A Diva in the Making


I have asked Dr. Maxine Montgomery-Crawford to share an article about her daughter, violinist Samantha Crawford. Dr. Montgomery-Crawford is a distinguished professor at Florida State University and author. It has been a pleasure to watch Samantha blossom as an artist. Enjoy reading about Samantha and listening to a future diva. Please leave encouraging comments on the website for Samantha. It will be good for her to have now and in the future. For a 14 year old to perform at such a high level requires a lot of dedication, sacrifice and discipline. Also, kudos to her parents, my wife Patrice, and the staff at Javacya Arts Conservatory for being there for Samantha……….The Editor


This has been an especially busy and productive year for fourteen year-old violinist Samantha Crawford, a ninth-grader at Tallahassee’s Lincoln High School. In January, Crawford, a student in Mrs. Patrice Minor-Floyd’s private studio, performed at the investiture ceremony for Judge Barbara Hobbs, who was recently elected to the Florida Second Circuit Court. Two months later, Crawford received an invitation to perform “America the Beautiful” at the Florida Civil Rights Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony with Governor Rick Scott presiding over the annual event.

Crawford has played the violin for nearly ten years, having begun studying with Mrs. Minor-Floyd while the youth was in kindergarten. Years ago, Crawford’s father, Nathaniel, a guitarist, attended lessons with the youngster and learned to play the violin so that he could help reinforce the lessons Mrs. Minor-Floyd conducted. Now, of course, Mr. Crawford no longer sits in on his daughter’s private lessons, and the young violinist has begun playing the flute and viola. Her current musical repertoire includes a range of classical selections by Bach, Beethoven, and Mozart as well as contemporary tunes by Michael Jackson and Kirk Franklin.

This summer, Crawford traveled to London, England where she studied the viola under the tutelage of Dr. Ian Jewel of the Royal Conservatory of Music. Jewel and Crawford focused on translating selections from violin to viola, and the two also began work on Mozart’s “Sonata in D Major,” which Crawford hopes to play on the viola soon.

Not only did the young violinist have an opportunity to study with one of the United Kingdom’s most renowned string professors, she also received a full scholarship to attend the Sphinx Performance Academy at Northwestern University, located in suburban Chicago. This summer marks the third year she has participated in the intensive, two-week string program, which involves private lessons, master classes, and ensemble work with members of the famed Catalyst Quartet, a professional string group. Members of the quartet are winners of the national Sphinx Music Competition. Crawford was one of only thirty-two students nation-wide chosen participate in the program, and, this year, Chicago Baroque violinist Rachel Barton Pines (“Violin Lullabies”) offered a master class focusing on the work of well-known and obscure composers. Crawford’s 2013 Sphinx Performance Academy experience culminated with a recital presentation of W. A. Mozart’s “Divertimento in D Major, ” which featured Crawford on first violin.

Comments 12

  1. Amani

    Proud of Samantha’s progress. Very admirable. She is a stand up, stand out musician and an ever better person.

  2. CKrystal

    Congratulations Samantha! My children and I enjoyed listening to your performance! You are a very gifted young lady and I wish you all the best in your future endeavors.

  3. Kathryn Cavanagh

    As my father was a violinist I really do appreciate the skill needed to play at this level. Samantha is amazing and I do wish her all the very best for her future. She has a great talent and,
    obviously, a great teacher…

  4. Valeria Nyaga

    We have been keeping an eye on this up and coming artist. We see that there are great things ahead for Samantha!

  5. Patti Irvine

    Samantha that was awesome!!! It has been a joy watching you grow up and I am delighted that you have accomplished so much in you young life. You are growing into a lovely young woman and I know your parents are beyond proud!!!! Christian Heritage is blessed to have you in our congregation as will be any other institution you associate yourself with!!!

  6. Renee jones

    Samantha is an amazing young person. She is an inspiration to all those who meet her. She remains humble and kind, and has extraordinary gifts. We live to hear her perform!

  7. Patrice Floyd

    Samantha is talented, disciplined, eager to learn, and a joy to teach. Her parents are remarkable supporters. The Sphinx Organization (http://sphinxmusic.org/) is one of the most prestigious arts organizations in the United States. She is one of their most serious summer students. Ian Jewel of the UK and The Purcell School also said that she is quite talented, as he too worked with her for a month this summer. Keep up the great work Samantha! The Javacya staff and I enjoy working with you. “And the Grammy for best classical album goes to: Samantha Crawford!” You are a testament to why children should begin their violin studies at age 4. Patrice Floyd, Violinist

  8. Jo Anne Arnett

    We are so proud of you, Samantha! I applaud your skill and the person I understand you are. Please also give my best to Patrice Floyd, whom I admire but have not see in years.
    Thank you, Emily Moore, for sending the email to this former music major. Jo Anne Arnett, Bassoonist and President, Center for Biblical Studies

  9. Nancy Whitty

    Samantha I am so impressed with your accomplishments at such a young age!May God’s continued favor be upon you as you live your dreams!

  10. Emily Moore

    Samantha,
    What a joy always to hear you. So proud of you. So grateful to God for your gift and dedication. Love you and the Family.
    Emily Moore Rich

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