Sarah James – Cello

Sarah James, Cellist in the Chapel Hill Duo playing her cello on a bench in front of a drystone wall covered in moss with a cottage in the background.
Sarah James, Cellist and arranger for the Chapel Hill Duo.

Sarah was an incredibly musical child who couldn’t be kept away from any musical instrument she came across. As a teenager, she trained in the Cello, Violin, Piano, Jazz saxophone and voice to a high standard, as well as dabbling in Double-Bass, Guitar, Clarinet, Flute… and anything else she could get her hands on!

In 2011 Sarah began studying undergraduate Cello performance at Trinity Laban Conservatoire and graduated with a First-Class Honours Performance degree in 2015. Over the years she has studied with some incredible musicians including Naomi Butterworth, David Kennedy, Hans Nygaard and Richard Green. During her time at Trinity Laban she formed the Chapel Hill Duo with colleague and fiancée Jaya Hanley.

Although Sarah decided to primarily pursue her studies of the Cello in greater depth, it is still difficult to drag her away from a new musical instrument. It is her breadth of education and intimate knowledge of such a wide range of instruments and musical styles that has helped her to hone her skills as a composer and arranger. Sarah has studied arranging and composition with world-renowned composer Errolyn Wallen MBE and Paul Bartholomew.

Since graduating Sarah has focused all of her time into building a new, exciting life with Jaya. As The Chapel Hill Duo, they endeavour to spread music to as wide an audience as possible, with an emphasis on educating young children and giving back to the music community.

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