“Thomsen’s soulful voice, poetic lyrics and unforgettable melodies cut through to the heart and the soul of human experience,” proclaims the Minnesota Women’s Press. With a voice rich as the best mid-west soil, Sara's songs carry you inward and outward—in, to the particulars of your own life, and out—into the shared humanity of us all. Her performance style is easygoing and full of humor and depth, capturing the audience’s engagement. Sara’s music gently enfolds and unfolds the listener.
Somewhere to Begin is Thomsen’s most recent solo album. “The kind of music she’s making is well-crafted, sung beautifully, and recorded immaculately,” states the Duluth News Tribune review. “Fans of Joan Baez and Peter, Paul and Mary might want to check this out.” The album is “deep and well written” proclaims The Reader, with “excellent songwriting and storytelling.” Thomsen's song "Precious Waters" received a Woody Guthrie Songwriting Award.
Everything Changes, Thomsen’s previous solo release, is “a powerful collection from a grounded talent,” writes Sing Out! Magazine. The recording is “a patch-quilt of musical styles stitched together by Thomsen’s lonely alto voice and evocative writing style,” declares the Minneapolis Star Tribune. “In Everything Changes she has produced a self-portrait that is radiant with elegance, grace and honesty," asserts the Duluth News Tribune. "It weaves its way into your soul." Off this album, Thomsen's song “A Woman’s Place”won a Mountain Stage NewSong Contest Top Finalist award in the midwest regional round. “I Remember These” won a Lake Superior Big Top Chautauqua's Songwriting Competition Top Finalist award.
For her songs “Irene Marguerite” and “Keepin’ the Peace” (By Breath) Thomsen was awarded Winner of the Minnesota Folk Festival’s New Folk Songwriting Contest. For the song “Is It For Freedom” (Fertile Ground) Thomsen won a Music To Life Top Finalist award —a nationwide contest created by Noel Paul Stookey (of “Peter, Paul and Mary”) to recognize songs of sociopolitical concern. Sara's songs “Is it For Freedom” and "A Woman's Place" were both chosen for publication in Sing Out! Magazine.
Dubbed in her local press as “one of Northern Minnesota’s best kept secrets,” Thomsen’s home base is in the Lake Superior region near Duluth, MN. “The Twin Ports folk singer picks up the torch carried by the balladeers of decades past: Joan Baez, Pete Seeger, Holly Near, Ronnie Gilbert, and Peter, Paul, and Mary” writes the Duluth Reader Weekly. “She could make Conan the Barbarian drop his sword and collapse blubbering.”
In addition to her solo work, Sara is a weaver of song and community singing. At concerts, conferences, classrooms, workshops, retreats, jails, places of prayer, and lines of protest, to be with Sara is to want to sing. Increasing wonder and awareness, deepening spiritual connection, and widening social engagement through song is at the heart of her work. Sara's ability to get people singing magically transforms gatherings into communities empowered with possibility.
Sara is the artistic director of "Three Altos," comprised of Rabbi Amy Bernstein, Thomsen, and professor Paula Pedersen. The trio has released two CDs: Camaradas and One Voice.
Sara is the founder and artistic director of the "Echoes of Peace Choir," a non-audition community choir in Duluth, Minnesota, with a repertoire of world music and a membership of 70+ voices. Thomsen later founded the Echoes of Peace non-profit to expand and develop the work of examining critical social issues using music and the arts to build and bridge informed, engaged, and caring communities.
Sara grew up surrounded by a family and community that loved to sing. From listening to her father sing lullabies and onward, Sara’s life has been infused with music. She is a staunch supporter of struggles for human dignity and ecological sustainability. Slowing down enough to see and hear the vibrant wonder of the commonplace is her work and play. All this can be felt in her music. Whether it is a song welcoming a newborn, protesting a policy, depicting night falling or describing a loved one, her music is alive and pulsing.
“Like the essence of a poem and the heart of a seed, Sara's music is transforming.”
—Elizabeth Nordell, Storyteller, Duluth, MN
“Sara’s voice is like the best butter you’ve ever had--on a big, generous meltingly gorgeous piece of bread right out of the oven. Hearing Sara is like coming home to your own soul; her music is cozy and big all at the same time. The first time I heard her, I cried for joy. Real tears.”
—Nancy Conger, Minnesota Author, Playwright, Violinist, Coach
“Sara’s songs are an exciting mix of the very personal, the political and the universal.”
—Frankie Armstrong, Singer, Natural Voice Practitioners Network, Co-founder, Cardiff, Wales
“Sara Thomsen's music takes you everywhere tender, smart—everywhere loving and alive.”
—Carol Robbins, Ed.D., Director, Off-Campus College Program
City University of New York (CUNY) School of Professional Studies, New York City