Sarah Smongeski, Flute
Executive Director (1992 to 2023)
Sarah Smongeski’s earliest musical studies began at the age of 7 as a young recorder student in Sussex, England. England is where she first saw a flute (displayed by an older student) and thought: I want to play that!
She began playing the flute at the age of 12, two years after immigrating to the US with her family. Several dedicated music teachers (on the South Shore) made sure Sarah could take flute lessons, knowing that family funds and transportation were in short supply as is often the case for so many immigrant families. Sarah was the second of any family member (near and far) to earn a college degree; her sister was the first.
As a college student, Sarah studied with Boston-based Virginia Sindelar (a graduate of the Julliard School and student of Julius Baker). She pursued additional flute studies with Christopher Hyde Smith (of the Royal College of Music, London), with Lois Schaffer (formerly of the Boston Symphony Orchestra); also with Julius Baker as a participant in the Bowdoin College Summer Music Festival.
During her early career, Sarah played with the Plymouth Philharmonic, Quincy Symphony and Northeastern University orchestras. She soloed regularly at roughly 15 different churches primarily on the South Shore, in the Worcester area, and also at Park Street Church and Cathedral of the Holy Cross in Boston.
Sarah has taught over many decades. Early on, she taught in the Newton and Milton Public Schools; and at the Beechwood Community Life Center, a start-up project in Quincy. She has continued to teach throughout her 30 years with Pakachoag.
Sarah still loves to play (when time permits) all of the Handel and Bach flute sonatas for self-entertainment. She loves to tell her flute students, when they embark upon learning their first baroque sonata, “If you are going to learn one, why not learn the rest on your own?” which is what she did during high school. No sports, no computer games. Play music.
Appearing (quietly) behind the desk at Pakachoag, not on stage as a flutist, has proven a much better fit for Sarah’s persona.
Sarah holds a Certificate of Special Studies (C.S.S.) in Administration and Management from Harvard University, Extension School, and a B.A. in Music (Summa Cum Laude) from Eastern Nazarene College in Quincy. Her administrative experience prior to joining Pakachoag Music School in 1992 includes positions in both the public and private sector (as a consultant with the Mass. Dept. of Education and as support staff with an international management consulting firm’s Cambridge, MA office, respectively), as well as prior not-for-profit experience.