Dr. Sarah Smith Waters teaches Applied Percussion, Steel Drum Band, Percussion Ensemble, Aural Skills, African Music, American Music and Music History. She is also the Director of the Ohio Northern Summer Music Camp for students grades 7-12, which is currently in its 41st year of operation. Dr. Waters also organizes and performs in the celebrated Alumni Jazz Band which brings several outstanding musicians back to campus annually. She received her Doctorate in Percussion Performance from the Ohio State University in 1995. She also has a Master of Music in Percussion Performance and Conducting from Western Michigan University (1991). A native of Lima, Ohio, she received her Bachelor of Music in Music Education from Ohio Northern University in 1987. She has taught at Muskingum College, Mississippi Valley State University, The University of South Dakota and was teaching at Holy Cross School for Boys in New Orleans when Hurricane Katrina, August 2005, forced her and her family back north when Ohio Northern hired both Sarah and her husband Robert (ONU History Department).
An avid performer she has been the Principal Timpanist in the South Dakota Symphony, the Principal Timpanist and Percussionist for the Sioux City Symphony Orchestra, Principal Percussionist for the Sioux City Municipal Band, Principal for the New Orleans Civic Symphony, a Substitute Percussionist for the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra, and a percussionist for the New Orleans Concert Band. Currently she performs with the Lima Symphony Orchestra. She can often be heard or seen performing in the Freed Center for the Performing Arts on ONU’s campus for various events.
Waters received a prestigious J. William Fulbright Scholarship to Botswana, Africa for the school year 1999-2000. While living in Africa she visited eight countries and did extensive research on indigenous musical instruments of the Tswana people, part of which was published in Percussive Notes “The Drums and Marimbas of Botswana,” Vol. 38, No. 3, June 2000, and also presented at a recent African conference held at Ohio University. She has also done research on steel drums, presenting her research on Guyanese steel drum master Roy Geddes at several conferences and in Percussive Notes “Discipline is Love: Roy Geddes, Pan Man of Guyana,” Vol. 41, No.1, February 2003. In 1997 Waters received a National Endowment for the Humanities Grant to research and study Caribbean Literature and Art in Puerto Rico. Her interest in Caribbean and African music has been presented in several invited lectures to area colleges and universities. She has had several other articles published by Percussive Notes as well.
She has two boys, Donald, 8 and Robby, 6.