Meet Sarah Coyl

Reno Phil Violinist

What year did you join the orchestra?
I started playing with RPO in 2018, and I won a contract this February

How long have you been playing music?
I started violin when I was 7, and I’m 24 now. Before that, I played around on the piano for fun and wrote songs.

How did you pick your instrument?
When I was in elementary school, the local middle school orchestra came and played for us. I knew right then that I wanted to play violin. I begged my mom for lessons for a year, and she finally let me give it a try.

I’m finishing my Master’s in Music at UNR. I’ve enjoyed being a TA, even with the transition to zoom lessons.

When you’re not playing with the Reno Phil, what would we most likely see you doing in your free time?
Teaching and practicing! Wishing I were cool enough to have a hobby.

What genre of music are you most excited to play?
That’s hard to say— I’ve been taking jazz lessons and classes, which has been new and exciting. I also love playing in the pit for ballets and musicals.

What is your favorite piece of all time to play, and why?
Anything by Puccini— it’s so lush and irresistible.

If you could meet one composer/musician, who would it be and why?
Peter Tosh. As a reggae artist, his musical path looked a lot different than mine, but I have always been inspired by his powerful lyrics and outspokenness on civil rights.

What is your favorite vacation spot?
Visiting home to Pensacola Beach, Florida.

What do you think the audience would find surprising about you?
They might be surprised to hear that I am family-friends with Bill Conti, the composer of the Rocky Filmscores. He has shared his life story with me and offered me invaluable advice about life in the music business.

What about performing live music brings you joy?
I love the energy of a live performance. In classical music, I live for the intense focus that happens from all the musicians when the piece starts. For my more casual gigs, I love when I can get the audience excited and involved.


Reno Phil violinist, Sarah Coyl, performs an Italian piece that’s title roughly translates to “The Same Old Thing.” She is accompanied by Angelo Monroy on keyboard.