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NYWC Spotlight: Sarah Hutchings

We are excited to continue our collaboration with the New York Women Composers. This month, we spotlight Sarah Hutchings.

Sarah Hutchings Cello

Sarah Hutchings. Photo courtesy Sarah Hutchings.

Bio from Sarah Hutchings’s “Psicopata.yellow” score:

“Sarah Hutchings is a composer and creative sought after for her lyricism and captivating musical energy. The Washington Post has hailed her music as an “appealing…sinuous” musical flavor, with works that capture drama and poetry, and sounds that color outside the lines. Fascinated by the use of aural color in all of her works, she gravitates to creative projects that are graphic, uninhibited, or evoke physicality.

Sarah was previously Composer in Residence with the Washington National Opera’s American Opera Initiative program, and Composer Fellow at the John Duffy Institute. She previously apprenticed composer Ricky Ian Gordon while assisting the workshop of Gordon’s opera, Morning Star, as part of the Opera Fusion program at Cincinnati Opera. She has also apprenticed composer Carlisle Floyd during his residency at the University of Cincinnati. She is published by Queen City Publications.

She splits her time between home bases in Miami and New York City with a baritone and a cat.”

Featured Work: “Psicopata.yellow” for solo cello


  • Title: “Psicopata.yellow”
  • Composer: Sarah Hutchings
  • Year of Composition: 2019
  • Instrumentation: unaccompanied cello
  • Movements: 1 complete work
  • Duration of Work: 8 minutes, depending on the performer
  • Number of Measures: 196
  • Number of pages: 9
  • Tempo: 8 minutes, depending on performer
  • Difficulty Level: advanced/professional
  • Highest Position Reached: thumb
  • Techniques Employed: double and quadruple stops; bass, tenor, and treble clefs; 4/4, 5/4, 8/8, and 10/8 time signatures; folk bowings (as described in the score): bluegrass chop, scratch tone, shuffle bowing; sul tasto, harmonics, glissandos, and grace notes
  • Publisher: Self-published
  • Where to Purchase the Score: Email Sarah Hutchings or purchase from Sheet Music Plus
  • Cost of Score*: $10.99


This work has not yet premiered as of August 2022. Please let us know if you perform and record it.

Performance Notes

“The cello is an instrument that speaks to my soul. It’s an instrument that sings just as much as the human voice, and produces infinite spectrums of color in sound. Though the featured piece uses the cello as a vessel for human speech and emotion, the possibilities for artistic interpretation on this instrument are something I always return to in my compositions. Thank you for considering my work!” –  Sarah Hutchings

Program Notes

“I became obsessed with folk-based bowing techniques when I wrote this piece. Bowing can communicate just as much as phrasing. Though I do enjoy writing big lyrical solos for cello (it’s one of my favorite things to play too!), the speech syntax embedded in the work required a more technical approach to communicate the subtext. The cello is not only speaking for these people telling their stories, it is also creating mood, and other subtle remembrances.” – Sarah Hutchings

Sarah Hutchings’s Other Work with a Prominent Cello Part

How to Follow, Support, and Contact Sarah Hutchings

A Collaboration with the New York Women Composers (NYWC)

The NYWC series at the Cello Museum was created to showcase its members who have composed various pieces for cello, informing cellists seeking new music to add to their repertoire, and helping listeners find new favorites. Many thanks to the NYWC for this wonderful collaboration.

Read other installments in the series here.

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