The Kennedy Center

Chris Sampson

Video and Audio

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    American Voices Symposium: The Business and Technology of Popular Singing Today

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    American Voices: Pop/Rock Master Session with Ben Folds and Sara Bareilles


Chris Sampson has enjoyed a diverse and multi-faceted career as an educator, producer, performer, and administrator. Chris currently serves as the Vice Dean for the Division of Contemporary Music at the USC Thornton School of Music. In 2009, Chris founded the Popular Music program at USC Thornton, regarded as the first program of its kind at a major university. In its brief existence, the USC Thornton Popular Music program has made a significant impact, compelling Rolling Stone magazine to describe it as a "cutting-edge department that's become the site of one of Los Angeles's most productive new music scenes." As a professor of songwriting and through the Popular Music program, Chris's students have penned number one hit songs, toured nationally and internationally, secured recording and publishing contracts, placed numerous songs in films and television, are among the most subscribed musicians on YouTube, won national television competitions and international songwriting competitions, and work in multiple areas of the music industry, including A&R, publishing, and administration. Chris has also served as the songwriting instructor and faculty director for educational programs offered through the GRAMMY Foundation. Additionally, Chris has produced events or presented seminars with Sir Elton John, Brian Wilson, Steve Miller Band, Alan Parsons, Lamont Dozier, Chaka Khan, John Fogerty, Randy Newman, David Foster, Smokey Robinson, Linda Perry, Kara DioGuardi, and Lindsey Buckingham, among many others. Chris served as the first elected Chair for the Association for Popular Music Education. For the Popular Music program, he has developed lasting and powerful partnerships with the Songwriters Hall of Fame, KORG, Roland, Gibson, and the GRAMMY Museum, among others. As an administrator, previous appointments include Assistant Dean for Enrollment at USC Thornton School of Music and Vice President of Academic Affairs at the Wisconsin Conservatory. He has also served on the faculty of the recording industry program at Middle Tennessee State University.
Christopher Sampson