Sandy’s oldest brother Pat was one of her greatest musical mentors. She spent hours in Pat’s room listening to Queen with the volume on 10 singing at the top of her lungs while she learned how to play drums on a set that he had.
Sandy began playing country and western music professionally at Johnny D’s in Somerville, MA at age fifteen. At eighteen she was featured in a number of country bands in New England and performed in Salisbury, ME and Newburyport, MA on a regular basis. She also had a weekly gig as a soloist at a club in Cambridge, MA called “The Original” where her father hung out (never doubt the comfort of a dependable audience!). Sandy joined a pop/rock band called the Chasers who became a successful local MA cover band. She switch off played drums for a few songs while the drummer came out to sing. Good times…
Sandy co-founded her next band “Sandy Starr” with her soon to be husband John DeChristopher (recently retired worldwide artist relations manager for Zildjian cymbals). The band had great success as one of the better Top 40 cover bands in the New England area and then they played fulltime all over the US for a few years. That was an experience that Sandy thinks that every musician needs to feel what it means to be a true musician (hungry!).
Sandy moved to LA in the mid-eighties and landed a job at a Amigo Studios in North Hollywood (before Warner Brothers bought them). Working there allowed her to meet and hang out with some of the most incredible artists of the time. Most of these artists were those she had idolized and been inspired by up to that point in her life (Don Henley, John Denver, Alice Cooper, to name a few).
While doing backup vocals (including some for Metallica) she met an amazing musician by the name of John Manikoff. They started singing and writing together and co-wrote a deeply sentimental song about Sandy’s sister Susie which she plays to this day when performing solo.
Back To Boston
When Sandy moved back to Boston she was re-acquainted with a friend of her father invested in her career. She recorded the song co-written with John Manikoff along with a song for the producer on her B side. A record company did have interest, but it never gained enough velocity to breakout.
Sandy put music completely on hold for a while as her family grew. After things stabilized she joined a band called Synergy and really enjoyed being back on stage again. The band was good, but it was a huge struggle to balance parenting, working and a music so once again she stepped away from the stage to the hardest job on earth, being a mother.
In time, she joined a funk/dance band called FM. It was a fantastic experience, but the genre was different than anything she had done before and didn’t feel right. She spent some time in a dance band called Cheers which featured her and another talented woman named Diana up front. They played to sequences of top 40 tunes which was great fun, but the stress of playing clubs, working full time and an expanding family put things on hold again.
Sandy finally found the work, family, performance balance with a band called “DoubleVision”. DoubleVision was the premier Boston wedding band. The material was vocally challenging so she knew it was perfect for her immediately. That chapter ended after more than a decade, but all the members became close friends and continually stay in touch.
Sandy rejoined some of her Cheers band mates a couple of years ago and they got back into the sequencing thing and the formation of great Top 40 dance band named “The Synergy Band” or Synergy for short. That band has seen several changes over the last couple of years since Sandy moved to CA in 2014, but when they get Sandy up on the stage the joint starts rockin like it was yesterday.
Sandy brought her talent and experience to the studio to work with Jeff Williams and their daughter Casey Lee Williams on the recording and writting of songs for the soundtracks of Red vs. Blue and the critically aclaimed RWBY animated series from Rooster Teeth. In the summer of 2012 Sandy, her daugher Casey Lee (vocals), her son John DeChistopher, Jr. (drums) and Jeff Williams went out to RTX 2012 in Austin, TX to perform their work live with he rest of the very talented band for thousands of enthusiastic Red vs. Blue fans.
What’s Going On?
When Sandy isn’t busy with her trade show business, singing and playing or enjoying the beautiful weather she’s having fun in her studio working on various projects.