Sabrina Clarke is a composer, theorist, pianist, and full-time Instructor of Music Theory at West Chester University of Pennsylvania. She has previously taught courses in music theory, history, composition, and appreciation at Temple University (Philadelphia) and Rowan University (Glassboro, New Jersey), and was an Adjunct Assistant Professor of Music Theory at the University of Delaware (Newark). She is in demand as a private instructor of theory, musicianship, composition, piano, and beginning voice, and has a bustling studio of private students in the Philadelphia area.
Sabrina completed her Ph.D. in Music Studies at Temple University's Boyer College of Music and Dance in 2016, with a focus in composition and theory, and emphases in piano and 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 musical language shows the influence of the nonlinear narratives and temporal ideologies utilized 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. She 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 prestigious Phi Beta Kappa and Pi Kappa Lambda societies.
Along with temporality and narrative in the twelve-tone work of Luigi Dallapiccola, Sabrina is interested in hermeneutic analysis (based on issues of gender and female agency, nature imagery, and synesthetic associations) of Amy Beach's piano music. Additional research interests include narrative in twentieth-century music, diversity and theory pedagogy, and the intersections of ecomusicology and feminist musicology. 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; as well as regional meetings of the Music Theory Society of the Mid-Atlantic; the Mid-Atlantic Chapter of the College Music Society; and the Mid-Atlantic and Capital Chapters of the AMS, and at many other distinguished institutions and events.
Sabrina's music has been performed internationally at venues including Felix Meritis Hall in Amsterdam, the Nordic Historical Keyboard Festival in Kuopio, Finland, the Schola Cantorum in Paris, France, and Jan Hus Presbyterian Church in NYC. Her music has also been featured at various conferences and festivals, including the Society of Composers Region III Conference and the Colonial Williamsburg Early Music Festival. Her projects have involved collaborations 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, 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.
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.