SAMUEL THORNE BAGALÀ
Pianist - Music Director - Composer - Arranger
"Music Director Samuel Thorne Bagala gives the score a lushness and bravura that conjure up the traditions of horror films and conducts with a propulsive passion, and the nine-person instrumental ensemble plays for him with great beauty and style."
- Broadway World. Young Frankenstein at MSMT
"Production values for the show are first rate, with a note-perfect orchestra conducted by Samuel Bagala."
- Pennlive.com. Elf - The Musical on tour
"It is all topped off with a lush period score, under the direction of Samuel Thorne Bagala"
- Mainetoday.com. Young Frankenstein at MSMT
"Musical Director Samuel Thorne Bagala’s seven-piece ensemble could well have been mistaken for the New York Philharmonic"
- Mercury News. West Side Story at Theatre by the Sea
"Larson's Pulitzer-winning score has never sounded better, thanks to the efforts of conductor Samuel Bagala and his onstage band of musical brothers"
- Broadway World. Rent 20th Anniversary Tour in Nashville
"Will I?" is powerful and chilling. The powerful score takes center stage at all times, enhanced by a talented onstage orchestra conducted by Samuel Bagalà."
- Broadway World. Rent 20th Anniversary Tour in Syracuse
"Technical elements are all Broadway-caliber... with musical director Samuel Bagalá leading Rent’s sensational five-piece onstage band."
- StageSceneLA. Rent 20th Anniversary Tour in Costa Mesa
"The actors couldn’t have performed the songs with the emotion and success that they did without the excellent live musicians, led by conductor Samuel Bagala."
- MD Theatre Guide. Rent 20th Anniversary Tour in Washington, D.C
"As for the tunes, Samuel Bagala’s masterful music direction and five piece band were simply magic, grinding out Jonathan Larson’s rock-infused score. I firmly believe Larson is smiling down, the proudest guardian angel of this entire production."
- Times Square Chronicles. Rent 20th Anniversary Tour in Chicago.
"Musical Director Samuel Thorne Bagala draws strong vocal performances from the cast and a palpably exciting sound from the eight-person pit band, whose performances remind us why rock and roll seemed a cataclysmic force when it first burst upon the cultural scene.."
- Broadway World. Grease at MSMT
"Conductor and keyboardist Samuel Bagalà deserves full recognition as the fuel that keeps the entire production on track and over the top."
- DC Metro Theater Arts. Rent 20th Anniversary Tour in Washington, D.C
"Music Director Samuel Thorne Bagala shapes the score with brio and heart."
- Broadway World. Godspell at MSMT
"Director Sam Scalamoni and his collaborators – particularly choreographer Connor Gallagher, set designer Christine Peters and conductor Samuel Bagala – manage to craft this slight material into a sharp, fast-paced and visually fanciful production. The sound balance between the orchestra and the singers’ voices was near-perfect. You could actually hear the lyrics, which is a rarer occurrence than it ought to be."
- Cincinatti.com. Elf - The Musical on tour
"He is aided in this huge undertaking by musical director Sam Bagala and his seven piece orchestra. He makes the music stand out in the ballads and the up tempo numbers with his attention to annunciation and vocal training. The Bernstein and Sondheim score is rendered excellently by the musicians and vocalists. The most difficult number is the "Tonight" quintet and he has the Sharks, the Jets, Tony, Maria and Anita pull it off without a hitch."
- Theater Mirror. West Side Story at Theatre by the Sea
"Music Director Samuel Bagala (with able assistance from Patrick Fanning and Ben McNaboe) leads the eight-piece orchestra with an idiomatic understanding of the score and a meticulous attention to all the layered details of ABBA's songs - the backup vocals, the harmonies, the textures all richly in evidence - nicely captured and balanced in Nate Putnam's sound design."
-Broadway World. Mamma Mia at MSMT
"The live musical direction of Samuel Bagala slams and hammers with the best of alt-rock abandon, then gives gracious support to the score’s quieter moments of choral harmony."
- DC Metro Theater Arts. Rent 20th Anniversary Tour in Baltimore
"Director Samuel Thorne Bagala leads the spirited eight-person pit ensemble and draws fine vocal performances from the cast."
- Broadway World. Fame at MSMT
"Under the direction of Samuel Thorne Bagala, the score soars to new heights, energizing the stage with the well-known songs of life at Rydell High."
- Portland Press Herald. Grease at MSMT
"The best feature of the show is the presence of the small but powerful five-piece onstage band led by Samuel Bagala."
- Chicago Sun-Times. Rent 20th Anniversary Tour in Chicago
"This was the first of many fan-favorite musical numbers, and thanks to the hard work of Music Director Samuel Bagala and Twi McCallum's sound design, not one of them fell short of perfection."
- Broadway World. The Sound of Music at Dallas Theater Center