SARAH MACDONALD is a Canadian organist, conductor, pianist, and composer, living in the UK. She holds the positions of Fellow and Director of Music at Selwyn College, Cambridge, and Director of the Girl Choristers at Ely Cathedral. She has been at Selwyn since 1999, and is the first woman to hold such a post in an Oxbridge Chapel. She studied piano, organ, and conducting at The Royal Conservatory of Music's Glenn Gould School in Toronto with Leon Fleisher, Marek Jablonski, and John Tuttle. She continued her studies as Organ Scholar of Robinson College, Cambridge, where she read for a degree in Music, and studied the organ with David Sanger.
Sarah has played numerous recitals and conducted choirs on tours throughout the UK, North America, the Middle East, New Zealand, and mainland Europe. She has made over 40 recordings, variously in the guises of pianist, organist, conductor, and producer. She works most frequently with Regent Records, with whom she has made 15 single-living-composer recordings with Selwyn Choir and the Ely girls.
Sarah is a winner of the Royal College of Organists' (RCO) coveted Limpus Prize, and has taught organ and conducting for Eton Choral Courses, Oundle for Organists, the Jennifer Bate Organ Academy, and courses run by the RCO. For its first decade, she was a Director of the annual Girl Chorister Course at St Thomas Church Fifth Avenue, New York City, and she is in demand as a guest conductor for international residential courses run by the RSCM and other organisations.
Sarah holds the Fellowship diploma of the RCO, and is an Examiner for the RCO. She teaches conducting, harmony, counterpoint, fugue, and composition for Cambridge University, where she is also an Examiner. She has had over 40 choral compositions published by Encore Publications, the Royal School of Church Music (RSCM), August Press, and St James Music Press, and is series editor for the "Sarah MacDonald Choral Series" with Selah Publishing, featuring liturgical choral works by female composers. Sarah also writes a popular monthly column for the American Guild of Organists' magazine The American Organist, called 'UK Report'.
In 2018 Sarah received the honorary ARSCM in recognition of her contribution to choral music in the UK and Canada, and the citation made particular mention of her support of contemporary British composers. She is an Honorary Patron of the Herbert Howells Society, and a Patron of the Society of Women Organists. In her spare time, she is a keen amateur photographer.