4/25/2014 Peter Durantine

Samantha Kahn '14: Raised Her Voice and Found Her Calling

  • samantha kahn senior profile Franklin & Marshall College's Samantha Kahn's passions for vocal performance and business merged for her at a March 2014 audition for the Manhattan School of Music's Summer Program, where she won the lead in Leos Janacek's opera, "The Cunning Little Vixen." She also has a job in New York City in marketing and public relations. (Photo by Melissa Hess)  

A profile of Samantha Kahn '14 is part II of "The Class of 2014," a series on the academic and extracurricular interests of graduating seniors.

Hometown: Briarcliff Manor, N.Y.

Academic Major: Business, Organizations and Society

A lifelong singer and dancer, Franklin & Marshall College's Samantha Kahn '14 was sure that vocal performance was her calling, but she found another passion in her academic experience -- business.

Kahn's interest landed her an internship at Coty, a global beauty products maker, and a job offer to do marketing and public relations for a skin care company, Skyn Iceland, in New York City.

"I love the beauty marketing industry," Kahn said. "I can be very creative in it."

Her twin passions merged for her at a March 2014 audition for the Manhattan School of Music's Summer Program, where she won the lead in Leos Janacek's opera, "The Cunning Little Vixen," which she'll be performing this summer.

"It's paid off," Kahn said, as she explained the director was impressed that she had a major in business instead of music performance, which she focused on as a minor. "I beat all those conservatory students and I went to a liberal arts school."

During her four years at the College, Kahn has been a member of F&M Players, performing in eight plays, including the role of Rapunzel in "Into the Woods," staged earlier this year at Roschel Performing Arts Center's Schnader Theatre.  She sang with F&M Chamber Singers, and studied under American Soprano Gwynne Geyer, F&M's artist-in-residence for voice.

"Her mentorship, he passion, her singing just reminded me of why I love it so much," Kahn said. "She helped me realize that my dream could be a reality."

Kahn chose to attend F&M partly on the recommendation of Haylee Zirman '10, her sister's best friend, but her visit to the College convinced her.

"F&M was the only college I applied to," Kahn said. "I wanted to go to a small school, and when I visited here I had that cliché feeling that I belonged here."

Zirman helped Kahn prepare her for F&M, suggested she join a sorority, and advised her once she started classes.

"She was a great mentor that first year," said Kahn, who joined Alpha Phi.

Kahn said the liberal arts curriculum, the small classes -- 16 students on average -- and training from world-class faculty members such as Geyer, who has performed opera on national stages in the United States, Europe and the Middle East, have prepared her to tackle the worlds of business and performance.

"I think I'm more multi-faceted than I would be at another school," Kahn said. "I think the liberal arts prepares you for anything."

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