A native of Columbus, Indiana, Sarah McKelvie recently transplanted to Cookeville to join the faculty at Tennessee Tech University. Sarah began her musical studies on the violin at the age of five. Her passion for the lush sound of the viola was sparked in high school and it was this instrument that she later received her Bachelor and Master of Music degrees at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music and The University of Memphis Rudi E. Scheidt School of Music.
As an undergraduate, Sarah was a member of the Caricato String Quartet as both second violinist and later violist. This chamber group was a semi-finalist at the internationally acclaimed Fishoff Chamber Music Competition in 1995. She was also a Fellow at both the Sarasota Chamber Music Festival and the Brevard Music Center. While in graduate school, Sarah was a member of the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra.
Sarah has been a member of orchestras in Europe including the Esternach Festival orchestra, and served as principal violist in the Lucca Opera Festival Orchestra in 1997. From 2001 through 2014, she served as principal violist of the Columbus Indiana Philharmonic under the direction of David Bowden. Currently she collaborates with Cookeville area musicians, local churches, and the Bryan Symphony Orchestra.
Sarah has been teaching private and group classes on the violin and viola for over fifteen years. Prior to coming to Cookeville, she created rich music programs in schools as well as directed the McKelvie String Studio, a vibrant and active private studio with over 35 of Columbus, Indiana's most talented young string players.