Sara Thomsen is a weaver of song and community singing. At concerts, conferences, classrooms, workshops, retreats, jails, places of prayer, and lines of protest, to be with Sara is to want to sing. Increasing wonder and awareness, deepening spiritual connection, and widening social engagement through song is at the heart of her work. Sara's ability to get people singing magically transforms gatherings into communities empowered with possibility.
Though a singer in choirs from grade school through college, Sara never imagined herself directing one. When she pulled together a "one time" chorus to sing for the Art of Peace in 2002, she took her place among them once they stood to perform. "We need to keep singing," the choristers cajoled afterward, convincing Thomsen to continue. Meeting in living rooms and around occasional campfires, the group grew in number. Thomsen soon realized it would be easier to stay together if someone would stand up in front and direct.
Three years into the unexpected venture of doing just that, a choir member—returning all a-buzz after attending a Shivon Robinsong singing workshop—encouraged Sara to attend the Community Choir Leadership Training (CCLT) led by Shivon and fellow Gettin' Higher Choir co-director, Denis Donnelly. The training was transformative, and connected Thomsen to the Ubuntu Choirs Network, an ever-expanding community of fellow CCLT graduates who believe the joy of singing is a universal birthright.
In addition to directing Echoes of Peace, Sara is a performing singer-songwriter, composer-arranger, and recording artist. She is the artistic director of Three Altos, comprised of Thomsen, her spouse Paula Pedersen, and Rabbi Amy Bernstein.
“Sara’s songs are an exciting mix of the very personal, the political and the universal.”
—Frankie Armstrong, Co-founder, Natural Voice Practitioners Network
—Elizabeth Nordell, Storyteller, Duluth, Minnesota