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School of Music

Flute students play in rose garden

About the School of Music

The University of South Carolina School of Music has established a national reputation for artistic and scholarly excellence. An acclaimed faculty teach more than 500 undergraduate and graduate music majors, including students specializing in virtually every orchestra and band instrument, voice, piano, organ and guitar.

At the USC School of Music the power and promise of music have no limits.

We prepare musicians for professional careers and leadership in music teaching, performance, composition, research and related fields, offering more than 20 degree programs.

Students pursuing nonmusic degrees participate in our ensembles and classes every year. All university students can gain meaningful music experiences through courses designed to foster an awareness of the role of music in society.

The school generates research and other creative activities in music that have local, national and international impact. The excellence of the school is a direct result of the resident faculty members who combine distinguished backgrounds as performers and scholars with a dedication to teaching.

USC music faculty perform regularly on campus, nationally and internationally in recitals and concerts; contribute to publications and professional organizations; and make presentations at regional, national and international conferences.

The USC School of Music serves as a cultural and educational center of excellence for the state of South Carolina and the nation. Faculty members and their students engage in community outreach activities by organizing and teaching workshops, classes, camps and clinics. The School of Music enriches the musical life of the university and the city by offering more than 300 concerts and recitals a year.

School of Music Hallmarks

  • The School of Music is peer-evaluated to be among the most highly regarded music schools and conservatories in the U.S. and is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music.
  • The world-renowned Conductors Institute of South Carolina has been on the must-do list for young aspiring and experienced conductors alike. Students of the institute receive training from conductors and composers with vast experience in the commercial, academic and professional worlds of music.
  • The nation's first and most comprehensive leadership institute, the innovative Spark-Carolina's Music Leadership Laboratory, provides students with the entrepreneurship, community engagement and music advocacy education they need to forge successful and meaningful careers in their communities.
  • The USC String Project is a model of community service and teacher education for more than 40 other universities across the nation.
  • Our graduate piano pedagogy program is evaluated annually and rated among the top three such programs in the nation.
  • The annual Southeastern Piano Festival is a high-level training platform for young pianists who take part in a rigorous week-long program with master teachers and concert pianists, culminating in the Arthur Fraser International Concerto Competition.
  • Our commitment to new and contemporary music is distinguished through innovative, award-winning programs and the commission of new works every year. Faculty commitment to performing and teaching music of our time is realized through Southern Exposure New Music Series, Chamber Innovista, the experimental music studio xMuse and New Voices concerts by student composers.


University of South Carolina Hallmarks

Located just two blocks from the historic Statehouse in the heart of Columbia, South Carolina, the university’s flagship campus is in the middle of a thriving mid-size city that is abundant with cultural and entertainment opportunities.

Three four-year campuses in Aiken, Beaufort and Upstate (Spartanburg and Greenville) and four two-year campuses in Lancaster, Sumter, Salkehatchie (Allendale and Walterboro) and Union, help the university cover the state.

  • Designated as one of the "100 Best Values in Public Education" by Kiplinger's Personal Finance magazine, USC also ranks among U.S. News & World Report's best national public institutions.
  • The Princeton Review cites USC as one of its "100 Best Value Colleges for 2011."
  • The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching recognizes USC as an institution with "very high research activity."
  • The Columbia campus offers 324 degree programs through its 14 degree-granting colleges and schools to more than 25,000 students from all 50 states and more than 100 countries.
  • Students have been awarded more than $13.9 million for national scholarships and fellowships since 1994.
  • Faculty generated $218.8 million in funding for research, outreach and training programs in fiscal year 2010. The University of South Carolina is one of only 63 public universities listed by the Carnegie Foundation in the highest tier of research institutions in the U.S.