1986 Swan Award Winner: Sam Barkman
Sam Barkman (1918-2009) was born in Tshikapa, Belgian Congo to missionary parents who served there for over thirty years. He was raised by relatives in Berne, Indiana. Following a stint in the U.S. Army, he moved to San Joaquin, California. where he married Lydia Voth. They moved to Fresno in 1948, and through 35 years Sam taught choirs at Jackson Elementary School, Sequoia Junior High School, and McLane High School. He also hosted tours for Swiss Air for 19 years and was Youth Choir Director at First Presbyterian Church. He organized Fresno’s first Messiah Sing Along. He studied at University of the Pacific and earned the master’s degree in music. He also participated in the leadership of the summer Pacific Music Camp and the winter Pacific Clinic Choir that had over two thousand singers. He received the Howard Swan Award from Northern California ACDA in 1986. He also served as a volunteer docent at the Legion of Valor Museum for over two years.