Samantha Baldwin, conductor of the Schoharie Valley Concert Band (SVCB), began playing in the band’s flute section in 2002. She has experience working with bands at all levels, from beginner through collegiate.
Samantha is proud to have grown up in Schoharie County, where she was blessed to receive an outstanding music education from talented, dedicated music teachers and unending love and support from her mom and dad. Her former band directors from Cobleskill- Richmondville Central School (C-RCS) are members of the SVCB: Susan Ginsburg (elementary), John Boyer (middle school), and Brian Swanhall (high school).
Samantha began taking piano lessons at age 7 from the late Doris Blake and started learning flute in school at C-RCS at age 9 from Susan Ginsburg. At age 12, Samantha began studying flute privately with Jerry Law, a former band director at Schoharie Central School District. At the time she was given special permission from SVCB director Marty Zavadil to join the band. It was this experience of performing with and learning from musicians of all ages, backgrounds, and professions who had kept music an important part of their lives that first inspired Samantha at a very young age to make a career of sharing her passion for music with others.
As a student, Samantha won the SVCB-sponsored Donald Webster Solo Competition in all three age categories and performed as a featured flute soloist with the SVCB as a senior in 2008. Under the guidance of Brian Swanhall, Samantha was the first-ever instrumentalist from C-RCS to be selected for the New York State School Music Association (NYSSMA) All-State Symphonic Band and Symphony Orchestra.
Samantha graduated Summa Cum Laude from Syracuse University (SU) with a Bachelor of Music in Music Education and a Flute Performance Honors Certificate. As an undergraduate student, Samantha won the position of Drum Major of the Syracuse University Marching Band. She remained at SU for another two years to complete two master’s degrees while employed as a graduate teaching assistant for Syracuse University Bands: Master of Music in Music Education, and Master of Music in Instrumental Conducting.
Immediately after attending SU, Samantha taught 4th and 5th grade band at Central Valley Elementary in the Monroe-Woodbury CSD for three years. During this time, she also maintained a private lesson studio of 12 students, performed with the New York Wind Symphony on flute, and served as the conductor of the Hudson Valley Honors 6th Grade Band.
Samantha is in her tenth year as a public-school band director in New York State. She currently teaches at Shaker High School in the North Colonie CSD in Latham, NY, where she directs the 9-10 Symphonic Band, 11-12 Symphonic Band, Marching Band, and Pep Band. She also serves as music director and pit orchestra conductor for Shaker’s annual spring musical.
Samantha is a New York State School Music Association (NYSSMA) Solo & Ensemble Festival Adjudicator. She resides in Colonie, NY and is an active member of her parish at St. Pius X in Loudonville, serving as a member of the Pastoral Council as well as a cantor at Sunday Masses.