All-State Junior High

Sarah Insalaco Olsen

A native of Hawaii, Dr. Samuel Tsugawa holds Bachelor and Master of Music Education degrees from Brigham Young University as well as a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in music education from Arizona State University. He served as Director of Orchestras at Springville Senior and Junior High Schools in Nebo School District (Utah) for over 28 years. Ensembles under Dr. Tsugawa’s baton had a reputation as outstanding performance groups consistently earning superior ratings at local, state, regional, and national music festivals and competitions. 


Recognized by his colleagues as an accomplished classroom teacher, Dr. Tsugawa has received state teacher of the year honors twice from the Utah American String Teachers Association (1996 & 2011), the Utah Music Educators Association’s Superior Accomplishment Award (2006) and Outstanding High Music Educator Award (2011), Phi Delta Kappa’s 2006 Utah WalMart Teacher of the Year, and the Beverly Taylor Sorenson Legacy Award for Excellence in Arts Education (2013).


Also recognized as an able researcher, Dr. Tsugawa has a growing number of publications and has presented papers at national and international research conferences. His research and teaching interests include senior adult music learning, teacher education, alternative string performance styles, and the life and career of Merle J. Isaac. Dr. Tsugawa has served as president of the Utah Music Educators’ Association and as Western Division President-elect for the National Association for Music Education.