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School of Music

Faculty and Staff

Scott Weiss

Title: Sarah Bolick Smith Distinguished Professor of Music / Director of Bands
School of Music
Phone: 803-777-6251

School of Music Room 117


USC Bands web page
USC Orchestras web page



Scott Weiss is the Sarah Bolick Smith Distinguished Professor of Music at the University of South Carolina where he conducts the USC Wind Ensemble and teaches graduate conducting. Beginning in August 2017 he is also the Interim Conductor of the USC Symphony Orchestra.

Equally at home leading both symphony orchestras and wind bands, Weiss maintains an active international conducting schedule, including recent concerts in China with many of that country’s leading professional symphony orchestras, including the Shenzhen Symphony Orchestra, the Hunan Symphony Orchestra, the Nanchang Philharmonic, the Shandong Symphony Orchestra, and the Inner Mongolia Symphony Orchestra. His 2017-18 schedule includes return engagements with the Inner-Mongolia and Hunan Symphony Orchestras, as well as his debut with the Sichuan Symphony Orchestra.

A passionate advocate of contemporary music, Weiss has commissioned and premiered over 40 new works, and performances under his direction have won the praise of such notable composers as Joseph Schwantner, Samuel Adler, Karel Husa, Frank Ticheli, David Dzubay, and many others. He has recorded several CD’s of American music on the Naxos and Summit labels, including a 2013 release on the Naxos label featuring music by Leonard Bernstein. Hailed by critics as “scintillating,” and “fresh and spontaneous,” of this disc Barry Kilpatrick of American Record Guide proclaimed, “There are simply too many great moments to mention.”

Dr. Weiss’s graduate conducting studio at the University of South Carolina is an international draw for talented young conductors. Former conducting students of his hold major conducting and academic positions throughout the world. He has also been the lead teacher at numerous conducting symposia, and in 2018 he will be a clinician at the Los Angeles Conducting Workshop Institute.

Scott Weiss is frequently invited to conduct performances and teach masterclasses at leading music schools around the world, including the Central Conservatory of Music (Beijing), the Shanghai Conservatory of Music, the Sydney Conservatorium of Music and the University of Western Australia. A strong supporter of public school music education, he has conducted all-state ensembles and festivals in over 30 states, and in 2018 he will serve as the conductor of the Music for All Honor Band of America.

Dr. Weiss earned an undergraduate degree in trumpet performance from the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music and both a master’s and a doctorate from the University of Illinois where he studied conducting with Donald Schleicher and James Keene. Prior to his tenure at the University of South Carolina, he served on the conducting faculties of the University of Kansas, the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music, Lamar University (TX), and Emory University.

Scott and his wife, Teah, reside in Columbia and are the proud parents of their son, John, a freshman in the Honors College at USC. In addition to conducting and teaching, Scott enjoys traveling, surfing, and playing golf.