Our Director

As its founding conductor, Sarah Pearson managed the growth of The Cleveland Orchestra and Chorus to take a group of volunteers and create a professional quality orchestra. Under her leadership, the orchestra performs seven concerts annually, including a masterwork concerts, a Messiah Sing-along, concerto competition concert, pops concert, and a grand finale gala concert.

Sarah Pearson is a starter, a dynamic, multifaceted, international conductor and a advocate of music education. Pearson is active in the field of orchestra, musical theater, choral, wind ensemble, and music media production. Her credentials deliver solid experience managing and conducting musicians of all age levels. Pearson is a two-time award winning conductor for the Artist Awards best orchestra of the year in Chattanooga, Tennessee, and was recognized by Chatter Magazine in its 2014 edition of “20 Under 40,” a celebration of Chattanooga’s most talented young leaders.

Pearson currently serves as the Founding Music Director and Conductor for The Cleveland Orchestra and Chorus of Tennessee, Music Director and Conductor for The Cleveland Pops, Music Director/Conductor and Professor at Cleveland State Community College, Assistant Musical Director and Conductor for Closed Door Entertainment theatre company, Assistant Conductor for Tabernacle Symphony Orchestra, Assistant Minister of Music and Director of Choirs at Church of the Highlands, and Fine Arts Music Teacher at Girls Preparatory School and First Baptist Fine Arts in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Pearson is an active champion for the arts in education and very aware of the impact it holds towards the future. 

Most recently, Pearson served as the Assistant Conductor for the Lee University Symphony Orchestra and Graduate Assistant for Maestro Robert Bernhardt, including Orchestra Librarian, and the Concerto Competition Coordinator. In addition, she also served as the Graduate Conductor for Lee University Wind Ensemble under Dr. David Holsinger, and the Graduate Music Media Coordinator for Lee University’s Live Stream Events. Pearson, after receiving her fellowship accreditation at the Juilliard School of Music in New York has continued to participate in numerous masterclasses, workshops, festivals and competitions worldwide. Including the Conductors Institute at Southwestern University, International Conducting Workshop and Festival with the Bohuslav Philharmonic, Chicago Conducting Masterclass and Workshop, and the International Conductors Workshop and Competition. Most recently, Pearson attended and competed in the International Conductors Workshop and Competition in Duluth, GA, and the International Conductors Workshop and Festival in Zlin, Czech Republic and Sofia, Bulgaria.

Sarah Pearson has conducted the Juilliard Symphony Orchestra, the New Symphony Orchestra, the Bohuslave Martinu Philharmonic Orchestra, the Gwinnett Symphony Chamber Orchestra, the Gwinnett Youth Symphony Orchestra, The Cleveland Orchestra, The Cleveland Pops, the Lee University Symphony Orchestra, the Lee University Wind Ensemble, the Lee University Masterworks Series and Classic Christmas, Honors Orchestra for Chattanooga, and the Tabernacle Symphony of Praise. 

Pearson began her musical journey in Virginia at age five, studying piano, then voice and flute. She received her Bachelor of Music Performance at Tennessee Temple University, and her dual Masters Degree in Conducting and Music Education at Lee University School of Music. Her principal conducting teachers are Maestro Robert Bernhardt and Dr. David Holsinger. She has also studied with some of the worlds finest teachers and conductors including Maestra JoAnn Falletta, Dr. Virginia Allen, Dr. Eugene Corporon, Dr. Lois Ferrari, Maestro Peter Bay, Maestro Larry Rachleff, Maestro Donald Schleicher, Maestro Adrian Gnam, Dr. Gregory Pritchard, and Maestro Robert Gutter.

Fun Facts

Pearson is the great, great granddaughter of Benjamin Harrison, the 23rd President of the United States of America, and a descendant of his father, William Henry Harrison, the 9th President of the United States of America, and founding father, Benjamin Harrison V, signer of the Declaration of Independence. Pearson is a lover of history and enjoys reading, running, cooking, entertaining friends and spending time with her family.

 

photo credit:  Daniel Ashworth, Ashworth Photography