Sue Samuels is the Director of Bands at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Her responsibilities include teaching and administering the Marching Blazers, the Wind Symphony, the Symphony Band, and the Blazer Band, as well as teaching courses in conducting and music education. Since Dr. Samuels arrived in Birmingham, the bands at UAB have continued to grow and thrive under her direction. The Marching Blazers, with more than 200 members, continue to wow the crowds with contemporary sights and sounds. The Marching Blazers have given recent performances at international venues, including the Dublin, Ireland St. Patrick's Day Parade (2013) and the Daytona 500 Pre-Race Ceremonies (2014). The UAB Wind Symphony performs at least 2 concerts per semester at the Alys Stephens Center, and the group continues to perform the very finest literature available for the contemporary wind band. The Wind Symphony has performed twice for the Alabama Music Educators Association State Conference (2007 and 2014), once at the Southern Division Conference of the College Band Directors National Association (2008), and the Percy Grainger Wind Band Festival in Chicago's Orchestra Hall (2012). UAB annually hosts more than 200 high school band performers at the All-Star Band Festival each fall and more than 600 young musicians at the annual Middle School and High School Honor Band festivals each December. The Blazer Band performs throughout the winter at home basketball games, and also accompanies the teams to the Conference USA and NCAA Tournaments. In addition, Dr. Samuels also conducts the UAB Summer Band, a community band that performs an annual July 4th concert in front of Bartow Arena on the UAB Campus. Dr. Samuels is a strong advocate for chamber music and for music education and actively supports the UAB Percussion Ensembles, Flute and Clarinet Choirs, Tuba/Euphonium Ensemble, Trombone Choir, Trumpet Ensemble, Brass and Woodwind quintets, and all other facets of instrumental music at UAB.

Dr. Samuels’ teaching experience prior to her arrival at UAB includes 12 years at Lassiter High School in Marietta Georgia, 1 year as Assistant Director of Bands at the University of Georgia, and 2 years as Director of Bands at WT Woodson High School in Fairfax, Virginia. Under her direction, all bands she conducted received straight superior ratings at festivals over her 14-year career as a high school band director. In addition, the bands at both Lassiter and Woodson performed at the Bands of America National Concert Band Festival, and the Lassiter Band won the 1998 Marching Band Grand National Championships. In addition, while an associate director at Lassiter, the band performed twice at the Midwest Clinic (1989 and 1998).

An Army Brat, Dr. Samuels was born in Illinois, and lived in Georgia, New Jersey, and Florida before entering 1st grade and being reared in Columbia, South Carolina, Dr. Samuels attended Furman University in Greenville where she obtained a Bachelors Degree in Music Education. Dr. Samuels has also been educated at Georgia State University in Atlanta, where she completed the Master of Music Degree in Instrumental Conducting, at the Eastman School of Music, and at Auburn University where she completed the PhD in music education in 2009. Dr. Samuels serves the larger band community by adjudicating at local, regional, and national marching band contests, serving as a guest conductor at various honor bands and all states, and presenting clinics at local, regional and national professional conferences. Dr. Samuels has published articles in the Instrumentalist magazine, in the Journal of Music Teacher Education, and in the GIA series of Teaching Music through Performance in Band.

In addition to her work as a band director, Dr. Samuels enjoys being a mom to her beautiful son, Andrew, whom she adopted from Ethiopia in 2010.