His knowledge of music and its practitioners is wide and deep, his skills multitude and his talent prodigious.
A home concert in which he will sing the best of the Great American Songbook and play jazz piano classics backed by a 13-piece orchestra will prove that.
His concert at the Spa Grand Hall in August will be Sam’s first time on a Scarborough stage in nine years. His last performance in his home town was at Scarborough Library Concert Room to raise money to help fund his degree.
Sam studied for six years – four as an undergraduate and two doing his master’s – at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance in Greenwich, where he still lives. He majored in classical singing and was awarded the top prize the college can give – the Trinity College of Music Silver Medal for Voice.
The roots of Sam’s skills lie in Scarborough. He was always encouraged by mum Debbie and dad Nigel. He was nurtured by St Augustine’s School and its head of arts Oliver Barron, the YMCA, Twilight, Rowlies dance academy and St Martin’s Church which he attended and where he fell in love with sacred music.
From the age of seven, Sam had singing lessons with Scarborough Choral Society’s Evelyn Halford.
Now 27, Sam was born on New Year’s Eve.
What was remarkable was from the age of one Sam was conducting in time. He also learned the piano by ear and has never had a formal lesson – though the science teacher at St Augustine’s who was also a concert pianist would drag the school upright into his lab and give Sam a masterclass.
The St Augustine concerts were staged at the Spa, Westborough Methodist Church and the now demolished Futurist. He also performed at the also demolished Corner.
From the age of 13 for three years, Sam conducted the orchestra for the summer shows at the YMCA, he sang the lead role in Joseph and his Technicolor Dreamcoat in the Sun Court, played the lead in the Wiz for St Augustine’s and also conducted,
“My musical influence came from everywhere, there was so much stimulus around me.”
Among his heroes are jazz pianists Oscar Peterson and Art Tatum and singers Mel Torme and Tony Bennett – whom he asked for advice during a live video event. He also saw Bennet live at the Royal Albert Hall.
The overriding thing all the musicians and composers Sam talks about have in common is quality – and he takes this into all elements of his life. He wears clothes tailored by Scarborough-based John Moore and his shoes are made by Crockett & Jones – who craft footwear worn by James Bond.
All of Sam’s qualities are brought together for the Great American Songbook at Scarborough Spa on Thursday August 4 at 7.30pm.
The concert will fuse elements of both jazz and classical music. It will honour the Broadway stage, Hollywood screen and Harlem jazz clubs, featuring songs such as Night and Day, Cheek to Cheek and Strike Up the Band. Sam will also play Gershwin’s masterpiece Rhapsody in Blue.
Tickets for the Spa concert can be booked in person, calling 01723 376774 and online: https://www.scarboroughspa.co.uk/