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This profile was last updated on 5/26/13  and contains information from public web pages.

Mrs. Laura J. Sam

Wrong Laura J. Sam?

Choral Director

Local Address: Burlington, North Carolina, United States
Williams High School
 
Background

Employment History

  • Choral Music and Musical Theater Teacher
    Williams High School
  • Choral Teacher, Students
    North Carolina Music Educators Association
  • Teacher
    Williams High
  • Musical Theater Director
    Williams High
  • Musical-Theater Director
    Williams High

Board Memberships and Affiliations

Education

  • Bachelor of Music degree
    The University of North Carolina at Greensboro
15 Total References
Web References
Laura ...
www.thetimesnews.com, 26 May 2013 [cached]
Laura Sam
Laura Sam, who has been the choral director at Williams High School for the past 30 years, directs her final show at the school Thursday, May 16.
...
Laura Sam Laura Sam retires Laura Sam
For almost three decades, Laura Sam has been a huge part of Williams High - both in the music department and in other areas of the school.
...
Things are changing at the end of the current school year when Sam retires. She's been at Williams for 29 years, the greatest portion of which she's served as choral and music director.
"I have been blessed to have been part of the beautiful traditions at Williams High School," Sam said. "It's not just a school, it's also a community."
Sam will be just 51 when she retires and has lots planned for the years ahead. For several summers she's taught choral music for Governor's School East, part of the N.C. Governor's School at Meredith College. It's a job she'll continue.
Parts of the rest of the year, Sam will be escorting choral groups to Europe and sites across the United States as a chaperone with the Vermont-based Music Contact International.
Sam also plans to spend more time with her husband, Andrew, a nurse at UNC Hospitals in Chapel Hill.
"If I somehow had a role in helping young people develop their potential to become complete human beings, then that's what I'm proudest of," Sam said.
She'd just graduated from UNC-Greensboro when she was hired to teach at Williams. She's a native of Fayetteville, as is her husband, where they were junior high school sweethearts. Andrew was finishing a nursing degree when Laura graduated college, so one of her prerequisites for selecting a teaching locale was that it had to be a site with a nearby college with a nursing program.
Burlington, with Alamance Community College and its nursing program, fit the bill perfectly.
Sam's teaching has kept her busy, though she found time to earn National Board Certification in 2002, an achievement garnered by only 20 percent of public school teachers.
Sam never kept track of how many students she taught at Williams though she said the number must total well into the thousands. She teaches an average of a couple of hundred students a year.
Sam describes her role at Williams as part of a circle that makes the school and its students a success. The other components of that circle, she said, include students, parents and her fellow faculty members.
"It takes all of us to make it work," Sam said.
One of those thousands of students Sam taught is Stuart Hill, now the choral teacher at Northern Guilford Middle School.
...
"To this day, the way I approach teaching, more of what I do comes from Laura than anyone," Hill said.
...
Allen's teaching mentor is Sam.
...
Sam has over the years directed 29 musicals and 29 homecoming shows. She's had students graduate and pursue careers as professional musicians.
...
Sam said when a reunion of the school's choral alumni was held in March, she found herself somewhat pleasantly surprised by the number of students who responded they wouldn't be able to attend because they were busy preparing for shows or singing performances of their own.
"We have so many people doing their own things," Sam said.
Which she said makes her happy, though she said she's just as pleased when she runs into a former student whose only foray into music was a brief stint in high school before they went on to find a career and happiness in another calling.
"Just knowing they turned out to be good people and I had a role in that, I'm proud," Sam said.
...
For almost three decades, Laura Sam has been a huge part of Williams High - both in the music department and in other areas of the school.
...
Things are changing at the end of the current school year when Sam retires. She's been at Williams for 29 years, the greatest portion of which she's served as choral and music director.
"I have been blessed to have been part of the beautiful traditions at Williams High School," Sam said. "It's not just a school, it's also a community."
Sam will be just 51 when she retires and has lots planned for the years ahead. For several summers she's taught choral music for Governor's School East, part of the N.C. Governor's School at Meredith College. It's a job she'll continue.
Parts of the rest of the year, Sam will be escorting choral groups to Europe and sites across the United States as a chaperone with the Vermont-based Music Contact International.
Sam also plans to spend more time with her husband, Andrew, a nurse at UNC Hospitals in Chapel Hill.
"If I somehow had a role in helping young people develop their potential to become complete human beings, then that's what I'm proudest of," Sam said.
She'd just graduated from UNC-Greensboro when she was hired to teach at Williams. She's a native of Fayetteville, as is her husband, where they were junior high school sweethearts. Andrew was finishing a nursing degree when Laura graduated college, so one of her prerequisites for selecting a teaching locale was that it had to be a site with a nearby college with a nursing program.
Burlington, with Alamance Community College and its nursing program, fit the bill perfectly.
Sam's teaching has kept her busy, though she found time to earn National Board Certification in 2002, an achievement garnered by only 20 percent of public school teachers.
Sam never kept track of how many students she taught at Williams though she said the number must total well into the thousands. She teaches an average of a couple of hundred students a year.
Sam describes her role at Williams as part of a circle that makes the school and its students a success. The other components of that circle, she said, include students, parents and her fellow faculty members.
"It takes all of us to make it work," Sam said.
One of those thousands of students Sam taught is Stuart Hill, now the choral teacher at Northern Guilford Middle School.
...
"To this day, the way I approach teaching, more of what I do comes from Laura than anyone," Hill said.
...
Allen's teaching mentor is Sam.
...
Sam has over the years directed 29 musicals and 29 homecoming shows. She's had students graduate and pursue careers as professional musicians.
