Sandra Soderlund is primarily an organist although she also performs on harpsichord and both modern and early piano. She displayed a passion for music at an early age. She began formal piano study at age five and organ lessons at twelve. Her first major organ recital took place at the First Presbyterian Church of Oakland when she was sixteen. She went to Bethany College in Lindsborg, Kansas, and while there studied piano and music theory with Herbert Bielawa, a young professor from Chicago. They were married soon after her graduation and went to the University of Southern California for graduate study. Sandra earned her Master of Music degree in organ performance and Herb his Doctor of Musical Arts degree in composition.
The couple spent two years in Houston, Texas, where Herb was composer-in-residence for the Spring Branch School System and Sandra gave a series of eight recitals at the Rice University chapel. They then moved to the San Francisco Area where Herb became Professor of Music at San Francisco State University. They had two children, Bruce and Lisa, who are also musicians. Sandra returned to graduate study and earned a Doctor of Musical Arts Degree from Stanford University. Her dissertation, published by Hinshaw Music, Inc., as Organ Technique: An Historical Approach, was a standard text for many years.
Sandra Soderlund has taught at several colleges in the San Francisco Area and was a visiting professor at Stanford University and the University of Colorado. She is presently teaches harpsichord at at Mills College in Oakland. She has also served as organist and music director in churches.
Sandra Soderlund's concert career has led to performances all over the USA and in Holland, Germany, France, and Korea. She was the first American to play on the New Podium for Contemporary Music at the Haarlem Organ Festival in Holland. She has played many historic instruments and is known for her imaginative and eclectic programming. She plays harpsichord, clavichord, and both modern and early piano in addition to the organ. She has recorded for Arkay and Albany Records.
Sandra Soderlund has edited several scholarly editions of keyboard works and written guides to the pipe organ for children and adults. She has also written articles for The American Organist, Diapason, and Clavier. She serves on the editorial board for the Early Keyboard Journal. Her book How Did They Play? How Did They Teach? A History of Keyboard Technique was recently published by Hinshaw Music, Inc. She also published A Young Person's Guide to the Pipe Organ. Her workshops on various aspects of keyboard performance have been well received on college and university campuses as well as at meetings and conventions of the American Guild of Organists and the Music Teachers National Association.