SL Van Dam



Sandra Lee Van Dam began  her creative journey in New York State with dance and piano lessons at age 5, took up drums at age 9 and  continued to study piano, dance and percussion through her college years, graduating in 1976 from Shenandoah Conservatory of Music in Winchester, VA with a Bachelor of Music Performance Degree in percussion. Art was always in the background and a college class introduced her to the  wider world of art.


She moved to Colorado in 1978 and won  the position of Principal Percussionist with the Colorado Springs Symphony ( 1978-82) , also taking a few art classes at Pikes Peak Community College. She married  a handsome young saxophonist named Howard, had 2 sons, and was happy to be just ‘Mom’ for a while.


Being a creative soul, she returned to music after a few years. The family moved to Broomfield in 1993 and Sandra continued her music career, becoming the timpanist for the Littleton Symphony Orchestra in 1994 (through 2006) and expanding her drumming experiences into the rock/blues genre, with a brief foray into Irish drumming and 2 summers as 'The King's Drummer' at the Colorado Renaissance Festival. She has been a member of the Musica Sacra Chamber Orchestra ( now called Stratus Chamber Orchestra) since it began as a percussionist and timpanist, has played with the Evergreen Chamber Orchestra,  Jefferson Symphony and Lakewood Symphony, and has worked with the One World Singers, various church choirs in the Denver metro area, and has twice been timpanist for the American Guild of Organists convention in Denver.


One day in 1997 she decided to seriously explore painting.  She searched for instruction, and took classes at the Arvada Center  where she met Chuck Ceraso.   She studied at Chuck’s studio in Louisville, CO for several years, learning how to work with pastels and see color like the impressionist painters.  During this time she went to Ghost Ranch for a week long class through Chuck’s studio, and felt the magic of the place, as Georgia O’Keeffe had many years before.


Feeling  a need for more  information about art, Sandra attended classes at Front Range Community College.  During her time there she studied painting and drawing with Lydia Brokaw, Homare Ikeda and Polly Chang, working in acrylic and oils, and took part in many student shows at the FRCC Gallery.  She has exhibited at many locations in the Denver metro area including Boettcher Concert Hall and the Buell Theater, and is currently teaching art classes at the APEX Community Recreation Center  in Arvada, CO.

Sandra has work in the Kaiser Permanente Foundation collection in Colorado, and in private collections across the USA.  

She is currently a section percussionist/alternate timpanist with Stratus Chamber Orchestra in Denver, CO   
 Sandra still
in Broomfield, Colorado with that handsome clarinet/saxophone player/ software engineer.  The boys grew up, and she is now a proud grandma ( of a future drummer! )