Home Hill News

Pianist returns Home for Dual Role

Sam Row at his Piano Recital at The Vault in Home Hill with his former music teacher Mrs Marie Finn

A YOUNG pianist, who grew up in the Burdekin District and developed his initial musical skills in this area, has returned for a dual purpose – to spend two weeks doing magical tricks on the synthesiser for the Shrek Musical, which was presented by the Burdekin Singers at the Burdekin Theatre recently; and also displaying his skills on foot pedals as well as his hands on the keyboard and other buttons.

Sam Row grew up in the Burdekin and Home Hill’s own musical enthusiast, Marie Finn said she was “proud to have played a small part in his musical development all those years ago”. Growing up in rural north Queensland, Sam Row studied piano, saxophone and singing and was given opportunities to accompany singers, instrumentalists, and ballet exams, as well as performing solos. 

He also gained experience in many choirs and bands and enjoyed playing for many Burdekin Singers’ music theatre productions in Ayr. 

After leaving Ayr, Sam Row went on to study classical piano at the Queensland Conservatorium, Griffith University, graduating with a Bachelor of Music in 2013 and he also enjoyed singing with the St John’s College Choral Scholars. 

Since moving to Queanbeyan (near Canberra) in 2017, Sam Row has continued his classical piano studies with Colleen Rae-Gerrard and Colin Forbes, and he has presented several piano recitals in Canberra. 

He has also accompanied local choirs and soloists and teaches students of piano.

Sam Row has been warmly welcomed into the Canberra music theatre community as repetiteur and keyboard player in performances for National Opera, Canberra Opera, Canberra Philharmonic, Free Rain Theatre Company and Queanbeyan Players. 

He also enjoys performing a variety of beautiful and challenging music.

Now in demand in Canberra as an accompanist for choirs and musicals, while also being invited regularly to perform solo recital concerts, as well as teaching, Sam Row also took the opportunity to perform for free (or a donation to a charity) in front of a small audience at the Home Hill Choral Society’s home in Eighth Avenue – The Vault. 

Mrs Finn said the short concert was a great chance to hear him play “these wonderful playful works here in the Burdekin”, which included music by Mussorgsky, Piazzolla and Hisaishi. 

Sam Row took the opportunity at the end of his short performance to thank Mrs Marie Finn, those who had attended and members of the Home Hill Choral Society for allowing the use of The Vault and for their assistance.