PHS Profile: Sarah Pelletier

photo by Anya Sachdev

Originally from Attleboro, Massachusetts, Sarah Pelletier fell in love with music at a very young age. Taking after her father, who sung in the Chaminade Opera Group, she adopted his two passions of voice and piano. While almost all of her extracurricular activities involved music, however, she never considered music as a career.

Beyond music, Pelletier loved math and set her heart on becoming an accountant, but business schools did not offer the opportunity to continue her music. Pelletier changed her major multiple times as she struggled to decide what she wanted to do. In junior year, her piano and voice teacher pushed her to pursue music—professionally. The final result for her was a Bachelor of Arts degree in music.  

After graduating from Wellesley, Pelletier found a graduate school that enabled her to continue both voice and piano—Westminster Choir College. Two years later, she graduated with a masters in Vocal Performance and Pedagogy and Vocal Accompanying and Coaching.

“The most fun thing I feel about my career is that I’ve got to do a little of everything—opera, recitals, oratorios, and contemporary music,” Pelletier said.

Pelletier accepted an offer from Charles Sundquist, the previous PHS choral director, to assist him at PHS and stayed here for three years before temporarily leaving to complete the Tanglewood Music Program at Boston University—a two-year program in opera training.

She returned to PHS working part time, and commuted to New York City to perform. There she performed all types of music, especially Mozart, Strauss, and Handel, and she acted as Mimi in La Bohème as well.

As of now, Pelletier has taught at PHS for 15 years, and, alongside Vincent Metallo, teaches Freshman Women’s Choir Women’s Choir, Men’s Choir, and PHS Choir. They advise four a capella groups as well. She also teaches her own class, AP Music Theory, which she feels especially passionate about.

“I had a really interesting experience my senior year in Wellesley because the professor who taught the Music History class, Owen Jander, got really sick. I asked if I could be his teaching assistant, and he told the department he was going to turn all of his classes over to me. He took me under his wing and gave me all his materials, so there was always a sense that I had to continue his tradition.”  

Pelletier has sung all over the world, including opera in Italy, China, Japan, and Berlin. She is currently starring in the brand new opera The Scarlet Professor, which is being performed at Smith College.

Pelletier urges PHS students to have an open mind about their career aspirations.

“Don’t be in a rush to choose what you want to do in college. Go to a school where you can try out new things. Try different things, because there are so many different careers out there. Explore all the things you want to.”

Leave a Reply

Please use your real name and email. Your email address will not be published.

Any comments containing the following material will be removed:
  • Hostility or insulting language directed towards other users, authors, Tower staff, or a specific group of people
  • Any type of harassment
  • Profanity, crude language, or slurs
  • Personal information about yourself or anyone else
  • Discussion unrelated to the article