Sara Nichols enjoys a diverse career as a teacher, orchestral player, chamber musician, and soloist. Principal Flutist of the Baltimore Opera Orchestra from 1987-2009, she has also appeared as Guest Principal Flute with the Baltimore, St. Louis Symphony Orchestras, and the Opera Theater of St. Louis. She has performed as soloist or orchestra musician with numerous ensembles including the Wolf Trap Orchestra, National Gallery Orchestra, New York Opera Society, Baltimore Choral Arts Society, Baltimore Chamber Orchestra, Concert Artists of Baltimore, Orchestra of St. John’s, Symphonic Voyages, Mainly Mozart Music Festival, Res Musica, and the Annapolis and Harrisburg Symphony Orchestras. She was also Acting Assistant Principal Flute of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra for two seasons and has appeared internationally at the Amalfi Coast Music and Arts Festival (Italy), Międzynarodowy Festival (Poland), and the St. Petersburg Conservatory (Russia). She also plays traverso with Pro Musica Rara.
In theatre orchestras Nichols has performed in numerous national touring productions of Broadway shows at the Hippodrome, Lyric Opera House, and Morris Mechanic Theater and the National Theater.
Recent recordings include playing Principal Flute on the Baltimore Choral Arts’ Christmas at America’s First Cathedral in addition to the Wolf Trap Opera Company’s Volpone by John Musto, which received a Grammy nomination.
A committed and highly successful teacher, her students have achieved numerous awards and honors including winning competitions sponsored by the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, Greater Baltimore Youth Orchestra, U.S. Navy Band, U.S. Naval Academy Band, Flute Society of Washington, and National Flute Association. Her students have been selected to perform in All Eastern, All State. and All County bands and orchestras. Many students have continued their music education in major colleges, conservatories, and graduate schools, and are now successful teachers and performers throughout the United Sates. She is also on the faculty of the Baltimore School for the Arts.
An active member of the Flute Society of Washington, Nichols has presented master classes, judged competitions, coached ensembles, and coordinated recitals for its annual Mid-Atlantic Flute Fair. She was recently appointed as chair of the FSW’s High School Flute Choir Competition. Also a member of the National Flute Association, she performed at its national convention as a winner of the Performer’s Competition.
Nichols, a graduate of Auburn University, received the Master of Music in Flute Performance from the Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music. Her principal teachers include Robert Cavally, Timothy Day, Britton Johnson, and Lida Mayfield.