Sarah Payne​

​Frederick Douglass High School
Director of Orchestras​

Crawford Middle School, Orchestra Assistant

Carter G Woodson Academy, High School Orchestra

Liberty Elementary, 4th and 5th Grade Orchestra

Gifted and Talented Certified
859-381-3780 ex. 52773 (FDHS Classroom)
ex. 52694 (FDHS office)

Mrs. Payne received her Masters of Music degree (Conducting) and Gifted and Talented Certification from Eastern Kentucky University and is a Graduate of the College of Creative Arts at West Virginia University, where she earned her Bachelor of Music Education Degree.

Prior to moving to Lexington, Mrs. Payne was the Director of Orchestras at Lawrence Central High School in Indianapolis, IN from 2006-2010. There she conducted three string ensembles and the LC Symphony Orchestra, all of which received consistent Gold Ratings at the ISSMA Festivals. During her time as Director, the Symphony Orchestra received Distinguished Ratings at the ISSMA State Qualifications, and competed at the ISSMA State Finals. The Symphony was also host to the 2009 American Pianist Association Classical Fellows Finalist, Igor Lovchinsky. Mrs. Payne’s duties also included teaching the 5th grade beginning strings at two elementary schools and one beginning piano class at LC. During the summer, Mrs. Payne worked as a teacher at the Performing Arts Institute, teaching beginning, intermediate and advanced string students grades 4-12.

Mrs. Payne is currently an active member of the KY Chapter of American String Teachers Association and KMEA, acting as the State Orchestra Chair and Chair-Elect in 2015-2019, and serving as the District 7 orchestra chair in 2012-2014. Mrs. Payne was awarded the KMEA District 7 “Middle School Music Teacher of the Year” Award in 2013, and was also a semi-finalist for the first-ever Grammy Music Educator Award in 2013 and a quarter-finalist in 2014, 2015 and 2019. Mrs. Payne received the KY ASTA “Outstanding K-12 Director” Award in 2019. Mrs. Payne was a guest conductor for the WKU Honors Orchestra and Jefferson County MS Honors Orchestra in 2013 and 2016. Mrs. Payne was the Kentucky representative for the December 2014 issue of School Band and Orchestra Magazine “50 Directors Who Make a Difference.” She has performed with the Lexington Community Orchestra, KY Bach Choir and L.O.V.E. (Lexington’s Original Viola Ensemble). During the summer, she works at the Stephen Collins Foster Summer Music Camps as the Viola instructor, assistant conductor, and conductor.

Mrs. Payne began teaching in Fayette County in 2011 at Bryan Station Middle School. During her 8 years at BSMS, the orchestras received consecutive Distinguished Ratings at KMEA assessment, performed at the KMEA Conference in Louisville in 2013 and 2019, and received various other recognition and awards.

Grammy Award

50 Directors Who Make a Difference