‘In It Together’

Local musician postpones shows, gives back amid coronavirus outbreak

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Local singer-songwriter Sarah Cotner, who goes by Sarah Christine, had a lot to let go of as the coronavirus pandemic began wreaking havoc on plans for her national tour.

“I’ve booked over 50 shows for 2020 and so far, 37 of them are postponed,” Sarah Christine said. “The good news is they’re not canceled.”

The Washington Park resident, who usually performs for crowds of 50-200 people, kicked off her #TheLetGoTour in Boulder on March 5. On March 15, however, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended organizers cancel or postpone in-person events that consist of 50 people or more. Now everything through June will need to be rescheduled.

“It sucks. Don’t get me wrong,” Sarah Christine said with a chuckle. “I was so looking forward to my show in a week.”

Her nearly sold-out show at Swallow Hill’s Tuft Theatre in Denver was originally scheduled for March 27.

Amid the news of suspended shows, the musician turned her attention to how she could use her platform for good. A visit to an empty grocery store, combined with thoughts of her mother, whose cancer makes her particularly vulnerable to COVID-19, inspired Sarah Christine’s partnership with Meals On Wheels. Using proceeds from the sale of her “In It Together” themed T-shirts, Meals on Wheels will purchase and deliver additional nonperishable items to local senior citizens and homebound adults.

Sarah Christine, who describes her music as indie pop with a little edge, balances her musical career and her day job as a regional vice president at Robert Half, a staffing firm, by putting in long hours to make time for both.

She moved to Denver from Minnesota with the company about two years ago and has become a fan of doing what she calls “weekend work” at Wash Perk over coffee, conducting meetings at Wash Park Grille and walking her rescue dog, Mason, around the neighborhood. But her favorite establishment is Ogden Street South, where she likes to go for karaoke after performing locally.

“It’s like our ‘Cheers’ spot,” the 35-year-old said.

Although a relatively new transplant to the centennial state, Colorado was the location of a defining moment in Sarah Christine’s musical career about 10 years before her move here. While on a trip to Breckenridge, she and her friends stopped in at a wine bar after a day of hiking. Her best friend convinced the manager to let Sarah Christine perform.

“I had huge stage fright,” Sarah Christine said, adding that until that moment, she had only played guitar and sung for herself.

She sang “Minnesota Eyes,” the first song she had ever written, while strumming a borrowed guitar.

The whole place went quiet, she said.

“So that was my first gig,” Sarah Christine said. “Kind of just caught the fire from that, and never really looked back.”

Sarah Christine’s latest single is “Aspen,” and the video for it came out in February. She has a series of seven singles coming out this year, including a remake of “Minnesota Eyes.”

And, of course, she looks forward to reinstating her tour.

Through the #TheLetGoTour, Sarah Christine hopes to inspire people to release their fears so they can live with purpose. It’s a message that resonates in this uncertain and unprecedented time, she said.

“There’s no better time to heighten that core value,” Sarah Christine said.

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