Faculty and Staff
Sarah Bolick Smith Distinguished Professor of Music / Director of Bands
School of Music
School of Music Room 117
Scott Weiss is the Director of Bands and Sarah Bolick Smith Distinguished Professor of Music at the University of South Carolina where he conducts the USC Wind Ensemble, teaches and administers the graduate wind conducting program, and oversees all aspects of the university’s band program. Previous positions include Director of Bands at the University of Kansas, Associate Director of Bands at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music, and Director of Bands at Lamar University in Beaumont, Texas. He also has nine years of public school teaching experience, including six years as Director of Bands at Harrison High School in Cobb County, Georgia, where his wind ensemble was featured at the 1999 Midwest Clinic.
A champion of new music, Scott Weiss has commissioned, premiered, and recorded dozens of new works by many of today’s leading composers, including Jennifer Higdon, Joseph Schwantner, Joseph Turrin, David Dzubay, Frank Ticheli, John Fitz Rogers, Roshanne Etezady, Steven Bryant, and many others. In 2012 he conducted the world premiere recording of a new ballet for trumpet and chamber orchestra by Robert Bradshaw, and in May 2013 he conducted the world premiere of a new opera by Richard Maltz. He also has a series of critically-acclaimed compact discs on the Naxos label featuring music by American composers. His 2011 recording of the Symphony No. 4 by Morton Gould was heralded by ArkivMusic as “its best performance on record,” and a new disc with the USC Wind Ensemble and featuring the music of Leonard Bernstein was released internationally in February 2013.
Scott Weiss maintains an active international guest conducting schedule, particularly in Asia where he has conducted wind ensembles and symphony orchestras in well over a dozen cities. Recent highlights include his June 2012 debut with the Shenzhen Symphony Orchestra, one of China’s leading professional symphony orchestras, as well as a 2011 performance with the Shin-Siang Wind Ensemble at the National Concert Hall in Taipei. He has also taught and conducted ensembles at the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing, the Shanghai Conservatory of Music, and Shanghai Jiao-Tong University, and in 2007 he was invited to give a conducting masterclass for the conductors of the People’s Liberation Army of China Military Band in Beijing. In addition, he has presented research on wind band history and literature at the University of Luxembourg in 2008 and at the Austrian Wind Music Museum in Oberwölz, Austria in 2004. Closer to home, Scott Weiss regularly conducts all-state bands, intercollegiate bands, and high school honor bands throughout North America, and he has been featured as a guest conductor with both The United States Army Band (“Pershing’s Own”) and the United States Coast Guard Band.
Scott Weiss received his musical training in trumpet performance at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music, and his career as a trumpet player included performances with the National Symphony Orchestra of Washington, D.C. He received both a master’s degree and a doctorate at the University of Illinois where he studied conducting with both James Keene and Donald Schleicher. He is a member of the College Band Directors National Association and the World Association of Symphonic Bands and Ensembles, and in 2012 he was inducted into the American Bandmasters Association.
Scott and his wife Teah live in Columbia with their son John and his dog, Duke. Scott enjoys traveling internationally and playing golf, and he is currently taking Mandarin classes at USC.