Growing up in a family where she was immersed in all facets of the arts, it is no surprise that multi-talented musician and composer Sarah Van Sciver has an affinity for cultural organizations such as the Arts Foundation of Cape Cod, the Cape Symphony, Harwich Junior Theatre, the Cotuit Center for the Arts, and many more.

Sarah Van Sciver

“My mother tells me I started singing when I started talking. I feel so fortunate to have parents that fostered in me a love of music,” Van Sciver says. This dynamic, energetic artist who graduated last month from the University of Pennsylvania with a Bachelor’s Degree in Music, plays the guitar beautifully, but piano, harp—and her own lovely voice—are her main instruments.

Of the three instruments, the piano and voice are her favorites. “Although voice can be the most fun instrument, I think the piano is the most useful, especially as a composer,” she says. “I am indebted to the instrument and the teachers I have had along the way. No matter what I am working on, the piano is my starting point—it’s my drawing board.”

As a young woman who performed in numerous Cape Cod concerts during her childhood and teenage years, Van Sciver studied the piano under the tutelage of Carolyn Kunze and was later mentored by Jung Ho Pak, the current conductor of the Cape Symphony.

Van Sciver’s introduction to the Cape’s art world began at the Fair Acres Country Day School in Marstons Mills. “A lot of arts and crafts and singing was incorporated into our lessons,” she says. She also graduated from Cape Cod Academy in Osterville—an academic experience that she says continued to foster her love of the arts. “There were a plethora of performance opportunities at Cape Cod Academy,” she says. “We held fundraising events to benefit various non-profit organizations and I performed at nearly every one.”

Van Sciver’s volunteer work with the Arts Foundation of Cape Cod also impacted her life. “I learned to appreciate the cultural landscape of Cape Cod through the Arts Foundation,” she says. Experiences with the Cape Symphony Orchestra steered her toward the harp. “My parents encouraged us to learn to play the piano,” she notes. “Once we had mastered it, we were allowed to choose another instrument. Whenever I went to the symphony, the harp was the instrument I admired the most.”

No stranger to the theater, Van Sciver performed in two productions with Harwich Junior Theatre — “Fall of the Star” and “Pippi Longstocking.” She credits her experience with the theater company and her experience with the Cotuit Center for the Arts with developing her interest in theatrical music composition.

Leaving no cultural stone unturned, Van Sciver—who was recently accepted into the Performer Composer Masters program at the California Institute of Fine Art—was also involved with the Cape Cod Young Writers Workshop. Her degree will be the latest in a long list of arts achievements, which includes a Bachelors Degree in Music from the University of Pennsylvania as well as a degree in general music studies from the Berklee College of Music.

As a University of Pennsylvania student, Van Sciver says she enjoyed concerts performed by The Philadelphia Orchestra. Still, she says, she will never forget her experiences with Cape Symphony. “There is such an intimate sense of community with the Cape Symphony,” she says. “The Cape’s cultural organizations will always hold a special place in my heart.”

For more information, visit sarahvansciver.com