on professional stages as well as having gone onto some of the top programs in the country such as, The Stratford Festival, University of Michigan, Northwestern University, Baldwin Wallace, Elon University, Boston Conservatory, New York University, Syracuse University, Manhattan School of Music and Berklee School of Music. Teachers include many of the top pedagogists in the industry: Bruce Kolb, William Riley, Edward Zambara, Lorna Haywood, Sunny Joy Langton, Elizabeth Fischer, and Sherrill Milnes to name a few. A native of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Sarah lived for many years in beautiful Wilton, Connecticut with her husband, actor and fellow Wiremill Academy™ Founder Rick Hilsabeck and her two daughters, Hannah and Lily. They have recently made the move to Georgia O'Keeffe country: Abiquiu, New Mexico where she is on staff at the wonderful New Mexico School for the Arts.
July 26, 2017
CONCERT WITH CIARAN SHEEHAN AND FRIENDS- CHAUTAUQUA - LAKESIDE, OH
August 5, 2017
CONCERT WITH NAT CHANDLER & JOSEPH THALKEN - LAKE JUNALUSKA, NC
August 20, 2017
AN AFTERNOON OF SONG WITH RICK HILSABECK - DOWNERS GROVE, IL
November 4, 2017
CONCERT WITH CIARAN SHEEHAN & SUE ANDERSON MIDDLETON, WI
December 1 - 3, 2017
THE PHOENIX SYMPHONY "HOLIDAY POPS" WITH SCOTT TERRELL, MICHAEL CAMPAYNO & BEN DAVIS - SYMPHONY HALL PHOENIX, AZ
March 10, 2018
CONCERT WITH CIARAN SHEEHAN, HEATHER MARTIN BIXLER AND SUE ANDERSON - HEATHSVILLE, VA
June 22, 2018
CHATAQUA- LAKESIDE, OHIO CONCERT WITH CIARAN SHEEHAN & SUE ANDERSON - NEW YORK
July 7, 2018
BROADWAY COMES TO LAKE HOPATCONG WITH SARAH PFISTERER & CIARAN SHEEHAN JULY 7 @ 7:30 PM - 11:00 PM
RICK HILSABECK & SARAH PFISTERER IN CONCERT DOWNERS GROVE, IL
September 8, 2018
RICK HILSABECK & SARAH PFISTERER PRIVATE EVENT
December 14, 2018
CIARAN SHEEHAN, SARAH PFISTERER & SUE ANDERSON HOLIDAY CONCERT BAYSHORE, NEW YORK
December 9, 2018
SARAH PFISTERER, CIARAN SHEEHAN, HEATHER MARTIN BIXLER & SUE ANDERSON
January 25, 2019
NORTHERN ARIZONA UNIVERSITY SYMPHONY "BROADWAY BY REQUEST"
February 3, 2019
RICK HILSABECK & SARAH PFISTERER IN CONCERT
February 9, 2019
RODGERS & HAMMERSTEIN, SOMETHING WONDERFUL, SARAH PFISTERER & SEAN MACGLAUGHLIN
March 9, 2019
"BEHIND THE MASK", ROCKFORD SYMPHONY, ROCKFORD, ILLINOIS
My role as a teacher is about recognizing the student, their gifts and their goals as an artist. I want to build on these gifts and help each student reach their full potential. I consider myself to be a collaborator and partner in addition to being a teacher. Healthy singing is an ongoing endeavor that can last a lifetime. It is a process and while we attain goals along the way, the most important element is in the continual “doing” of our art.
My teaching is straightforward and practical. It encompasses healthy vocal production and proper breath support, the synthesis of the music and text, head voice, chest voice, and mixing these in various percentages, different vocal styles, and addressing a student’s strengths and limitations. While I am specific with technique, I try to remain adaptable in my communication given the individual needs of the student. In order to freely create art there must be an openness, flexibility and trust. This is balanced with the need for discipline, dedication and commitment. We need these things in order to work through the difficult times that we all face in the arts. Recognizing that vocal classification changes as “type” changes throughout a singer’s and actor’s life, it is also important to help the student embrace who they are at that moment in time.
I encourage fearlessness. One should not be afraid of making mistakes, as this is how we learn. To that end, the studio is a safe place to take risks. I do not settle for unmotivated, beautiful, pear-shaped tones. We must always tell the story. Each song is a monologue set to music. Many of my vocal and acting exercises employ choosing an “intention”, breathing and singing with that “intention”. This is useful not only in transferring that technique when communicating a song, but has the added benefit of helping us remain connected to the breath while producing sound.
All art is full of opposites and singing is no exception. I believe these opposites must exist in varying degrees in order to have optimal, balanced vocal technique and use these types of images in my teaching.
I enjoy working in all styles of music and am comfortable working on classical, musical theatre, jazz and pop styles. While I am not biased in terms of style, I encourage quality, well-crafted material, regardless of genre. After an initial evaluation of a student, I try to recommend repertoire that helps address the student’s challenges while taking into consideration their needs and interests. Teaching is a collaborative art. There is always an exciting exchange of ideas and this is what makes the work fulfilling. My students inspire me everyday.
From Harold Prince, multi-Tony Award winning director and producer – “I’ve knownRick Hilsabeck and Sarah Pfisterer for many years as they’ve each appeared in several of my productions. Rick starred as the title role in THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA for a long run in Chicago (and other major cities across the U.S.), in addition to being seen in the national company of PARADE and premiere of BOUNCE. Aside from being an excellent singer and actor, he was, for many years, a star of the acclaimed Hubbard Street Dance Company. Sarah played Christine in PHANTOM for over 1,000 performances and starred as Magnolia in SHOW BOAT. She is one of our loveliest actresses and possesses a beautiful voice. In fact, their teaming up is a merger of two first-rate talents. So, I would anticipate that their performing arts school will be a hugely valuable asset to Connecticut. I will be following their success – and success they will have – in the coming months and years.”