o g r a p h y 

Sarah Rose Stiles

I grew up in an eclectically musical household in Sonoma County, CA, where my ear was fed anything from Monteverdi and the Rollingstones, to Bach Cantatas and the Kingston Trio, my mother’s sight-reading at the piano, or my father’s Appalachian strummin and a hollerin.

Training as a classical pianist resulted in years of performance, auditions, competitions, and winning awards.

That came to a halt when my rebellious teenage spirit met the revolutions of Schoenberg and Stravinsky. Twentieth Century Music fueled me to follow suite in spirit. Raised with self-independent values, I explored untaught and instantly found my own compositional voice. This was reinforced and supported by Professor Will Johnson who encouraged me to strike out and embrace “my own music.” I ganged up with some other youth and helped form a Composers’ Club and concerts at the local Junior College.

While studying music at U.C. Berkeley, I continued to compose unsupervised. I finally took my first official composition class during my last semester. Though, I believe I was truly gaining the best composition lessons the whole time through required classes such as history, ethnomusicology, piano, and of course theory, counterpoint, and orchestration, which all required study and analysis of compositions. Berkeley days ended with a Bachelor of Arts in Music.

I lived life, continued to compose solo and organize my own concerts. Soon, I became involved with the Bay Area Composers’ Circle, which was around the same time I decided to go back to school. I earned a Masters in Music in Composition from the San Francisco Conservatory where my music was featured with the New Music Ensemble, and by many young incredibly fresh emerging artists.

Post-masters, I have continued the path of composition, organizing my own concerts. Some of my favorite experiences during the past years include being a featured artist at the Meridian Gallery’s Composers in Performance Series. Performances of my ouvre also include premieres with the New Keys Concert Series by pianist Regina Schaffer, the Outsound Series at the Luggage Store Gallery, the Temescal Experiment as part of the Oakland Art Murmur, Berkeley Arts Festival, and with the Cornelius Cardew Choir.

I get a kick out of performing with the Cornelius Cardew Choir, an avant-garde experimental performance-art ensemble of composer-performer-improvisers. With the Cardew Choir I had the opportunity to perform with Pauline Oliveros in her Tower Ring at the Oliver Ranch in Geyserville, CA in 2011.

In 2013 I was awarded a Faculty Grant from the San Francisco Community Music Center to fund my local-premiere of matins: three nocturnes, performed by pianist Katy Luo.

For a year I was an Artist in Residence at the San Francisco School for the Arts where I taught music theory and musicianship. Currently I am an ensemble director and arranger, theory and musicianship instructor for the Young Musicians’ Program at the SF Community Music Center. I also teach private lessons and classes in composition, improvisation, theory, musicianship, and piano throughout the SF Bay Area.

Thoughts are to enter a doctoral program after a little more of life-exploration. I finally decided to test electronic music as a new outlet. I also took up the violin about a year ago and joined an amateur orchestra called Hilliard String Theory. Outside of music, I find myself easily engaged in science, environmentalism, nature and the outdoors, kayaking, backpacking, recently succeeding with pride at digging and camping in my own snow-trench.

My website is http://www.SarahStiles.com .