Nostalgic instrumental rock with inspired percussion
Rhythmwood Drive is a married duo from central Indiana playing acoustic instrumental covers that feature marimba, hammered dulcimer, and percussion. Doug and Sarah Haag have been playing together for over a decade but decided to bring it to the public after Sarah acquired a marimba in 2016. Now they take to the streets, festivals, concerts, and living rooms to bring the unique sounds of melodic percussion to those seeking musical inspiration with a dash of nostalgia. Playing covers from pop, rock, and movies from the 70s to present, this duo will bring back familiar memories with a new perspective!
Doug and Sarah Haag, from Fortville Indiana, studied percussion in college. Neither initially pursued a career in the music field but recently went through a musical rebirth when Sarah started playing marimba again, 12 years after leaving it at college. Just one year later they added hammered dulcimer to their line up and now offer a range of cover tunes, modern classical works, movie themes, and even some hymns. Doug is a master on cajon and percussion and Sarah is a 2018 Hit Like A Girl Contest Winner and a top 5 finalist in the 2018 National Hammer Dulcimer Championship. Playing at venues like the Indianapolis Artsgarden, the Rhythm! Discovery Center, and various art walks and festivals, Rhythmwood Drive is out to surprise and inspire audiences with rich unique sounds of tuned wood, strings, and acoustic percussion!
Percussionists at neighboring schools, Doug and Sarah met at a music competition (ISSMA Solo & Ensemble). They both attended Ball State University with majors in music education & performance. While both went through the same program and played many of the same instruments and works, Doug had a love for drum set and hand drums while Sarah gravitated towards keyboard instruments such as marimba. One shared passion was snare drum in marching band.
In 2004 Sarah graduated and no longer had access to marimba - that part of her music was left in the past and essentially forgotten. After getting married they spent the next decade focused on careers: Sarah worked for a premier mutual fund company as a service rep and later business analyst. Doug spent time in several roles including radio personality / event coordinator, barista, and insurance agent / supervisor. Meanwhile, the couple engaged in music through their church worship team with Doug playing drum set and Sarah on bass guitar. In 2013 they welcomed a son, and Sarah made the leap to be a stay at home mom right before Christmas 2014.
AN EPIC YEAR AND A NEW START
In January 2016 Sarah’s parents told her about a marimba being auctioned at an estate sale on the local 4-H fairgrounds. Skeptical, they went to check it out at a public preview and quickly realized it was a rare treasure available in their backyard! With less than 24 hours before the sale they prayed and discussed options with family. With a strategy in place, Sarah's dad handled the bidding and won. A part of Sarah's past was literally resurrected!
2016 overflowed with events and people that inspired them to take music to the next level even with a family and career. As it turned out, they had multiple connections to the marimba's previous owner: a fiesty go-getter named Judy. Back in the late 80s / early 90s she went to the same church where Doug grew up (and later married Sarah). Judy was inspired to start playing at roughly 60 years of age after hearing a Hungarian cousin of the hammered dulcimer - she settled on marimba after not being able to find a hammered dulcimer. Ironically, she studied under Jeffrey Nearpass, the same teacher that both Doug and Sarah had during high school (probably just after Judy studied with him). After learning this Sarah, Judy, and Jeff all met at his home studio - a gathering nearly 30 years in the making!