Orff Specialist Roger Sams Presenting As 2015 Gretchen French Artist

Orff Specialist Roger Sams Presenting As 2015 Gretchen French Artist

4/7/15 ASHLAND, Ohio – Orff specialist Roger Sams has been selected for the 2015 Gretchen French Visiting Artist Series in Music at Ashland University.  Sams will visit Ashland University on April 12 to 14 to present four workshops each focusing on a different music classroom setting. All of the workshops are free and open to the public and will be held in Room 242 in the Center for the Arts (formerly known as the Arts & Humanities Building).

The first workshop, titled “The Artful Music Classroom,” is scheduled on Sunday, April 12, at 6:30 p.m. and will focus on primary grades. On Monday, April 13, at 10 a.m., he will present a workshop on using improvisation in elementary general music; and at 3:30 p.m. he will return to "The Artful Music Classroom" but focus on middle and upper elementary grades. His visit will conclude with a composition in elementary general music workshop at 9 a.m. on Tuesday, April 14

Sams retired from the music classroom in 2013 after 31 years of teaching music in public and private schools. He has served as adjunct faculty member teaching methods courses and supervising student teachers at Cleveland State University. He also has been on the faculty in teacher education programs at the University of St. Thomas, Cleveland State University, Akron University, the University of Montana, University of Missouri-St. Louis and other venues throughout the U.S.

Sams is a regular presenter at state, regional and national conferences, has served on the American Orff-Schulwerk Association (AOSA) National Board of Trustees, and has worked with teachers in Canada, China, Indonesia and India. He currently serves as director of Publications and Music Education consultant at Music is Elementary (www.MusicIsElementary.com). He is the co-author of “Purposeful Pathways:  Possibilities for the Elementary Music Classroom” with Beth Ann Hepburn. He has published works for children’s choirs in the “Crooked River Choral Project” series and a collection of rounds and partner songs titled, “A Round My Heart.” 

Trained in Gestalt therapy, Sams is interested in the power of choice in the artistic process, teaching and life. He holds a Bachelor of Music from Bowling Green State University and a Master of Arts in Music Education from Case Western Reserve University.

The Gretchen French Endowed Visiting Artist Series at Ashland University was established through a bequest from the estate of Gretchen French.  Although French never attended Ashland University, it was through close friends and alums, Phillip (‘53) and Jean (‘55) Lersch, that she decided Ashland was well suited to demonstrate in perpetuity her values and hopes for young people. Her entire life was dedicated to people, placing others’ needs before hers by unselfishly serving them, in particular her family and many, many young musicians. This is a fitting tribute to her and will be a continual reminder of her love not only of music but most importantly people.

The goal of the series is to provide Ashland University students close contact and mentoring with an outstanding visiting musician/music teacher. The particular field of expertise for the series will vary from year to year. It is a goal of the series to find visiting artists who have the widest possible expertise and appeal to students in various areas of music study.

For more information about the Gretchen French Visiting Artist Series and the music department, visit the Web site at www.ashland.edu/music or contact Tricia Applegate, coordinator of performing arts publicity and events, at 419-289-5950 or tapplega@ashland.edu.

Ashland University is a mid-sized, private university conveniently located a short distance from Akron, Cleveland and Columbus, Ohio. Ashland University (www.ashland.edu) values the individual student and offers a unique educational experience that combines the challenge of strong, applied academic programs with a faculty and staff who build nurturing relationships with their students. ###

Upcoming Events


Women's Lacrosse


Women & Men's Basketball at Home

PR Office Contact

Steve Hannan
Director of Public Relations
office: 419 289 5007
mobile: 419 651 1326