The Alma Ensemble—founded by flutist Sarah Wardle Jones, clarinetist Michelle Smith Johnson, and pianist Erica Sipes—was born from a desire to create music in a way that is both empowering and personally resonant. They prioritize playing music by women composers, educating audiences by contextualizing the pieces they select, and challenging traditional performance paradigms that hinder rather than enhance their ability to connect with audiences.
The trio named themselves after Alma Mahler, a talented composer who did not receive the same professional opportunities of her romantic male counterparts. They believe she could have benefited from the social support the Alma Ensemble aims to provide.
Sarah Wardle Jones, flute
Michelle Smith Johnson, clarinet
Erica Sipes, piano