Ceiling shattering drummer in the City

Posted on October 06, 2023

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It’s the arts capital of the world, and New York City is home to lots of Spartan musicians.

Sarah Gooch ’18

Spartan Sarah Gooch ’18, who loves the Big Apple, is believed to be the first woman to graduate from Juilliard as a drummer.

“The drummer is the conductor of the jazz combo,” she says. She likes that control over the bandstand, without the pressure of being at the front microphone. She also loves the “freedom of expression,” as she puts it.

Her life currently revolves around touring and teaching. She recently recorded and toured with soul singer Morgan James and is just completed a national tour with social-media star MALINDA (Malinda Kathleen Reese), an Irish folk singer. In Manhattan she performs at venues like Smalls and Dizzy’s Club.

And she is not locked into any one form. “Whatever music makes me happy, I’ll do it.”

Check out two more UNCG Music graduates in Manhattan:

Tanner West ’18
Thomas Linger ’15
  • After a months-long audition process, Tanner West ’18 earned a chair in The New York Philharmonic. Read more on CVPA site
  • Thomas Linger ’15, who leads his own trio and released his debut album last fall, was shaped by UNCG’s Miles Davis Jazz Program. Read more on CVPA site.

    By Mike Harris
    Top photo, Sarah Gooch ’18, by Morgan James.

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