ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Friends and loved ones are remembering 29 year-old Sara Rogers; the musician who was struck by a car and killed while on her bike last week in Buffalo.
A Buffalo native, Rogers attended Nazareth College of Rochester, and spent a total of five years in flour city.
Josh Massicot, professor at Nazareth College, described Sara as a student and friend — full of life, compassionate, and had a way of making everyone feel like the most important person in a room.
Massicot said her first impression was one you remembered.
“I think everyone who ever met Sara remembers meeting Sara — every single person has that story,” Massicot said.
He recalls Sara as a selfless person, and reflected on one time during a class where students had to perform in front of others.
“So a student I happened to call on was visibly nervous,” he said. “I remember Sara turning 180 degrees around in her chair, she sensed her peer was nervous, she just started clapping, and hollering and cheering on her peer to go, and it just stopped me in my tracks.”
That personality came through both in and out of academic settings. Rogers was known for carrying it wherever she went, as a student, solo artist, and music therapist.
Lynne Boucher, a yoga instructor at Nazareth, said she was devastated when she found out about Rogers’ passing.
“The words that came to me were: ‘She was so vibrant and so creative and so generous,'” Boucher said. “She offered to start sharing her music during the yoga classes […] 50 students gathered in the chapel for meditation and movement, and Sara would play live music, she would sing.”
Even as a student, she was an educator. Boucher recalled that “the message of all of her songs was the same as her life, so much about tender care for yourself, other people in the community.”
“She pushed everyone to be more vulnerable by supporting them, she pushed everyone to be more excellent,” Massicot said.
Rogers was scheduled to perform several upcoming shows, including the Lewiston Northwest Jazz Festival. Her musical colleagues will reportedly use those dates as an opportunity to honor her memory instead, and the Northwest Jazz Festival stage she was supposed to play will be renamed “The Sara Rogers Peace Garden Stage.”
Buffalo police are investigating whether the driver who hit Rogers was suffering a medical emergency at the time.