Samantha Alda-Katherine performed at her senior piano recital at the recently completed banquet room at the Temple Theatre. She is a student of Denise Wilson.
She demonstrated her musical talent in the recital she named “New Beginnings, Forever Memories.” Her performance included a piano portion featuring classical pieces and popular/lyrical pieces, and she closed the piano portion with five church hymns.
She played three songs on her late grandmother Elaine Graham’s baritone ukulele, which she taught herself to play. The program ended with singing eight songs with musical accompaniment. Joe Caverlee was a special accompanist on the fiddle and guitar. Her brother Seth Robertson accompanied her on guitar and vocals. During the gospel music portion of the recital, her family joined her in the vocals.
Samantha said, “When preparing for this performance, I wanted to incorporate songs that reminded me of all the important people in my life. I wanted to wrap up my childhood experiences into one cohesive program. I wanted to show that I have come so far from that little girl that could barely touch the floor when sitting at the piano to now a girl that’s about to start her future with the love and support of all of her family and friends.
“This is why I felt my performance should be title ‘New Beginnings, Forever Memories.’ No matter how far I go in life I will always have the precious memories that my support system has provided me with. And with God by my side, I can do anything (Philippians 4:13).”
Samantha’s late grandmother began teaching her to play the piano before she began school. It was her grandmother who would nudge her to be serious about her practice time. She began taking formal classical piano lessons during second grade with Denise Wilson.
She comes from a long-line of musicians beginning with her great-grandparents who sang in a gospel quartet. Her grandparents were leaders in the music programs at the church they attended, and several other family members were active musicians. Samantha plays the piano at her church, Salem Missionary Baptist in Gallatin. Gospel singing is a family tradition which has passed down from generation to generation.
Wilson said, “It has been such a pleasure to teach and guide Samantha developing her talent and love of music these 11 years. She had such a variety of musical abilities that extend past playing instruments such as piano, flute, ukulele, song writing, collaborating and accompaniment also, inspiring others to reach their potential.
“She gives her fullest effort to whatever she does in music, sports, and academics which Samantha has outstanding leadership qualities. Instincts are self-taught and Samantha has been gifted with all these talents.”
On Friday, Feb. 21, she signed a softball scholarship with University of the South at Sewanee where she plans to be a pre-med major. She is in the top 10 percent of her class with a 4.0 GPA.