Sara Carina Graef was awarded the Northridge Composition Prize for her orchestral score, night shows to my eyes the stars, and won the Premio Citta’ di Pescara Composition Competition in Italy for her piano solo, Nottanosti. She was the recipient of the Sadye J. Moss Endowed Musical Composition Prize and the Hans J. Salter Award for Composition, and was elected to membership in Phi Kappa Lambda. She has held residencies at the Helene Wurlitzer Foundation, the Ucross Foundation, the Ragdale Foundation, the Hambidge Center, the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, the Norfolk Chamber Music Festival, the Atlantic Center for the Arts, the Ernest Bloch Festival, and the Oregon Bach Festival Composers’ Symposium.

Her music has been performed around the United States as well as in Canada and the Czech Republic. Performances include her commission for the Tupelo Symphony Orchestra, Cooling in the Peppermint Wind, performed by both the Tupelo Symphony and the Arkansas Philharmonic Orchestra,  Softly Dancing from the Polar Sky and U.S. Patent No. 821,393. FLYING MACHINE. O. & W. Wright, both for symphonic wind ensemble, her arrangement of the Welsh carol, All Through the Night, for orchestra and children’s chorus, Consilience for violin and piano, and Building 58 for player piano, which was part of the Los Angeles-based “Player Piano Project” composers’ consortium commissioning project. In addition to concert music, she has music-directed and composed music for various film, live theater, and television projects, including  “How ‘bout Now?” – a multi-media, interdisciplinary project at California State University, Los Angeles.

Sara was born in Nassau County, New York in 1971, where she lived until 1986, when she moved with her family to Tulsa, Oklahoma. She earned her Bachelor of Music in flute performance and composition from Southern Methodist University, in Dallas, Texas, and her Master of Music and Doctor of Musical Arts in composition from the University of Southern California, where her principal teachers were James Hopkins, Morten Lauridsen, and Erica Muhl. She served as the President of Friends of Music at Cal State L.A. for the past six years, helping to raise money for scholarships for Cal State L.A. music majors, and has served on the board of the Los Angeles Chapter of the American Composers Forum. She is currently a Professor of Music at Cal State L.A., and has previously taught at the University of Southern California and Whittier College. In addition to her work in music, she served for several years as the Stranding Coordinator for the Alaska Whale Foundation – a non-profit research organization in southeast Alaska.

-Biography taken from