In Focus: Sarah Clevenger

Music has always been a part of my life ever since I can remember. I was singing in choirs as a child and throughout college. I learned to harmonize even before I knew what I was doing. I honestly thought that if a note was too high, I would just listen to the chords and sing what "felt right". That's how my love for adding harmonies began!

I am more of a shy person, but music seems to allow me to come out of my shell just a bit. I discovered the Smule app several years ago, but I just "played around" on the app here and there and never thought much of it. A little over 2 years ago, on a whim, I decided to re-download the app. I didn't have a VIP account, so the songs I could sing on the app was quite limited. A lot of times, I remember, I found it hard to find an Open Call (OC) by a person who sounded half-way decent!

After a few months of scrolling through many OCs, I discovered this amazing group of Smulers called APEX! I didn't even know that groups were a thing on Smule! The first collab that I heard from APEX was "Hide and Seek" and my jaw was on the floor! I then followed each and every person that was involved with that production because they were all phenomenal! No more scrolling through so many bad OCs! I remember some of the few people in APEX that I sang with were Laine, Ioana, Sam, and a few others that I'm probably forgetting!

It was in early September of 2018 when I got an invitation from Laine to be part of a group collaboration called APEX and Friends! I had never been part of a group collab before and in my mind, I had these questions: Am I dreaming? Am I really singing with APEX?! Of course, I took the opportunity and had a wonderful first collab experience. I got to sing with APEX and a few other friends Amazing Grace, My Chains are Gone. I learned a lot about how these amazing group collabs come to their completion from start to finish.

And as if being a part of one group collab wasn't amazing enough, shortly after, I got messages from the founder of APEX himself, Paul! He asked me if I would like to become an official member of APEX!! I was very flattered, overjoyed, excited, and honestly a little nervous! I kept thinking, "Would everyone else like me too? Could I pull my weight enough? Did I have enough experience?"

My Smule setup in my basement

All my doubts disappeared as every encounter with my new APEX friends became opportunities that lift me up, cheer me on, encourage me, and help me explore and learn new things. My love for APEX made me want to have the right technology that works with Smule the best. And I literally switched mobile phone carriers so I could get an i-Phone, and forget about the Android phone I had at the time! Android users struggle a lot in the app. I also purchased a Smule VIP account and haven't looked back since! Moreover, I find it funny that no one can really see our improvised video setup. I have mine in my basement beside the water-heater! One day I hope to have a more professional recording studio for my home!

My time with APEX has been a huge learning experience! I have been blessed to be connected with so many amazing and talented people from all around the world! It's truly phenomenal what like-minded people can put together using just a music app and a pair of earphones! But more than just a group of friends singing together, we’ve shared each other’s life experiences together. Whether that be a marriage, a birth, a death in the family, a major life change, we all have been there to lift each other up and walk through those situations together, and that’s a wonderful thing to be a part of! 

Two of my favorite APEX collaborations thus far: Karl Jenkin's Adiemus and O Holy Night

So now, what does APEX mean to me? APEX is music, culture, beliefs, teamwork, growth, transformation, and, above all, a family. APEX is and forever will be a family to me, tied to my heart and soul through our shared love of music and a common desire to bring something beautiful to the world!


Sarah Clevenger

Smule ID: guitargurl_APEX

Virginia, United States

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