Counterstream Radio
Inspect the unexpected
Media on Demand
Browse Music and Interviews

Sakari Dixon Vanderveer


As a public school student in San Bernardino, CA, Sakari Dixon Vanderveer’s interest in composition grew when her sixth grade orchestra teacher assigned a group project combining student compositions with their original artwork. After that, Sakari continued to compose music for herself and her close friends through high school. While studying composition with Dr. Anthony Suter at the University of Redlands, Sakari’s collaborations lead to commissions from instrumentalists such as Kelsey Broersma and Spencer Baldwin.

Currently, Sakari promotes contemporary music through her involvement in ensembles such as the Redlands Community Orchestra, which regularly premieres works by local composers. She was also a violist in the Inland Empire Composers’ Concert Series which completed its first season in April 2017.

As a musician in the Inland Empire, Sakari continues to perform and compose while sharing with her students the beauty of creating music. She currently studies composition with Reena Esmail.

Photography by William Vasta, 2014


“feRaL” is a piece for alto saxophone and string trio commissioned for performance by Kelsey Broersma. I found the title attractive because anything that is feral is difficult if not impossible to constrain or pin down. Likewise, the opening melody in the saxophone, though distinctive, never repeats itself in its entirety. Every iteration of the melody is some sort of variation or “teaser.” The tempo marking for the opening of the piece is also described as “rash,” affirming the impulsive nature of the piece.

Like this? Login or register to make a playlist of your favorites pieces.

NewMusicBox Articles

Articles April 26 2018 | By Sakari Dixon Vanderveer
Letting My Network Become My Classroom

After I plunged right into a 9-to-5 position, I began to contemplate what it would look like to create a routine that would facilitate the continuation of my education in...

Articles April 19 2018 | By Sakari Dixon Vanderveer
Exchanging Perfectionism for Contentedness

As a composer, I’ve realized that perfectionism is encouraged frequently to some extent and with good reason. Precise notation minimizes uncertainty for performers and makes rehearsals more efficient. But don't...

Articles April 12 2018 | By Sakari Dixon Vanderveer
Wearing All the Hats: Reflections on Being a Teacher, Too

Since I was convinced that I wanted to focus on freelance composing and performing when I graduated, I didn’t thoughtfully consider the possibility of teaching as an integral aspect of...

See more of Sakari Dixon Vanderveer's articles on NewMusicBox.