Samara Rice is a contemporary classical music composer and educator based in Southern California. Textural elements, unusual instrumentation, extended performance techniques, and imagery inspiration combine themselves to form her compositional sound.
Samara’s first attempts at composing music began when she was just seven years old. These pieces were written with crayons, on scratch paper, in her own unique notation system. Although Samara’s knowledge of music theory and notation has vastly increased, her childlike fascination with music and composition remains.
Samara is currently pursuing a Master of Music degree from the Bob Cole Conservatory of Music at California State University, Long Beach. She graduated cum laude from the University of California, San Diego with a bachelor’s degree in music composition, and was selected to participate in the prestigious honors program, which culminated in a solo honors recital. She was awarded The Steward Prize for an outstanding creative work.
Samara studied music composition at UCSD with Dr. Lei Liang, Dr. Chinary Ung, Rand Steiger, and Dr. Philippe Manoury. She studied music composition, music theory, piano performance and pedagogy at Saddleback College in Mission Viejo, CA under the tutelage of Dr. Norman Weston, Pamela Worcester and the late Dr. Rebecca Rollins.
At UCSD, Samara also had the opportunity to broaden her musical knowledge with courses complementary to composition. She studied recording, mixing, and mastering techniques in a state-of-the-art studio with Tom Erbe (SoundHack), completed a yearlong series of courses in jazz theory and improvisation with Kamau Kenyatta, took private violin lessons with Batya MacAdam-Somer, and even spent a quarter studying conducting with Dr. Chinary Ung.
Samara has sung and performed in numerous choirs throughout Southern California, including The Southern California Children’s Choir, Saddleback College’s Women’s Camerata and Modern Masterworks Choral, UCSD’s Concert Choir and Gospel Choir, and The La Jolla Symphony Chorus.
Samara currently runs a private music studio where she teaches piano, violin, voice, and composition lessons. In addition, she is a certified Music Together instructor for music and movement courses so she can introduce infants and toddlers to the joys of music.
Samara has participated in various music festivals including UCSD’s Toy Piano Festival organized and hosted by Scott Paulson, UCSD’s undergraduate arts festival ADDO, and The Grand Teton Music Festival.
She enjoys sharing her love of music through composing, teaching, and performing.
Swamp Donkey the Moosical is a co-creation with Los Angeles based musician Alex Segal. Samara is the voice of the lead character and is writing the musical score.
Samara is a member of The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP), The Music Teachers’ National Association (MTNA), The Music Teachers’ Association of California (MTAC), The California Association of Professional Music Teachers (CAPMT), and California State University, Long Beach Composers’ Guild.