Paul Sarcich was born in Wellington, New Zealand, and embarked on a scientific career before switching to music. He began as a percussionist in military bands before progressing to an orchestral and freelance career. He studied percussion in the USA with Karen Ervin, and the UK with Michael Skinner, James Blades, Michael Frye, and Nicholas Cole. His study in the UK was supported by awards from the Australia Council and the West Australian Arts Council.
He is largely self-taught as a composer, although he has studied with Leonard Salzedo in the UK. Most of his work has been commissioned, and much of it broadcast on radio and TV, as have been most of his arrangements, reflecting his experience of both commercial and symphonic music. A large number of arrangements of his have also been featured by ensembles and orchestras.
His music is noted for its rhythmic and dramatic flair, and his output particularly reflects his performance background in percussion, brass, and voice, together with his orchestrating ability. Most of his music is written at the behest of performers, often those who are seeking to add to the repertoire for their instrument or group.
He has taught music at all educational levels and in formats from the experiential to the formal, has been an Artist in Residence at many schools, and a foundation Teaching Artist for the Victorian Arts Centre's Winterarts program. He was from 1991-1999 a Lecturer in Composition, Percussion and Performance-Related Studies at the School of Music, Victorian College of the Arts, Melbourne.
Other areas of work have included vocal study and performance, conducting, adjudicating, concert direction, and music journalism. 1994 & 1995 were spent in the UK and Europe, where he was involved in music typography, harmonic chant, and flamenco.
In 1998 he won the Best Composition by an Australian Composer Award in the Sounds Australian Awards, awarded annually by the Australian Music Centre; for his work Matters Arising, for multisaxophone soloist and 3 quintets.
In 2000 he returned to London, where he currently teaches Musicianship, Percussion, and Conducting at Morley College; and works in publishing and CD production for Cala Records. Three of his works feature on Cala's The London Trumpet Sound, released in 2002.