Sabrina Clarke is a composer, theorist, pianist, and full-time Instructor of Music Theory and Composition at West Chester University of Pennsylvania’s Wells School of Music. Prior to teaching at West Chester, she was an Adjunct Assistant Professor of Music Theory at the University of Delaware. She has also taught courses in music theory, music history, composition, and music appreciation at Temple University’s Boyer College of Music, and at Rowan University. She has served on the faculty of the Young Women Composers Camp in Philadelphia, PA, teaching theory and composition. She is in demand as a private instructor of theory, musicianship, composition, and piano.
Sabrina earned her Ph.D. in Music from Temple University's Boyer College of Music and Dance in 2016, with a focus in composition and an additional certification in teaching in higher education. She completed a two-part dissertation with both theory and composition components. Her cross-disciplinary theory dissertation explores how Italian composer Luigi Dallapiccola's twelve-tone works incorporate narrative and temporal strategies favored by authors James Joyce and Marcel Proust. The composition component is a short concerto for narrator, piano, and chamber orchestra inspired by specific excerpts from James Joyce's Ulysses. In 2015, Sabrina was a recipient of the Presser Graduate Music Award, a $10,000 grant which funded archival research at the Fondo Luigi Dallapiccola at the Archivio Contemporaneo Bonsanti in Florence, Italy and the Dallapiccola/Dwight Collection at the Library of Congress in Washington, DC. Sabrina is an alumnus of the European American Musical Alliance Nadia Boulanger Institute at La Schola Cantorum (Paris, France) where she earned distinction for harmony. She is also a member of the Phi Beta Kappa and Pi Kappa Lambda societies.
Along with her continuing research on Dallapiccola, Sabrina is interested in narratives of gender, nature, and mortality in Amy Beach's piano music. Another research focus is inclusivity and diversity in music theory pedagogy. Her classroom initiative “Female Composer Friday” integrates the routine of a Friday analysis day in theory class with an effort to elevate the voices of women composers past and present. (Please visit the blog for more information!)
Sabrina has been invited to present her research at international and national conferences, including the American Musicological Society (AMS); the Music by Women Conference at the Mississippi University for Women; the American Women Pianist-Composers Conference at the University of New Hampshire; and the Women in the Creative Arts Conference at the Australian National University in Canberra, Australia; as well as regional meetings of the Music Theory Society of the Mid-Atlantic; regional chapters of the AMS and the College Music Society; and at many other distinguished institutions and events.
Sabrina has contributed articles for The College Music Society Symposium and the Rutgers University Women in Art Music Project. For information on other publications in progress, please see her CV.
Sabrina's music has been performed internationally, with performances at Felix Meritis Hall in Amsterdam, the Nordic Historical Keyboard Festival in Kuopio, Finland, the Schola Cantorum in Paris, France, Jan Hus Presbyterian Church in NYC, and other prestigious venues. Her music has also been featured at various conferences and festivals, including the International Trombone Festival, the International Women’s Brass Conference, the Society of Composers Region III Conference, and the Colonial Williamsburg Early Music Festival. She has been fortunate to work with various distinguished artists and ensembles, including harpsichordist Joyce Lindorff, choreographer Megan Mizanty, flutist Cynthia Folio, mezzo soprano Katherine Crawford, and Network for New Music. Recent projects include “The Sisterhood of Composer/Performers,” a concert series (2017 – 2018) organized with fellow composers Krystal Grant and Anne Neikirk; Still ist’s im Wald, for soprano and chamber orchestra, premiered in Philadelphia in April of 2018 and commissioned by the Temple Composers Orchestra for their tenth anniversary; and the trombone quartet “a dark place is not a dark place,” commissioned by the Elysian Trombone Consort and premiered in the summer of 2019.
Sabrina is board member of composition for the College Music Society (2018 - 2020), president of the Mid-Atlantic chapter of the American Musicological Society, and Editorial Board Member for Career Development for the CMS Symposium. As a graduate student at Temple University, she served as president of conTemplum, the university chapter of the Society of Composers, Inc. (SCI), for two years. Sabrina lives in northwest Philadelphia with her husband and two rescue dogs.