My passion is to help others in the community, young, old, and everyone in between, find relevance and joy in learning, performing or listening to classical music.


For interviews/podcasts I've done that explain a lot about who I am:

Chris McGovern's blog, "The Glass"

Artiden website, "Practicing for Smooth Performances with Erica Sipes"

Valley Business FRONT magazine, pgs. 46-48, "Cobbling together a living with music" 

"Toying with Twitter" - podcast/interview with Shoshana Danoff Fanizza from Audience Development Specialists

The untraditional bio:
I am primarily a pianist but also a cellist who has a passion for bringing joy, personality, and fun into making, listening to, and performing classical music. I am a freelance pianist, collaborator/accompanist, closet cellist, occasional private teacher, addicted chamber musician, and performer who is almost always willing and eager to perform with anyone who promises to try and have fun in return. I also have a love for helping people figure out more efficient ways to practice, prepare for recitals, and to accomplish their musical goals, big and small.

Tell me that performing is all about perfection and virtuosic madness and I'll turn and walk away with a sigh. Tell me that it's all about sharing the magic of music and the revelation of an artist's true self and I'll smile and gladly play for you or with you.

The traditional bio: 
Erica Ann Sipes,  pianist and cellist, received her bachelor's and master's degrees in piano performance from the Eastman School of Music where she studied with Rebecca Penneys and Nelita True. She has also studied cello with Irene Sharp and with Paul Katz and has studied piano collaboration and accompanying with Jean Barr at the Eastman School and with Anne Epperson at the Music Academy of the West. Ms. Sipes debuted with the Chamber Soloists of San Francisco at age 10 and has also performed with the Chelsea Chamber Players in Ann Arbor, Michigan. She has worked as a staff accompanist at the Bowdoin Summer Music Festival and has been to Prague and to St. Petersburg as the pianist for various choirs. Her playing has also brought her to the La Terasse Restaurant in Interlaken, Switzerland and to the Bella Voce Restaurant in San Francisco where she served as music director. She has collaborated with cellists Steven Doane, Anthony Elliott, and Erling Blondal Bengtsson.

Ms. Sipes currently lives in Roanoke, Virginia. Much of her time is spent accompanying young musicians, playing chamber music with friends and colleagues in the community, teaching piano, and working on the Piano Music She Wrote project that she and pianist Sandra Mogensen started in the Spring of 2020. She is also a staff pianist at Radford University, acting as a coach and pianist for singers and instrumentalists.  In the summer of 2012 she officially launched her own business as a practice coach, offering coachings, workshops, planning sessions, and practice boot-camps for anyone that could use some help with practicing.  She is also a co-founder and pianist of the Alma Ensemble, a trio dedicated to championing women in music, education, and creating connection through music. 

Some more posts about me, my background, my story:

What do I love to do?
What I was fortunate to have growing up (as a musician)