Composer & Music Educator 

Sara Doncaster has a multi -faceted career as a composer, music educator and director/co-founder of the Warebrook Contemporary Music Festival. Doncaster’s works include vocal, chamber and symphonic music. She has been commissioned and performed by the Vermont Symphony Orchestra, the Hungarian Chamber Symphony Orchestra, Master Singers, Social Band, Village Harmony, the Episcopal Diocese of Vermont (Cathedral of St. Paul), Vermont Contemporary Music Ensemble, the Empyrean Ensemble, Second Instrumental Unit/The Composers Guild of New Jersey and the Dinosaur Annex Music Ensemble, among others. Her awards and fellowships include a Charles Ives Scholarship from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, a Citation of Merit from the Vermont Arts Council (VAC) for Distinguished Service to the Arts, a Creation Grant from the VAC, the MacDowell Colony, Yaddo, Ragdale Foundation, Vermont Community Foundation, Composers Conference at Wellesley College, and ASCAP.  She has given theory papers and presentations on her own music at New York University, the Manhattan School of Music, University of California – Davis, State University of New York – Plattsburgh and Bennington College.

 Doncaster earned her Ph.D. and Master of Arts in Theory & Composition from Brandeis University, and a dual Bachelor of Music degree from Boston University in Theory & Composition and Piano Performance. She co-founded the Warebrook Contemporary Music Festival in 1991 with cellist Darry Dolezal,  and successfully grew this event into a week – long educational institute and concert series. Warebrook suspended events after 2012’s highly successful festival, with the hopes that someday activities could resume.

After living in Boston for 17 years, Doncaster returned to Vermont in 2000 and began her career as a public school music educator. Doncaster earned her Vermont State Educators License in Music (Prek-12, HQT) through Peer Review, with course work completed through Community College of Vermont and Johnson State College. She taught instrumental and vocal music for eleven years in four elementary schools in the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont, (Prek-8). She is currently the music educator at Lake Region Union High School in Barton, Vermont. She conducts all of the vocal and instrumental ensembles and teaches music theory, music history and composition.  Doncaster was recognized as Lake Region Union High School’s Teacher of the year in 2017, University of Vermont Outstanding Teacher in 2017, and was runner-up for Vermont Teacher of the Year in 2018. Her students have been placed in local, state, regional and national music festivals, including one student who was commissioned by the Vermont Symphony Orchestra for a new piece to be premiered at their annual Farmer’s Night concert.

Doncaster grew up in Irasburg, VT on Hillandale Farm, a dairy farm still in operation by her family. She currently resides in Coventry.