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We are thrilled to welcome Sara Aratake to the UNC Department of Music faculty as a Lecturer of clarinet for the Fall semester. Not only is Aratake a diverse performer, she is also the co-founder of AEKI ensemble, a contemporary chamber ensemble.

Get to know Sara in our interview down below!

UNC Music: What is your position on faculty and what courses are you teaching this semester?  ​

Sara Aratake: Clarinet lecturer for the Fall semester. I’m teaching clarinet lessons, clarinet studio class, and a chamber music ensemble.

UNC Music: What is your favorite part of teaching?

SA: I enjoy the process of figuring out the needs of each individual student. Everyone has different learning styles and it is fun to try and bring out their individual voices with the clarinet.

UNC Music: What is the project that you’re most excited about currently?

SA: I’m looking forward to a music and cultural exchange project in Mexico and Guatemala that will happen next year with AEKI ensemble, a contemporary music ensemble with clarinet, saxophone, and cello. We’ve had to postpone our project due to the pandemic for several years now!

UNC Music: What are some of your non-musical hobbies?  

SA: Outside of music, I enjoy learning about new cultures, especially in relation to food. I also like to find new coffee shops and take walks.

UNC Music: If your students could learn one thing from you, what do you hope it will be?  

SA: That one of the main goals of learning music is to be able to express, connect, share, and communicate through it. It’s easy to get caught up in the technical sides of playing an instrument, but that it’s always important to gain facility on the instrument so that we can better express the music in the way we envision it.

UNC Music: What music are you currently listening to?  

SA: I tend to listen to all kinds of music and enjoy discovering new music/genres. At the moment, I’ve been listening to a YouTube channel called Analog Journal which features guest mixes with vinyls from around the world.

UNC Music: Anything else you’d like students to know about you or your teaching?   

SA: I’ve really enjoyed getting to know all of the talented clarinet students here! I grew up in Chapel Hill so it has also been a wonderful experience to be back in the area and teach this semester.

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