DSO member since 2001
Shanda Lowery-Sachs was born in Porterville, CA—a small agricultural area in the central part of the state. At age 4, she picked up two hobbies that have remained important throughout her life: tennis and music. Her father was a math teacher and tennis enthusiast and taught her to swing a racquet, while her mother was a cellist from a musical family who started her on violin and piano.
After graduating high school from Michigan's famed Interlochen Arts Academy in 1990, Shanda enrolled at the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, WA. There she received a B.A. of Music in violin and then officially switched to viola for graduate school. She attended the University of Maryland and then Rice University where she received a Master of Music in viola studying under Roberto Diaz, Martha Katz and Wayne Brooks.
Following graduation from Rice University, Shanda won Assistant Principal with the Virginia Symphony, then 3rd chair in the Rochester Philharmonic, and found her home as a member of the Detroit Symphony viola section in July 2001. Highlights of her DSO career have been the 2001 European tour, the 2013 Carnegie Hall performance, and the 2017 Asia tour. But the most memorable moment was when her boyfriend proposed onstage in the middle of a DSO concert in 2005 (and she said yes)!
Shanda enjoys working with young violists in the Detroit area schools as well as teaching privately. She is excited to join the faculty at the Brevard Music Center for Summer 2022. Shanda loves living with her family and Bernedoodle named Huey Lewis in Huntington Woods, with the Detroit Zoo in her front yard.