Samuel is a dedicated music educator and performer with a strong academic background and a wealth of experience in both choral music and organ performance. He is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Music Education at the University of Maryland – College Park. Samuel holds a Master of Music in Music Education degree from Colorado State University, specializing in music education research under the guidance of Dr. Erik Johnson. His master’s thesis, a quantitative study on Colorado Secondary Ensemble Teachers’ Perceptions of the Integration of Students with Disabilities, showcases his commitment to inclusive education.
Prior to his master’s degree, Samuel earned his Bachelor of Music Education degree from the University of Wisconsin-Superior, where he excelled as a student conductor, section leader, and president of the UW-Superior ACDA chapter. During this time, he also studied organ under the tutelage of Dr. Norma Stevlingson, showcasing his versatility as a musician.
Samuel’s passion for music extends beyond academics. Most recently, he served as the Director of Music and Organist at First United Presbyterian Church in Loveland, Colorado, where he significantly enhanced the music program, increasing the activity of their music ministry by recruiting new choir members and musicians both within and outside the congregation. In 2018, he also co-founded the Superior Lutheran Choir with his wife, Elizabeth, demonstrating his leadership and entrepreneurial skills in the musical realm.
As a performer, Samuel has an extensive background, having been the Director of Music and Organist for various church congregations in Northern Minnesota and Wisconsin. He was an active recitalist for the Arrowhead Chapter of the American Guild of Organists and a tenor for the Twin Ports Choral Project, a professional choir in Duluth Minnesota, where he portrayed Matthew Shepard in the Midwest premiere of Considering Matthew Shepard by Craig Hella Johnson.
In addition to his musical achievements, Samuel has a rich teaching experience. He currently serves as a Graduate Teaching Assistant for Music Education at the University of Maryland, and previously served in the same capacity at Colorado State University, assisting in various music education courses and contributing to research projects. He also worked as the Director of Choirs at Duluth Edison Charter Schools in Minnesota, where he grew their choral program through the pandemic, providing daily instruction to 5th-8th grade choral and general music students and leading an advanced choral ensemble.
Samuel’s dedication to music education and his outstanding contributions to the musical community have been recognized through various honors and awards. He received the Golden Feather Award from Duluth Edison Charter Schools, recognizing him as a Teacher of the Year in 2021. Additionally, he has been an active member of professional organizations such as the National Association for Music Education, the American Guild of Organists, and the American Choral Directors Association, where he served as the president of the UW-Superior chapter.
With his diverse skill set, extensive teaching experience, and passion for inclusive music education, Samuel continues to make a significant impact on the musical landscape, both as an educator and a performer