We're Andrew and Samara. Welcome to our little slice of the internet, a dedicated space for just a few of our musical offerings – private lessons, wedding music, choral singing, and more.
We're known for a few things, like loving the outdoors, being card-sharks, eating more than our fair-share of pizza, and being really tall.
At the top of our shared interests list is music – we feel incredibly lucky to be able to work as full-time musicians and to have daily opportunities to share our passion for this art with others.
We met at UBC as grad students in the choral conducting masters program. We quickly figured out that spending 40+ hours a week together in rehearsals and classes didn't make us sick of each other. Quite the opposite, in fact! It was a sign of good things to come – we really enjoy working together.
Over the last three years, we've built Crescent Choirs, an organization of choral ensembles (or our choir empire as some of our friends call it), serving singers across the Greater Vancouver area. We're passionate about sharing the many joys of choral singing and the powerful community that can be created through making music with others. The 150-ish singers that we see each week are like our second family.
Last July, we got married in the very same room where we met – in the recital hall at UBC. One of our best friend's married us and our singers, friends, and family all sang together in our wedding choir. It was a special day and a full-circle moment.
We have been singing or playing for as long as we can remember. Our musical paths have been different: Andrew started playing piano at the mature age of two and has dabbled with nearly every instrument under the sun. Samara is a tried-and-true choir-kid for life. What our different musical beginnings have in common is this: inspiring teachers. We credit it all to the amazing people who have helped us to experience the beauty, the joy, and the importance of this art.
Now, as teachers ourselves, we work to inspire in our students a true love for making music.
Andrew teaches piano, voice, and guitar. He is also the technology guru, finances guy, and designated spreadsheet maker for all of our creative endeavours. As a musician, Andrew has had the opportunity to sing with, play with, and direct some of Vancouver's top choral organizations, including Phoenix Chamber Choir and musica intima.
His private students love his endless supply of patience and his dry sense of humour. When Andrew isn't teaching lessons, you may find him playing chess, dreaming about maple donuts, teaching himself German, or in a choir rehearsal.
Samara teaches voice and music theory. She also does the marketing, communications, web design, and administrative work for our choirs and private studio. In addition to directing Crescent Choirs, Samara has had the pleasure of working with UBC Choirs and EnChor Choir.
Her private students love her bubbly demeanour and the comfortable learning environment that she creates. When Samara isn't teaching lessons, you'll likely find her running at the beach, cooking her way through one of Melissa Clark's books, watching Friends reruns, or in a choir rehearsal.
Our Home Studio
For us, home has always been where the music is.
Before the Covid-19 outbreak, our students would visit our home weekly to study singing, piano, and guitar. They vary in age, skill-level, and goals: adults who have always wanted to learn a new instrument, teens with Broadway dreams, kids at the very start of their musical journeys, choristers looking for extra focus on vocal technique, beginners who want to explore music in a supportive setting, and classical pianists wanting to dive into the jazz world.
In the wake of this new socially distant lifestyle, we've remained committed to keeping the music going. We moved our musical home online and successfully transitioned all of our lessons to take place through Zoom. Starting in September 2020, we are planning to offer our students the option of either in person or online private lessons.
Samara has been giving my daughter voice lessons for 4 years and has helped my daughter become more confident as well as improve her voice. I have known Samara since she was a young singer in youth choir. Samara has grown into an exceptional teacher with so much patience and skill, as well as an outstanding choir conductor. Andrew and Samara are an amazing duo.
– KATRINA FORMOSA, PARENT