Sarah Younker is a French hornist based in Chicago. In addition to the orchestral, operatic, and chamber music experience of a traditional French hornist, Sarah has extensive theatrical experience, having performed for a wide variety of award-winning theater companies including Music Theater Works, Lithuanian Opera Company of Chicago, Theo Ubique, Porchlight Music Theater, The Mercury Theater, and The House Theatre of Chicago. Sarah performs regularly with big bands, both as a section player and a soloist, and smaller jazz ensembles.
Sarah has held the position of second horn with the Beloit-Janesville Symphony Orchestra since 2021, and was third horn from 2018 - 2021. She was set to perform Schumann’s Konzertstuck for Four Horns and Orchestra in May 2020. Since the cancellation of so many performances, Sarah has volunteered and performed for many fundraising efforts on behalf of the Beloit-Janesville Symphony Orchestra. Sarah is the principal horn of the JAM Orchestra and Chicago Summer Opera. She has performed with many other regional orchestras, including the Omaha Symphony, Des Moines Metro Opera, Peoria Symphony Orchestra, Southwest Michigan Symphony, and Northbrook Symphony.
Sarah is an arranger and recording artist for Sonic Symphony and can be heard on a number of their trailers. Sarah has written and recorded for CollabTRAX and is sampled on their rock tune, “Stranger,” set for future release. She can also be heard on guitarist Michael Kent Smith's forthcoming original jazz/crossover nonet album.
Sarah leads, arranges, and performs with her chamber music group, Sarabande. Sarah performs with the Artistic Animal Collective, and is a member of the Genuine Brass Quintet.
A creative and engaging teacher, Sarah particularly enjoys working with 4th-12th grade horn players and adult hobbyists. For the past 16 years, Sarah’s students have regularly placed and participated in ILMEA, area youth symphonies, summer music camps, concerto competitions, and other extracurricular music festivals and activities, as well as maintaining leadership roles within their school music programs. Sarah is the horn instructor at Downers Grove North High School. She is a thoughtful adjudicator and sought-after clinician throughout the Chicago area and a featured teaching artist in David Cutler’s book, The Savvy Musician.
Sarah earned her Bachelor’s of Music in Horn Performance from the University of Illinois, studying under Kazimierz Machala.
Sarah is an active member of the Chicago Federation of Musicians, AFM Local 10-208.