...
Sam said when a reunion of the school's choral alumni was held in March, she found herself somewhat pleasantly surprised by the number of students who responded they wouldn't be able to attend because they were busy preparing for shows or singing performances of their own.
"We have so many people doing their own things," Sam said.
Which she said makes her happy, though she said she's just as pleased when she runs into a former student whose only foray into music was a brief stint in high school before they went on to find a career and happiness in another calling.
"Just knowing they turned out to be good people and I had a role in that, I'm proud," Sam said.
The North Carolina Summer Instit
www.ncsica.com, 13 Mar 2009 [cached]
Laura Sam of Williams High School is course administrator assisted by Nationally Certified Teachers, Hayes School of Music Faculty, outstanding North Carolina Teachers who have completed certification.
...
Mrs. Laura Sam
Guided Discussion Groups, Panel Discussion with Certified teachers, Mock testing
Laura Sam teaches Choral Music and Musical Theater at Williams High School in Burlington, North Carolina. After earning a Bachelor of Music degree from The University of North Carolina at Greensboro in 1984, she accepted the position at Williams High School. Under the direction of Laura Sam, the Williams High School Chorus has participated in numerous International Choral Festivals and has toured extensively in Austria and Italy. Laura is an active member of NCMEA, MENC, and ACDA. She earned her National Board Certification in Music (Early Adolescence through Young Adulthood) in 2002 and has coached many NC teachers through the certification process.
Williams High School choral ...
www.thetimesnews.com, 26 Nov 2007 [cached]
Williams High School choral teacher Laura Sam prepares students Tuesday for an upcoming concert. Sam was named Teacher of the Year by the Choral Section of the N.C. Music Educators Association.
...
Williams High School choral teacher Laura Sam prepares students Tuesday for an upcoming concert.Sam was named Teacher of the Year by the Choral Section of the N.C. Music Educators Association. > > > >There's a simple logic to why Laura Sam has kept the same job for almost 25 years.
"I love music," Sam said."I love teaching music, and I love young people.And the combination of those makes my job perfect."
Sam is in her 24th year as choral and musical theater director at Williams High School in Burlington.
On Nov. 11, Sam found out she was chosen Teacher of the Year by the Choral Section of the N.C. Music Educators Association.She was chosen for the recognition by other high school chorus directors.
...
Sam doesn't expect perfection, but she does ask for energy, enthusiasm and attention from her students.
As accompanist Margaret Ann Fambrough played the opening notes of the first selection for the concert, Sam noticed not everyone was focused and ready to sing.
...
"You started out committed and then I think you started getting a little apologetic," Sam said after they finished.
"Bravo," she said after another attempt."That is the way."
Sometimes, Sam simply tells students to lighten up a little.
"You all are allowed to take yourselves seriously on ‘Coventry Carol,'" she said as they rehearsed a selection called "Jingle Bell Fantasy."
"But not on this one."
AT THE ADVANCED level, Sam said, her students are excited about learning and don't need a lot of prodding to make a good effort.
That's not necessarily the case with beginning students.The finished product doesn't happen overnight, and it doesn't happen accidentally.
"I have to foster that in them and encourage them and nurture that," she said.Sam said it helps when students begin to realize their responsibility to the group as they work on pieces of music together.
Anna Marshall, a Williams junior in the advanced mixed chorus class, said Sam takes care of her students like they're her kids.
...
But it's one example of how Sam has made some changes during her time at Williams.
One advantage is that the review format allows many more students to share the spotlight.
"Every three or four minutes you have a new lead and a new soloist," she said.
The homecoming show is another example of how Sam works with her students.They write a script, and that's combined with popular songs to put the show together.The process gives them a chance to be creative and take responsibility.
"I encourage as much student leadership in that program as possible," Sam said.
Sam has taken her students to Europe several times.They traveled to the Advent Sing Festival in Vienna, Austria in 2002 and 2005 and to the International Choir Days Competition in Verona, Italy, in 2001, 2004 and 2007.They won a silver cup in the Verona competition in 2001 and gold cups in 2004 and 2007.
Sam and her husband, Andrew Sam, live in southern Alamance County.
NCSICA Summer Choral Camp Services Page
www.ncsica.com, 29 Aug 2008 [cached]
Laura Sam of Williams High School is course administrator assisted by Nationally Certified Teachers, Hayes School of Music Faculty, outstanding North Carolina Teachers who have completed certification.
...
Mrs. Laura Sam
Guided Discussion Groups, Panel Discussion with Certified teachers, Mock testing
Laura Sam teaches Choral Music and Musical Theater at Williams High School in Burlington, North Carolina.After earning a Bachelor of Music degree from The University of North Carolina at Greensboro in 1984, she accepted the position at Williams High School.Under the direction of Laura Sam, the Williams High School Chorus has participated in numerous International Choral Festivals and has toured extensively in Austria and Italy.Laura is an active member of NCMEA, MENC, and ACDA.She earned her National Board Certification in Music (Early Adolescence through Young Adulthood) in 2002 and has coached many NC teachers through the certification process.
Second row from left: Mike Beamon ...
www.thetimesnews.com, 24 May 2012 [cached]
Second row from left: Mike Beamon and Laura Sam.
...
Laura Sam, a choral and musical theater director at Williams High, met Beamon a year later and the two developed a strong bond. A former homecoming queen and active participant in musical productions, Beamon worked with Sam all the time to give back to the programs that had meant so much during her youth.
...
"She was a stage mother for years and years," Sam said.
...
"Ann Beamon had more school spirit than anybody I ever encountered," Sam said.
...
"She was a teacher's teacher," Sam said.
...
During her last days, Sam and Ann Beamon's lifelong friend Nancy Burgess became her day-to-day caregivers.
...
"Ann taught me and I know she taught many people around her how to be a better friend, how to be the best friend," Sam said.
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