Senior Performs for Fundraiser, Music Capstone


Cellist Sarah Poirier ’24 will be playing in Kent’s Got Talent Friday night at the Garfield Center for the Arts downtown, then performing her senior capstone experience (SCE) on Saturday in Hotchkiss Recital Hall.

Sarah Poirier '24 practices her cello in a Washington College music room.

Sarah Poirier '24 practices her cello in a Washington College music room.

A music and psychology double major, Sarah auditioned for Kent’s Got Talent at the suggestion of Jon McCollum, chair of the music department and Sarah’s SCE advisor. She advanced to be one of the top 10 contestants, earning the spot to perform at the Nov. 10 show.
Debuting this year, Kent’s Got Talent is a performance-based fundraiser hosted by the United Way of Kent County (UWKC) – a local organization aiming to improve health, education, and financial stability through uniting community resources and partnerships.
Following her initial audition, Sarah was accepted into the competition and was thrilled to be able both to share her music with others and to help contribute to the fundraising cause. 

“Before I signed up, I read about the cause that is involved with this fundraiser, and I wanted to support it,” Sarah said. “I like to do better for the community in any way that I can, and spreading my love of music to others makes me happy.”

Sarah Poirier holds her cello in front of the Gibson Center for the Arts
Sarah will perform her senior capstone experience cello performance in Hotchkiss Recital Hall on Saturday, Nov. 11.

An accomplished cellist and musician since a young age, Sarah has been working diligently throughout her time at Washington College to improve her technique, repertoire, and sound to prepare for a career in music cognition research. She is also working on an SCE in psychology that explores how different musical genres affect emotions through EEG-based research. 

Inspired to showcase the skills and talents of musicians and dancers in Kent County, UWKC developed Kent’s Got Talent as an opportunity for community partners and members to come together to raise money for local non-profit organizations while supporting local artists, bringing county residents together for a fun-filled evening.

The event is, at its core, a community fundraising event – with a unique method of voting for finalists and awards winners. Contestants were voted into the finals through both their musical ability and by the number of votes they received from the community. Just as the Kent County community rallies for their chosen finalists, the Washington College community has put their support behind Sarah, with the campus community spreading the word far and wide of Sarah’s performance and the opportunity to vote for her.
Among the coveted awards is the People’s Choice Award, which each dollar donated in a finalist’s name contributes to their count and towards the fundraiser’s mission.
Amanda Nelson Parks, the director of Kent’s Got Talent, is optimistic that the event will bring the Kent County community closer together in building community partnerships to support families in need. 

“I hope the community will see we are stronger when we work together. The talent is diverse, the food is sourced from many different local vendors, and we’ve partnered with several local businesses, groups, and individuals,” Parks stated. “I can’t wait to see how exciting the show will be.”
The Kent’s Got Talent final performance will be hosted at the Garfield Center for the Arts at 210 High Street from 6-9 p.m. on November 10. To purchase tickets for the event or to vote for Sarah for The People’s Choice Award, visit

Following the debut of Kent’s Got Talent, Sarah will be performing a cello recital for her music SCE on November 11 at 7:30 p.m. in Hotchkiss Recital Hall, an event open to the public through the Washington College Department of Music.

Sarah has high hopes for Kent’s Got Talent and its impact on the surrounding community.

“This fundraiser will both raise money for an organization that gives back to the community and showcases talented musicians,” she said. “Supporting the United Way will allow for a healthier and stronger community through their mental health support, financial support, shelters, and food banks.”