Sarah Telford brings a wide breadth of experience to her role as Music Director of the Highland Glee Club. A true “Jill of all trades” in the musical world, Sarah’s performance experiences include everything from Mahler’s 2nd Symphony with the Boston Symphony, to Guns ’n’ Roses’ heavy metal ballad “Sweet Child O’ Mine” with her successful dance band, Firefly.
In 2015, she pursued a longtime goal of learning to conduct, and subsequently became Assistant Conductor of the Arlington-Belmont Chorale, a position she held until 2017. In 2019, Sarah served as guest conductor of the New World Chorale, preparing them for performances of Orff’s Carmina Burana and Dvorak's Te Deum.
In 2008, Sarah co-founded Opera51 in Concord, where she sang in and directed several operettas. She currently serves as Chorus Master for the company, and has led the opera chorus in productions of Fledermaus, Faust (Gounod), and Carmen; her next endeavor there will be Puccini’s monumental final opera, Turandot.
A soprano in the Tanglewood Festival Chorus, Sarah performs regularly with the Boston Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Andris Nelsons, and with the Boston Pops under Keith Lockhart, at Symphony Hall, Tanglewood, and Carnegie Hall; she has also served as French diction coach for the chorus. With the TFC, Sarah sang for the Opening Ceremonies of the Nagano Olympics from the Great Hall at the United Nations in New York, in a performance of Beethoven’s Ode to Joy that included choruses worldwide, conducted by Seiji Ozawa in Nagano (via live video feed). Also under Ozawa, Sarah toured East Asia with the BSO, including a performance of the Berlioz Requiem at Tokyo’s Suntory Hall with Japanese Crown Prince Naruhito and Crown Princess Masako in attendance.
With the Pops, she has appeared on the Esplanade on July 4th, and in numerous television shows, singing backup for artists including John Denver, Rosemary Clooney, and Bobby McFerrin, under the direction of John Williams. She sang in The Who’s Quadrophenia with Pete Townsend and Billy Idol at Tanglewood in 2017 under Lockhart, and in 2018, she played a vendeuse in La Bohème at Tanglewood with the BSO under Nelsons.
Sarah fronted her dance band Firefly for twelve years as lead singer, keyboardist, and emcee, gigging throughout New England at clubs, outdoor festivals, weddings, and parties such as the Patriots’ Day Ball in Concord, MA. No stranger to the rigors of close-harmony singing, Sarah sang with the award-winning a cappella group Serious Fun throughout the 90s. Sarah is also a Gilbert & Sullivan aficionado and has joined the Sudbury Savoyards onstage and as rehearsal accompanist.
She is the proud mother of two grown daughters, and when not making music, Sarah is an outdoor enthusiast who enjoys running, swimming, hiking and biking.