Samuel Tsugawa graduated from BYU in 1987 with a bachelor's degree in Music Education and in 1993 with a master's degree in Music Education. He later went on to receive his Doctorate degree in music education from Arizona State University.
Dr. Tsugawa is currently the director of orchestras at Springville Senior and Junior High School in the Nebo School District in Utah and is the President-elect of the Utah Music Educators Association. In 2013 Dr. Tsugawa was honored as one of the top five Art educators in the state, and was presented with the inaugural Sorensen Legacy Award for Excellence in Art Education.
Ensembles under Dr. Tsugawa's baton have a reputation as outstanding performance groups consistently earning superior ratings at local, state, regional, and national music festivals and competitions.
Notable performances include:
- 1996 Utah Music Educators Association (UMEA) Professional Development Conference
- 19 consecutive superior ratings at the UMEA State Orchestra Festival
- Division I and II ratings at the 2005 and 2008 Utah American String Teachers Association(ASTA) National Orchestra Festival
Recognized by his colleagues as an accomplished classroom teacher, Dr. Tsugawa's has been recognized as:
- Outstanding Senior High Music Educator by the Utah Music Educator's Association
- State teacher of the year from the Utah American String Teachers Association
- UMEA "Superior Accomplishment" award
- Phi Delta Kappa's 2006 Walmart Teacher of the Year
Dr. Tsugawa has also published research articles in prominent journals such as the Journal of Historical Research in Music Education and Advances and Music Education Research.
His research and teaching interests include senior adult music learning, teacher education, alternative string performance style, and the life of Merle J. Isaac.