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.