Taking center stage


Sara Bauman does not remember standing on a cardboard pizza box learning how to stand correctly. She does not remember receiving her first violin at age three. She does not even remember thinking she could perform at Temple Square. Fifteen years later, Bauman is taking center stage as the accomplished violinist she worked to become.

A freshman from Salt Lake City, the 18-year-old Bauman will perform at the Assembly Hall at Temple Square on Saturday at 7:30 p.m. Bauman has been a soloist with the Temple Hills Symphony in Oakland, Calif., and with the Utah Symphony twice.

Robert Bauman, Sara’s father, has enjoyed watching Sara grow as a musician and daughter. Bauman said he believes Sara was meant to become a musician, and with the support from her mother, has worked to become the person that she is today.

“She has a mother who is quite a professional pianist, and I play the violin, so she was destined to have music in her,” Robert Bauman said.

Sara Bauman started out with a 1/16 size violin, and said she does not remember starting to play.

“I don’t really remember starting the violin, but I remember my mom giving me a sticker to put on the sticker chart when I would practice,” Bauman said. “It’s been a part of me ever since.”

Bauman’s father was called as a mission president to the California Oakland Mission when Bauman was 10. During that time, Bauman had the opportunity to perform for wards in the mission and soloing with the Temple Hills Symphony.

“I went along with my parents to visit the wards in our mission — we would go and they would speak in a ton of wards and I would play my violin,” Bauman said.

After returning from her parents’ mission to California, Bauman went to East High School in Salt Lake City, and even took the state championship in tennis. Upon graduating, Sara was accepted to the Manhattan School of Music, the Oberlin Conservatory of Music and the New England Conservatory of Music, among other schools.

“This past year we did a ton of auditions at different conservatories,” Bauman said. “It would always be me in front of a panel of judges, so you get 12 minutes to play for them, and if you’re having a bad day or whatever then your future is on the line. It was pretty stressful, but it meant a lot, even just knowing that I could go there if I wanted to. That boosted my self confidence a little bit.”

Bauman said she decided to come to BYU after taking notice of BYU’s impressive music program, and in order to stay closer to home. Colleen Bauman, Sara Bauman’s mother, also believes her daughter’s time at BYU will help her share her testimony through music.

“She played at so many firesides and sacrament meetings and of course she was always playing religious music,” she said. “She had her pieces memorized and it gets into her heart. There have been many times where people have told her that they have felt her testimony through her music. She feels it deeply, and will keep feeling that testimony through her music.”

Alex Woods, assistant violin professor at BYU, has been Sara Bauman’s teacher since she came to BYU in August. Woods has seen Bauman improve throughout the semester, and believes she has a true desire to learn.

“We’ve been working on pieces that are maybe less advanced than she’s done in the past to sort of relearn some things and to polish her playing a little bit more,” Woods said. “It’s a partnership between the student and teacher; every student needs to be invested as well and want to improve in certain ways, and Sara wants to improve.”

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