Participants study repertoire with USC music faculty in small chamber ensembles and
together in a chamber orchestra culminating in a performance on the last day.
Students who have completed 9th through 12th grade focus on individual performance
and chamber music, developing musicianship skills – the listening, rhythmic and ensemble
skills that go into making chamber music.
In addition to master classes, chamber music coaching and private lessons, students
are offered a variety of activities, including courses in music history, music theory,
how to prepare for an audition, and jazz improvisation.
Conservatory participants rehearse and perform solo works with professional accompanists
and hear concerts and recitals given by conservatory faculty members.
A limited number of pianists are accepted into the program and must apply through
the Southeastern Piano Festival website. Piano students have the opportunity to work in chamber ensembles in addition to
daily lessons, master classes and classes with the other conservatory students.
June 11–17, 2017
Application deadline extended to May 9, 2016.
Application fee: $50 (nonrefundable)
Room and board: $275
Total fees: $725
Application fee: $50 (nonrefundable)
Total Fees: $450
Optional meal plan for commuting students: $85 (5 lunches and dinners; for commuting
Commuting students must live off campus with an adult guardian.
A limited number of scholarships are available. All students wishing to be considered
for scholarship assistance must submit a taped recording and indicate on the application that they wish to be considered.
- Fill out the downloadable application. Application deadline is May 9, 2017.
- Include a $50 nonrefundable application fee (make checks payable to: University of
- Include an electronic file or CD recording of 5-10 minutes of you performing on your
major instrument (or proof of inclusion in your Allstate ensemble). A recording is
required if you wish to be considered for a scholarship.
- Mail to: Clifford Leaman, Carolina Summer Music Conservatory, USC School of Music,
813 Assembly St., Columbia, SC 29208
Summer Music Conservatory FAQ
For more information: email Dr. Clifford Leaman or call 803-576-5893.
Summer Music Conservatory Faculty
Craig Butterfield, double bass
Craig Butterfield is associate professor of double bass and jazz studies at the University
of South Carolina where he directs one of the largest double bass programs in the
Southeast. Comfortable in many styles of music, he has performed extensively as a
jazz artist as well as a classical soloist and clinician. During 2004 and 2005, he
toured with the legendary jazz trumpet player Maynard Ferguson.
Neil Casey, violin, conductor
Neil Casey is the assistant director of orchestras at the University of South Carolina,
as well as the conductor of the Armstrong Atlantic Youth Orchestra in Savannah, Georgia.
At USC, he teaches conducting, violin, chamber music, conducts Opera at USC and the
USC Campus Orchestra.
Samara Humbert-Hughes, viola
Samara Humbert-Hughes is director of Suzuki Strings at USC. She was a violin and viola
instructor in Cambridge for the Cambridge Suzuki Program and at the Community Center
at RAF Mildenhall as well as an active performer in the Cambridge area.
Rebecca Schalk Nagel, oboe
Assistant dean and professor of oboe at the USC School of Music, Rebecca Schalk Nagel
has performed across the U.S. and in Europe. As director of Spark: Carolina's Music
Leadership Laboratory, she explores new ways for students to engage with their communities.
Joseph Eller, clarinet
Joseph Eller is associate professor of clarinet at USC. He has performed solo and
chamber music recitals throughout North and South America, Europe and Asia. He was
appointed principal clarinetist of the South Carolina Philharmonic in 2012 and has
played extra with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, the Atlanta Opera Orchestra, Charleston
Symphony Orchestra and numerous other orchestras throughout the southeastern U.S.
Clifford Leaman, saxophone
Clifford Leaman is associate dean and professor of saxophone at USC. He is in great
demand as a soloist and clinician and has performed and taught throughout the U.S.,
Canada, Italy, Spain, France, Slovenia, Sweden, Thailand and in China where he has
been a featured guest artist eight times since 2004.
Reed Hanna, bassoon
Reed Hanna, an active performer and composer, performs regularly with regional orchestras
in S.C. and Georgia. He performed the premiere of his Concerto for Bassoon and Strings
on a program with his other works for bassoon and piano in April 2015. A candidate
for the doctorate of musical arts degree in bassoon performance, he also holds a master
of music degree from the University of Nebraska–Lincoln and a bachelor of science
in music education from Indiana University of Pennsylvania.
Lauren Watkins, flute
Flutist Lauren Watkins enjoys an active career as a performer and educator. She has
performed as featured soloist with the Ohio State Symphony Orchestra and the Sewanee
Festival Orchestra and is currently a flute instructor and Sunrise Band director with
the Congaree New Horizon’s Band, flute instructor at the Hammond School, graduate
teaching assistant for the flute studio at USC, and has a private studio in Columbia,
James Ackley, trumpet
James Ackley is professor of trumpet at USC and has performed with the Charleston
Symphony, Moscow State Radio Symphony, Charlotte Symphony, Bogota Philharmonic, the
Cincinnati Symphony, and many others. As a soloist and recitalist, he has performed
in more than 30 countries and in the most famous concert halls in the world. He is
a member of the award winning Bala Brass Quintet. He is is a Yamaha Performing Artist
Ronald Davis, tuba and euphonium
Ronald Davis is professor of tuba and euphonium at USC and is principal tubist with
the South Carolina Philharmonic Orchestra. As an orchestral player he has performed
with the Augusta Symphony Orchestra, the Santa Barbara Symphony, the Los Angeles Master
Chorale and Sinfonia Orchestra under Roger Wagner, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, and
the Charleston and Charlotte Symphonies.
Michelle Smith, horn
Michelle Smith is pursuing her doctor of musical arts degree in horn performance and
is a graduate assistant for USC Bands. She received a master of music in horn performance
from the University of New Mexico and played in the Sandia Brass Quintet, Graduate
Woodwind Quintet, University of New Mexico Symphony Orchestra, Brass Choir and Wind
Symphony. She has performed with ensembles in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, South Carolina
and New Mexico, and has worked as a private teacher and horn instructor for schools
throughout the Southeast.
Stephen Wilson, trombone
Steve Wilson has more than 40 years of experience as a professional trombonist. He
has performed with Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, Sammy Davis Jr., George Benson, Natalie
Cole, Frank Rosolino, Bill Watrous and Wycliffe Gordon, among others. His performance
of Chris Brubeck’s Concerto for Bass Trombone with the Greenville Symphony Orchestra
was broadcast on NPR.
Bert Ligon, jazz
Bert Ligon is director of jazz studies at USC and has toured with the Maynard Ferguson
Orchestra and performed with Chris Potter, Red Rodney, Randy Brecker, Marion McPartland,
Mel Torme, Dianne Schuur, Dianne Reeves, Johnny Frigo and others. He composed extensively
in the radio, TV and film industries, receiving many awards including national PBS
awards and an EMMY nomination.