SARAH THORNE

Guitar Mentor

Sarah Thorne was born in Glen Allen, VA, where she was raised in a strong Christian environment as a homeschool student and discovered her passion for the arts at a very early age.

She excelled as a guitar student after starting private lessons at the age of 13, and by age of 16, Sarah began to regularly lead worship for the local church she attended at that time. Through this opportunity, she acquired valuable experience in leadership, teamwork, playing with bands, performing, songwriting, and singing. By the age of 17, she began tinkering with home recording as a pass-time, but soon demonstrated that she had “natural ear” for editing, mixing, and mastering. This discovery led to her creating own music, writing original pieces that defy genres and carry heavy-hitting truths. Her songs aim to carry raw intensity as well as her Christian perspective on the struggles life can bring.

Sarah graduated high school in 2014 and currently studies guitar performance and worship leadership through Cruse Institute for the Arts: an accredited Christian online music college. Sarah plans on graduating with her BA in Music Ministry and then continuing her studies through Liberty University towards her Master’s degree. As of now, she serves as an acoustic guitar player and vocalist for her church and continues to produce music through her personal recording studio. In addition to playing the guitar, she enjoys drawing, writing, and studying psychology and theology. Sarah plays both the both acoustic and electric guitar, rhythm and lead styles, and can sing and play simultaneously. She also has been learning to play the bass guitar, and has even been known to dabble at the keyboard. Often known for her knack at learning new things quickly, Sarah loves to challenge her abilities to grow to new heights, all for God’s glory.

Tell us a little bit about your musical background; when you first started, the first experience that made you want to become a musician:

I’ve always found myself drawn to rock music when it came on the radio…but it always seemed to lack the “grr” that I wanted to hear. When I heard the band Skillet for the first time in middle school, my mind was blown. Finally, I had found a style of music that suited my tastes! I instantly decided that I wanted to play music like that one day, to impact people for Christ and play intense, powerful music. It wasn’t long after that that I began taking guitar lessons.

Who are some of your favorite artists?

Skillet, RED, Linkin Park, Too Close to Touch, Wage War, For All Eternity, and Thousand Foot Krutch are some of my favorites, just to name a few…I even enjoy a little rap, orchestral/movie trailer music, and the blues. Honestly, it’s probably easier to tell you who and what I don’t like, since it’s a smaller list! I like a bit of everything and everyone. I view genres as paint colors rather than complete pictures…each one adds something unique to this world, and a good artist knows how to blend them together into a masterpiece. The more inbred a genre becomes, the less creative it is.

Who are some of your biggest inspirations, musical and non-musical?

My best friend is probably my biggest non-musical inspiration. She is a published Christian fantasy author, and her book series has had a tremendous impact on me for as long as we have been friends, which has been basically our entire lives. Her stories have played a role in influencing my songwriting, and even though the series is fictional, I find myself relating to the emotional struggles and moral dilemmas on a deeply personal level. I want people to be able to identify with my music the way that I identify with her characters.

Musically, I’m heavily influenced by rock and metal (especially hard rock and metalcore, as respective sub-genres). I love the mixture of intensity, drop-tuned guitars, catchy lead hooks, and explosive solos…but as I said before, I try to draw inspiration from a little bit of everything.

If you could follow in any musician’s footsteps, who would it be?

Ben Kasica, the former guitarist of Skillet, is probably my biggest inspiration as a musician. He went on to be a producer after he retired from the band. I’d love to follow a similar path…perform for a few years, and then settle down behind a control board in a studio and help other artists “make it”.

I also really am inspired by a kid named Cole Rolland, who is an incredible guitarist and collaborates with other musicians to make remakes of popular songs with a heavier twist. He also writes his own original music and produces it, and is a very successful independent artist.

Lastly, I’m inspired by none other than the founders of Passion Academy. One of my aspirations in life is to one day be a successful businesswoman in the music industry. Seeing a similar dream fulfilled through Daniel and Derek is hugely encouraging.

If you had the ability to pick anyone to collaborate with musically, who would it be?

I honestly would love to collaborate with NF. He is a rapper, so his musical approach is different from what I normally listen to…but his emotional intensity really appeals to me. Also, I think it would be super cool to work with guys like Hans Zimmer and people who make epic cinematic music.

What are your plans for the future of your music?

As of Spring 2017, I am in the process of writing and recording original songs for my debut album, which I plan to release in August. I also am working on making covers to worship songs that I have been remixing with a rockier edge. I hope to one day tour with my own band and minister to youth through my music, speaking engagements, and even comedy.  I want to be able to reach people from all backgrounds through living a Christ-Honoring life without conforming to the “Christian” stereotype in the music industry. I would love to have a successful career as a performing artist and eventually produce for other young artists full-time.  My dream is to one day run a cutting-edge recording studio and ministry for artists.