Sam Davies is a clarinetist and educator based in the mid-Michigan area. As he finishes his doctoral studies at Michigan State University with Dr. Guy Yehuda, he frequently performs with several Michigan orchestras, including the Lansing Symphony Orchestra, West Michigan Symphony, Michigan Philharmonic, Jackson Symphony Orchestra, and Holland Symphony Orchestra. Recently, he gave the world premiere performance of Black Montuno, a concertino for clarinet and wind ensemble by Ivetter Herryman-Rodriguez, with the MSU Symphony Band. He has been a member of the ConTempus Initiative since 2017. ConTempus is a mid-Michigan new music ensemble focusing on collaboration with composers and non-musical art mediums. He has collaborated with composers Kevin Puts, Andy Akiho, and Christopher Cerrone as a member of the new music ensemble Musique 21 while at MSU. He has performed in many concerts with the MSU Symphony Orchestra and Wind Symphony on tour in New York City, Chicago, Kansas City, and Indianapolis. HIs former teachers include Caroline Hartig, Theodore Oien, John Cipolla, and Daniel Lochrie.
A memorable highlight of his career was performing the original chamber version of Copland’s Appalachian Spring, from memory, led by MSU Symphony Orchestra Director Kevin Noe. The process of memorizing the piece heightened the teamwork experience of chamber music, leading to a series of high level performances that were truly a joy to take part in. Almost seven years later, Sam still has most of the piece memorized!
Sam plays on a set of Buffet R13 clarinets (in the keys of Bb and A). He purchased them when he was in high school, and they’ve been with him through thick and thin for 15 years. Although the clarinets are delicate and are made of wood, they’ve never cracked during the Michigan winters!
When he’s not performing or teaching, Sam enjoys exploring the cultural offerings of Michigan with his wife and two children. Some of his favorites include the Meijer Gardens in Grand Rapids, the Detroit Art Institute, Matthaei Botanical Gardens in Ann Arbor, and visiting Oval Beach in Saugatuck, Petoskey, and Charlevoix in the summer.
Some of Sam’s upcoming performances include an appearance with the Lansing Symphony Orchestra in January, playing bass clarinet in Gershwin’s An American in Paris, as well as upcoming chamber concerts with the ConTempus Initiative as part of their residency at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Greater Lansing.