Samuel W. Tooley

1970 - 

Sam Tooley, a multi-talented performer of bassoon, low brass, and violin, teaches instrumental music at the middle school level, directing orchestra and band programs in the Tacoma, Washington, public school system, a position he has held since 2000. He previously taught in the Pasadena, California, Unified School District for two years, 1998-2000; at Clara E. Rogers Elementary School, now Rogers Adventist School, in College Place, Washington, 1994-1995; and at the Koror SDA Elementary School in the Republic of Palau, 1990-1992.

Sam is one of two children and the only son of Samuel R. and Janet E. Lindquist Tooley. His father taught several subjects, including music, and Sam and his sister, Heather (Richards), played in their fatherís groups, both learning to play a variety of instruments. While they were still in grade school, their father took them to play with him in the Skagit Valley Community Band as its two youngest members.  Interested in forming music groups at an early age, Sam put together a recorder ensemble with several of his fellow sixth graders. 

Over the years, he studied piano with his mother and Adrienne Muff and band instruments with Ed McGhee, John Milas, Dean Immel, Alan Mitchell, Brandon Beck, Carlyle Manous, Dan Shultz, and Alan Futterman. He studied violin with Louis Bergonzi and LeRoy Weber.

He attended Auburn Adventist Academy in Washington, where he was active in music and earned a commendation for his score on the National Merit Scholarship Program Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Tests (PSAT) in 1987.After graduating first in his class from AAA in 1988, he enrolled at Walla Walla College, now University, where he was active in its music ensembles, as well as the Walla Walla Symphony.

He completed a degree in mechanical engineering and minors in mathematics and music, with bassoon as his performance area. After graduating from WWC in 1995, he later enrolled at Eastman School of Music, where he completed an M.A. in music education, focusing on the ideas of Edwin Gordon's music learning theory while working with Richard Grunow.

Tooley is past president of the Commencement Bay Music Educators Association and has served as its contest coordinator and treasurer.He also served as secretary to the music committee of West Central District III of the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association.

He is married to Lynn D.Grams, a 1993 graduate of Weimer College with a masterís degree in education from Pacific Union College (1997). They have two sons, Sam and Tom, who are budding musicians as well.


Sources: Information provided by Tooley, 2013; Walla Walla University music departmentís magazine, 2000 Opus, 26; Obituary for Samuel R. Tooley, Andrews University alumni magazine, Focus, Summer 2010, 41; LinkedIn (2013); North Pacific Gleaner, 16 November 1987, 15; personal knowledge.