Sara Jobin: Music Matters in Toledo

Sara Jobin has a passion for music and is determined to share that passion with the Toledo community. As Associate Conductor of the Toledo Opera and recently named Resident Conductor of the Toledo Symphony, Sara puts a public face on the music aspect of the Toledo Symphony. Last year alone she had more than twenty speaking engagements to help advocate for the arts and spread the word in our community. This year she will conduct 51 concerts.

Sara has spent one year with both organizations and her favorite moment so far has been conducting concerts for young people. “Bringing music to 2000 kids in the Peristyle who are all of a sudden spontaneously excited when they hear the music, and they all start bouncing in their chairs because they like the music. That was a really cool and great moment.”

A typical day for Sara is vastly different than you may expect. For example, the day Toledo Region interviewed her, she had to determine who would play the continuo parts in the Bach B minor Mass, then push herself to hit a program deadline, and then had rehearsal from 7-10pm. Sara lives in Toledo full time, but is an incredible ambassador for our Region during her travels. This fall she will be conducting the World Premier of Jane Eyre the Opera in New York.

The official season of the Toledo Symphony and the Toledo Opera began this month! Throughout the course of the season they will perform Pops Concerts, Christmas Concerts, travel to churches, and play major classical pieces. Sara is particularly excited for this season’s repertoire which includes the Bach B Minor Mass, Mozart and More Series, and Messiah.

In her new role Sara is most excited to work with the same talent for both the Symphony and the Opera. “I love working with the musicians. It is a really, really good orchestra…people that aren’t from Toledo don’t realize how lucky we are. That is what keeps me here. That’s why I am here.”

Free time is rare for Sara, but she loves to ride her bike and enjoy the birds and nature of Northwest Ohio. She uses her bicycle for transportation as much as possible and is thrilled to see the buzz around Toledo about adding more bicycle friendly features to our streets. She also thinks the Toledo Museum of Art is amazing.

Another thing that Sara has to look forward to is her colleagues at the Toledo Symphony. We asked her thoughts on Zak Vassar as the new President and CEO. “I am delighted that he is the new executive director. He’s got great positive, forward energy and from the younger generation, he can help drive the symphony forward.”

What brought Sara to Toledo? Her parents and persistence.  Sara’s parents lived in Toledo briefly while she was in college and she had the opportunity to guest conduct the Toledo Symphony when she was just out of college. She conducted one piece on a children’s concert and wanted to maximize her time in Toledo so she called the head of the Opera, James Meena, who is still the artistic advisor, and asked if she could watch a few rehearsals. The two kept in touch and he followed her career for 20 years, so when the Opera was looking for someone for a gala here, he called. The Symphony enjoyed her work on the Opera and asked her to come back.

Sara’s advice to find similar opportunities – cold call. “If there is something you want to learn and you are honest about it, and you are earnest about it, people will help you.” She also imparted this wisdom, “Follow what you love. What you love might change over time, for me it did…I think that we are given our love for something because that is the direction we should follow. We don’t know what happens after that, but we will be happy if we follow that.”

If you have never experienced the Opera or the Symphony, don’t be hesitant. Sara declares, “Just come, don’t worry about what you are wearing, just come. Come say hi to me afterwards if you want to, just come, please come and bring friends.”

It Matters Where You Make It ®