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School of Music

Faculty and Staff

Michael Harley

Assistant Professor / Bassoon
School of Music

Phone: 803-777-4421

School of Music Room 224


Southern Exposure New Music Series
Alarm Will Sound
Dark in the Song
Rushes Ensemble



Michael Harley enjoys a diverse career as a teacher, performer, and music advocate. At USC he teaches bassoon and occasional courses in music history and contemporary music, coaches chamber music, and is artistic director of the award-winning Southern Exposure New Music Series. Past full-time teaching positions include posts at Ohio University, Wright State University, and Goshen College. His performances have been called “spectacular” (Washington Post) and “exquisite” (Columbus Dispatch).

A proponent of contemporary music, Mike is a founding member of the acclaimed chamber orchestra Alarm Will Sound, called “new music luminaries” and “one of the most vital and original ensembles on the American musical scene” (New York Times). He has worked with and premiered pieces by many of today’s most distinguished composers, including John Adams, Derek Bermel, Harrison Birtwistle, Caleb Burhans, Donnacha Dennehy, Michael Gordon, Aaron Jay Kernis, David Lang, Steve Reich, Roger Reynolds, Wolfgang Rihm, Augusta Read Thomas, Ken Ueno, and Charles Wuorinen. A versatile musician, Mike has been featured as a soloist with AWS both as a bassoonist and singer.

Mike has played in diverse venues on five continents, ranging from nightclubs and bars (Le Poisson Rouge and the Roxy in NYC) to Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall, Walt Disney Concert Hall, the Barbican (London), and the Hermitage Theatre (St. Petersburg); and with groups including the indy rock group Dirty Projectors and the orchestras of Charleston, Columbus, Fort Wayne, South Bend, the South Caroiina Philharmonic, and the Long Bay Symphony (Myrtle Beach), where he is principal bassoon. Current chamber projects include the pioneering bassoon groups Dark in the Song and the Rushes Ensemble, the experimental chamber ensemble LotUS, and Trio Chiaroscuro (flute, bassoon, and piano). Festivals and conference performances include Lucca Opera Theater (Italy), Piccolo Spoleto, Music on the Hill Rhode Island, Mizzou New Music, Kent Blossom, the International College Music Society conference, and numerous International Double Reed Society conferences.

Mike has degrees from the Eastman School of Music (D.M.A.), where he was awarded the Performer’s Certificate, the Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music (M.M.), and Goshen College (B.A., English and music). His teachers in include John Hunt, William Winstead, and Gwendolyn Rose. He lives in Columbia, SC with his wife, flutist Jennifer Parker-Harley, and daughters Ella and Lucia.