May 5, 2016
On May 11, Samantha "Sammie" Schools took the stage of the Kimmel Center in Philadelphia for a concert designed to showcase her skills as one of the region's most talented oboe players. She joined a small group of students selected as 2016 Clifton Foundation Emerging Artists.
Schools is a dual major in music education and oboe performance who says her applied music professor (oboe), Henry Grabb, "pushes me to be great, but is understanding when I struggle and helps me along. He is incredibly caring and has done so much for me over these past four years."
She says Grabb has had an amazing influence on her, encouraging her, finding her the oboe she is currently playing, continuing her lessons even over the summer and during winter and spring breaks. "Lessons with him are fun but sometimes intense -- in a good way. … The University is so lucky to have him."
Schools is a member of Pi Kappa Lambda music honor society and Sigma Alpha Iota International Music Fraternity, which honored her with its leadership award, the Sword of Honor, for her service as president 2015-2016 and VP Membership 2014-2015.
She works at Westtown Children's Academy (a local daycare), and is percussion director at West Chester East High School. She also teaches private lessons through the WCU School of Music's Community Music Program, which Grabb directs.
She also won the WCU Wind Symphony Concerto Competition and gave a solo performance, accompanied by the WCU Wind Symphony in the spring concert. Watch her solo:
Now in its second year, the Emerging Artists Awards are an initiative of the Catherine R. and Anthony A. Clifton Foundation. Applicants are limited to students from the handful of schools the benefactors chose so that they could offer performance opportunities to students from schools that have established music programs, but offer limited public performance opportunities. Including West Chester, the eligible schools are Westminster Choir College of Rider University, High School for Creative and Performing Arts in South Philadelphia, Rowan University, Temple University, and the University of Pennsylvania. Winners are predominantly musicians, but other performing artists may be considered. Last year's West Chester University winner was percussionist/marimba player Matthew Earl Wycoff.