Dr. Samuel Barbara is Director of Choral Activities and assistant professor of music at Westminster College in New Wilmington, Pennsylvania, where he conducts the Chamber, Concert and Men’s Choirs, and teaches choral methods, literature and conducting. He completed his doctorate in choral music at the University of Southern California, where he was senior teaching assistant in the Department of Choral and Sacred Music and assistant conductor of the renowned USC Thornton Chamber Singers. Before arriving in Southern California, Dr. Barbara served as Director of Choirs at Cleveland High School in Portland, Oregon where he was awarded the “Golden C” for excellence in teaching. Under his direction, the Cleveland “A” Choir won the 5A Oregon State Choir Championships three times. Samuel earned his Bachelor of Arts in Music and Master of Arts in Teaching degrees from the University of Portland. After completing his undergraduate work, Samuel was awarded a Fulbright Grant to teach English and study music in Weimar, Germany.
Samuel has sung professionally, both as a soloist and an ensemble member, and remains active as a vocal artist. Among other high-profile engagements, he has appeared on live television with Barry Manilow, sung backup with the Rolling Stones, and performed with the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra under the baton of Maestro Helmuth Rilling. Prior to his current appointment, Dr. Barbara served as the Interim Director of Choral Activities at the University of Tennessee at Martin. He has presented at the Tennessee Music Educators Association, lectured on Music in Terezín as a part of the UT Martin Academic Speakers Series, and was invited by the West Tennessee Vocal Music Educators Association to adjudicate their choral and solo and ensemble festivals. His research interests include solfège as a path to music literacy, Evangelical church composers active during the Third Reich, and the choral music of the contemporary German composer, Wolfram Buchenberg.