Sarah Rathert wants to follow in her mother’s footsteps and become a teacher. She’s getting help along the way from the South Dakota Bandmasters Association (SDBA) who recently selected Sarah as a recipient of their annual instrumental music scholarship.
Originally from Sturgis, Sarah heard about the SDBA scholarship from one of her professors at BHSU, Dr. David Berberick, assistant professor of music.
“Dr. Berberick always has posters on his door for scholarships. I wrote a letter about why I wanted to be a band director and sent in a recording of myself playing music,” said Sarah, describing the scholarship application process.
Berberick believes Sarah’s dedication and mastery of the flute contributed to her receiving the $500 scholarship.
“Sarah excels at her classes, but her passion is the flute and she takes that very seriously putting hours of practice in daily,” said Berberick. “She also is inquisitive and open to learning new knowledge. She handles criticism well and implements advice given.”
Sarah started band in sixth grade. She says she always liked music and that playing became an escape during difficult times.
Her mother teaches math at Rapid Academy and growing up Sarah remembers visiting her mother’s classroom and watching her teach.
“Ever since I was little I always wanted to be a teacher. Music education was the perfect combination in a career for me,” said Sarah.
At BHSU, Sarah says her method classes in woodwind, brass, percussion, and strings have given her an overall knowledge on all the instruments she will work with as a future band director.
But it is her flute instructor, Amber Waseen, who Sarah says has helped refine her flute playing and technique.
“Mrs. Waseen has taught me how to improve my tone and gives me tips like how to make my fingers move faster helping to improve my sound overall,” says Sarah.
Sarah also noted that Waseen selects exceptional music for her to learn including “Syrinx” by Debussy which Sarah played for her scholarship application.
The SDBA scholarship winners were announced during the Intercollegiate Band Concert in March. Two recipients are selected annually from all South Dakota colleges and universities.