Sam Stapleton

Visiting Assistant Professor of Music

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More about Sam Stapleton

B.M. University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, 2003
M.F.A., University of Iowa, 2009; M.A., University of Iowa, 2009
D.M.A., University of Iowa, EXPECTED 2020

Conductor and violinist Sam Stapleton is the new director of orchestras and visiting assistant professor of music at Wartburg College. Sam conducts both the Wartburg Community Symphony and the Kammerstreicher chamber string orchestra, in addition to teaching violin, viola, string methods, and music theory at Wartburg.

Stapleton recently conducted well received performances of Menotti’s charming Christmas opera Amahl and the Night Visitors – the first, in an exciting collaboration with the Wartburg Symphony, a cast of faculty-artists, professional singers, and life sized puppets; the second, a fully staged performance with an outstanding student cast.

Stapleton has previously served as assistant opera conductor to both Dr. LaRue Jones with the University of Iowa Opera Theatre (Mozart’s Cosi fan tutte, Menotti’s The Medium, Gilbert and Sullivan’s Pirates of Penzance) and Dr. Daniel Kleinknecht and the Cedar Rapids Opera Theatre (Rossini’s Il barbiere di Siviglia, and Verdi’s La Traviata).

A native of Iowa City, Stapleton earned a Bachelor of Music degree in violin performance from the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill in 2003. In 2009 he completed two master’s degrees, one in orchestral conducting and one in violin performance, at the University of Iowa.

Sam then spent six years in Boston and Cambridge, Massachusetts. He helped create the Boston New Music Initiative and served as music director for the group’s first two seasons. During this tenure he oversaw the performance of works by more than 50 living composers. Stapleton also served as principal second violin and associate director of the Boston String Players, playing and conducting in concerts in venues ranging from night clubs, to concert halls, to multiple appearances at the Museum of Fine Arts.

In 2011 Sam founded the Cambridge Philharmonic Orchestra and served as president and music director for four years. For his final concert, Stapleton was proud to present a program featuring all recent works by living women composers at Harvard University.

Stapleton returned to the University of Iowa to pursue a Doctor of Musical Arts degree, which he expects to complete in 2020. He has also studied at the Conservatorio Luigi Cherubini in Florence, Italy, and participated in the Aspen Music Festival, Music in the Mountains Chamber Music Program in Killington, Vermont, the Pierre Monteux School for Conductors, and the Conductor’s Forum at the New England Conservatory.

Prior to his arrival at Wartburg, Stapleton spent two seasons as the Director of Orchestral Activities at Central College in Pella, Iowa.