Modern creative composer Sarah Weaver was born March 28, 1978, in Evergreen Park, IL, and grew up in the south suburbs of Chicago. She grew up in a racially divided environment, and her parents decided to move to a neighboring town a decade later. Weaver's older brother studied piano along with her and learned the trumpet. Her sister, six years younger, was a piano student and eventually played trombone; having received a music degree from the University of Iowa, she teaches elementary-school children and performs in the Chicago area. Sarah Weaver's mother and father did not play musical instruments but were supportive of their children. A Greek grandfather did play mandolin and her Polish grandfather played the accordion, though she did not know them. Starting on piano at age six, she took private lessons with a variety of local teachers, and played in festivals and jazz competitions in the Chicagoland area. By age ten, Weaver first picked up the trombone at Western Avenue Elementary School. Robert Hiorns was her first teacher. By the next year, she was diagnosed with scoliosis, and had to wear a back brace all through junior high school. Nonetheless, she continued with music at Parker Junior High School, then Homewood-Flossmoor High School. She also overcame her affliction and became a star athlete in basketball, softball, and soccer.
In high school, Robert Hindsley was her first band director, who shortly thereafter retired and was replaced by William Jastrow. By her senior year she had played in every school ensemble and led the marching band. Orchestra director Dr. Michael Rogers also taught her via a course in composition and music theory, and she attended Elliott Chasanov's trombone camps and weekends for three years. Chasanov was the trombone professor at the University of Illinois, where Weaver enrolled upon graduation and for that previous summer worked as a counselor at the Interlochen Fine Arts Camp. But Weaver transferred to Illinois Wesleyan University, and then to the University of Michigan the second semester of her sophomore year. At U-Michigan, music professor Ed Sarath brought in Walter Thompson as a guest artist with the Creative Arts Orchestra and Weaver discovered his Soundpainting concept, incorporating conducting, improvisation, and spontaneous composition. At that time the members of the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians, Anthony Braxton, and Sun Ra, among others, were also compositionally influencing her. At Michigan she collaborated with Sarath, Steve Rush, H. Robert Reynolds, James Tapia, and Ellen Rowe.
Upon graduation and a move to New York City, Weaver founded and is artistic director of the contemporary performance group Weave, as well as an associate conductor of the Walter Thompson Orchestra. Weaver still plays trombone, as well as didgeridoo and conch shells, and has performed at many venues and festivals in metropolitan New York. Another project includes research and performance of Telematic Music, co-located video and audio performances via the Internet through the Skype technology. In this area she has worked with Pauline Oliveros, Jonas Braasch at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in upstate New York, Chris Chafe at Stanford University, Mark Dresser at the University of California-San Diego, and musicians worldwide in the virtual reality environment Second Life. Performances with other major contemporary music figures include Marilyn Crispell, Karl Berger, David Liebman, Stuart Dempster, James Ilgenfritz, and Piotr Michalowski. She is the executive director of the International Society for Improvised Music, and an apprentice of Deep Listening -- the sound practice of Pauline Oliveros.