Sarah Haag is a 36 year old wife and mother from a small town just outside of Indianapolis Indiana. Sarah's first percussion encounter began in 6th grade during the school's "instrument petting zoo." Due to braces she couldn't get a sound out of any wind instruments and decided to try drumming. That decision was set in stone the next day when someone told her "You can't play drums!" Seven years later she graduated high school as the John Philip Sousa Band Award winner, the first ever Indiana Percussion Association Scholarship winner, and had under her belt over 40 Division I performances at ISSMA Solo & Ensemble Contests including multiple perfect scores. She attended Ball State University and majored in music education and performance with the goal of being a school music teacher. Things changed over time and by graduation in 2004 Sarah left the world of percussion behind and entered corporate America. With her favorite instruments like marimba being uncommon in average homes and very expensive, she sadly did not anticipate ever playing again. She married her high school sweetheart Doug (also a percussionist) and limited her music to playing bass guitar for church services.
Sarah spent a decade working for a mutual fund company and became a business analyst but decided to resign at the end of 2014 to raise her son. A year later in January 2016 her father reached out one day and said that a marimba was up for sale at an estate auction just down the road. A bit skeptical she looked into it and discovered a very unlikely treasure! With her father's help getting the winning bid, she brought home a beautiful rosewood Kori 4.3-octave marimba and found out that the prior owner (still living) had several personal connections. This marimba was being passed down from another woman who truly embodied the "Hit Like a Girl" persona! Her name is Judy and she STARTED playing marimba at the age of 60 and took lessons from the same teacher that both Doug and Sarah learned from during their high school years!
When Sarah considered bidding on the marimba she decided - if she won it - to dedicate herself to playing for people in public, and for audiences that might not otherwise experience a marimba. After twelve years away from percussion Sarah came at it with a new focus and new criteria for success: no longer was it about performing perfectly to a crowd familiar with the music, but to make a connection and inspire people by playing and sharing her second-chance story. Now a stay-at-home mom with a concert quality instrument, she is blazing a trail as a marimbist with no affiliation to a school or professional symphony orchestra. In less than two years of public performing she and her husband have played at senior communities, cafes and an orchard, corporate events, art galleries, and the prestigious Indianapolis Artsgarden.
As a mom trying to pursue music Sarah was passionate but lacking in direction and guidance. She just happened to see a viral video in August 2016 of another Indiana musician playing an unusual instrument in his backyard with his family around him. The authenticity and casual vibe struck a chord and Sarah was an instant fan watching Ted Yoder play a cover of Tears for Fears "Everybody Wants to Rule the World" on hammered dulcimer. She attended one of his concerts a week later and had the good fortune to meet not only him but his wife as well. While the instruments were different, Sarah realized that she could learn much from the Yoders and their lifestyle and they exposed the lie she unconsciously believed that you can't be a gigging musician and be present as a parent and spouse at the same time. They took her and Doug in as friends and have provided countless gems of wisdom, support, and encouragement ever since.
In the summer of 2017 another unexpected twist changed everything and the odds of it being mere coincidence are astronomical: Sarah called her aunt to invite her to a cookout and music and said to bring an instrument if she had one. As it turns out, Sarah's aunt had a hammered dulcimer tucked away and offered to let her borrow it and learn it (her aunt knew nothing of Sarah's encounter with the Yoders several months prior). Sarah borrowed it and was hooked, purchasing her own dulcimer just a few months later! This folk instrument which pairs so well with the sounds of a marimba has revolutionized the musical landscape of what Sarah is putting together in her live performances. She has been able to step out of the recital halls and onto the rich grassroots soil of the Midwest and introduce new audiences to both of these amazing instruments.
Playing with her husband as the duo Resonate150, they aim to strike a chord with the soul through melodic percussion. They play a variety of works from standard marimba repertoire to movie and pop covers as well as a few folk-based tunes. Sarah plans to spend 2018 gaining momentum with the hammered dulcimer and learning how to use her new recording equipment!