Sammy Sussman (b. 1999) is a reporter, composer and bassist from Bedford Hills, NY. He is a senior studying composition, musical theater composition and jazz bass in the University of Michigan's School of Music, Theatre & Dance. Sammy currently studies composition with Roshanne Etezady, bass with Marion Hayden and musical theater composition with Lynne Shankel. Some of his previous music instructors include Evan Chambers, Kristin Kuster, Paul Schoenfeld, Michael Daugherty, David Conte, Narcis Bonet, Michel Merlet, Kyle Blaha, Becki Advocate, Jim Skinger and Claude Preece.
As a reporter, Sammy has written for The Michigan Daily, Bridge, VAN Magazine and the Detroit Jewish News. His reporting has received three College Media Association investigative awards and three Michigan Press Association investigative student reporting awards. Sammy's investigative reporting career began in December, 2018, when Sammy uncovered 40 years of previously undisclosed sexual harassment, misconduct and assault allegations against a department chair and former associate dean at the University of Michigan. Sammy's reporting was featured in the Columbia Journalism Review and the Detroit Free Press' year-ending series “This journalism made us jealous in 2018."
Sammy has subsequently reported on 18 years of sexual harassment allegations against composer Dan Welcher, $1.265 million in confidential non-disparagement agreements paid a public university, numerous sexual harassment and misconduct allegations against the head chef of a popular local restaurant and pandemic-era failures of Michigan's unemployment systems. Sammy's reporting on overpriced COVID-19 testing in his hometown was featured in a lengthy New York Times exposé by Sarah Kliff.
Sammy's (music) compositions have been recognized by the American Composers Forum, the Foundation for Modern Music and the National Association for Music Education. In high school, he received an honorable mention in the New York Philharmonic's New World Composition Challenge. Recent composition projects include a double string quartet for pre-recorded Zoom quartet and live quartet and an orchestra piece for conductor, vocalist and chamber orchestra.
Sammy writes musical theater with Allison (Allie) Taylor. In the summer of 2019, he wrote a two-act comedic musical Diseducated, co-written with Allison Taylor and The Bachelor: The Musical: A Video, a multi-episode Instagram-based musical written with Allison Taylor during quarantine this past year.
Sammy is currently working on a book about the secret double life of his great-grandfather, Otto Schirn, an Austrian Jewish academic turned American Jewish cultural leader—through archival research and forgotten family photo albums, Sammy discovered that Otto spent 1937-1938 reporting under a pen name for a Belgian newspaper about the rise of Austrian Nazism and the fall of Chancellor Schuschnigg's government. Excerpts from (the first draft of) Sammy's book have been published in The Michigan Daily and the Detroit Jewish News.
Sammy is an alumni of the New York Youth Symphony Composition Program and the European American Musical Alliance-Nadia Boulanger Institute. He is also an alumni of the Fox Lane High School, where his creative research project on the "L'Engelian tesseract between Oppenheimer's Trinity atomic test and Tchaikovsky's Serenade for Strings" was awarded the Tingley Scholarship. He is a member of ASCAP and IRE.