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School of Music

The flute studio


Flute studio

Welcome to the USC Flute Studio page! Studio members are accomplished performers, having won prizes in competitions of the Texas Flute Society, Houston Flute Club, Atlanta Flute Club, Central Ohio Flute Association, Mid-South Flute Society, S.C. Flute Society, Kentucky Flute Society, Florida Flute Association and the National Flute Association. As a studio, we are also regularly involved in community engagement projects, which give our students hands-on experience with marketing, event planning and arts advocacy.

The studio is a close-knit group, and together we cultivate a warm and supportive atmosphere that encourages creativity, experimentation and growth. Our motto: Work hard and be nice to people! Please visit often – on the web or in person. There is always something going on (performances listed in the side bar of this page) and we would love to meet you!

Flute Studio News

USC Fall Flute Festival

The flute studio at USC will host the annual Fall Flute Festival featuring guest artist, Christina Jennings from the University of Colorado- Boulder.  Ms. Jennings will present a masterclass with students from USC and the winner of the High School Masterclass Competition.  The Honors Flute Choir will perform a concert before Ms. Jenning's recital, and registration is open to any high school student. All events will be held in Johnson Performance Hall in the Darla Moore School of Business and are open and free to the public. Join us on Saturday, November 14th for a 10am masterclass and 5pm recital. Musical Innovations will be exhibiting flutes, accessories, and music, and the event is sponsored in part by Powell Flutes.

USC Flutes perform at NFA

Members of the USC flute studio and Dr. Jennifer-Parker Harley were invited to perform on the opening gala concert at the 2015 National Flute Association Convention honoring lifetime achievement award recipient Harvey Sollberger.  Sollberger conducted the ensemble of eleven flutists plus soloist on his composition "Killipata/Chaskapata." In addition, Dr. Parker-Harley presented a High School Masterclass and served as a judge for the Young Artist Competition at the convention.

Current and former USC flutists selected as finalists and prize winners in multiple national competitions.

Click here to read more on the Flute Studio News Page.   


Current Flute Students


Olivia Brown

A native of Newnan, Georgia, Olivia Brown is in her first year as a Master’s student at the University of South Carolina studying flute performance. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Music Education, Summa cum Laude, from Jacksonville State University (AL), where she studied flute with Dr. Jeremy Benson. Prior to college, she studied with Bethany Lukehart. Olivia was a finalist in the 2015 Florida Flute Association College Young Artist Competition, and was the winner of the 2015 National Federation of Music Clubs Collegiate Solo Competition in the Orchestral Winds division. She was the featured soloist on the JSU Chamber Winds’ recent performance of the Chaminade Concertino, and was a regular substitute flute/piccolo in the Gadsden (AL) Symphony Orchestra. She has also performed as part of the pit orchestra for several musicals. A sister of Sigma Alpha Iota music fraternity, she is a recipient of the Sword of Honor and the Ruby Sword of Honor. She was the JSU David L. Walters Department of Music’s Most Outstanding Freshman in 2012, and in April 2015 she was named its Most Outstanding Senior.Olivia enjoys playing with her dog and cooking, and is currently planning her upcoming wedding.

Dorion Burkett



Josie Cox

Josie Cox is a freshman Music Education major and is a member of the Carolina Marching Band's piccolo section. She is from Myrtle Beach, South Carolina and has been playing flute for seven years. Josie attended Carolina Forest High School and was a member of the high school's state superior rated Symphonic Winds directed by Mark Roddy. She was also involved in the Carolina Forest Marching Band where she was Co-Woodwind and Band Captain for her junior and senior year. Under private lesson instructor Amy Tully, Josie was placed in local and regional bands and many honor bands such as Coastal Carolina Honor Band and the University of South Carolina Honor Band in 2013 and 2015. Josie also played in the Long Bay Youth Symphony Orchestra throughout her junior and senior year. Josie plans to also minor in chemistry while attending the university. 


Mimi Harding

Mimi Harding is a sophomore flute performance major at USC where she  studies with Jennifer Parker-Harley. The winner of numerous scholarships from Columbia Music Clubs, Sigma Alpha Iota, and the Spring Valley High School Foundation, Mimi was selected for the Brevard Music Institute in the summer of 2013. She has also been recognized in numerous competitions—she was the SC Flute Association's Senior Artist winner (2014) and Clinic Artist of the Year (2012) and an honorable mention for Senior Artist of the year (2013); she won the SCBDA Master Recital Competition in Feb 2014 and was a finalist in the SCBDA Phi Beta Mu 2014 Leadership Award. Mimi was a Piccolo Spoleto Rising Star (2012) and one of eighteen flutists nationally selected for the National Flute Association's HS Flute Choir in Las Vegas.

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Emily Hessler

Emily Hessler brings over seven years of performance on flute and piccolo as she studied privately under Esther Clonts and Jennifer Parker-Harley. Emily placed in All State six years consecutively. Music Clinics include 3 years at Winthrop, 2 years at USC, and 3 years at Furman Band and Orchestra Camp, receiving a scholarship to return. Emily performed with the Nation Ford High School Concert Band and placed 2nd chair in the senior band as a freshman and held 1st chair for the following 3 years. She also marched with NFHS, and was Drum Major her senior year. She held 7th chair in HBOA 2012 and 3rd chair in 2013. Emily marched in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in 2011, and performed with the Charleston Master Solo Recital 2012, 2013.  


Miguel Hijar

Miguel Hijar is an active performer of both classical and contemporary music. At USF Miguel served as principal flutist of the Wind Ensemble and also performed with the Symphony Orchestra. As an enthusiastic advocate for new music Miguel has publicly performed various contemporary works in collaboration with the USF New Music Consortium and New Music Conflagration, a local non-profit organization. In 2011 he was the winner of the FCSAA Winter Music Symposium’s Young Artist Competition and was awarded a scholarship to continue his undergraduate studies. Shortly after graduating, Miguel began performing with the South Shore Symphony Orchestra in Sun City Center, FL where he held the position of principal flutist. His primary teachers have been Barbara Prescott, Dr. Kim McCormick, and Clay Ellerbroek. In addition to performance, Miguelalso enjoys teaching; he maintained a flourishing flute studio at Steinbrenner High School. Currently, Miguel is the recipient of a Woodwind Fellowship at the University of South Carolina where he is currently working on his Master of Music.

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Diane Kessel

Diane Kessel is the flute instructor at Georgia Southern University. She is currently pursuing her DMA at the University of South Carolina, where she studies with Jennifer Parker-Harley. She also holds degrees from the University of Illinois and Western Michigan University. She has previously appeared with the National Music Festival Orchestra, the Ohio Light Opera, the Palmetto Opera, and the Theatro Lirico D'Europa. Diane has performed at festivals and competitions throughout the US, and her quintet recently completed a performance tour of China. A Cleveland native, Diane served as principal flute with the Contemporary Youth Orchestra, performing with Jon Anderson, Pat Benetar, and Styx.

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Allison Layton

Allison Layton is a flutist at the University of South Carolina majoring in Music and Tourism and is a member of the Honors College. She grew up in Chapin, SC and has been playing the flute since 6th grade, when she started taking lessons with Cynthia Hopkins. Upon arriving at USC, she began studying with Dr. Jennifer Parker Harley. Allison has taught clinics and camps at many high schools in the area, has taught private lessons, played in church services and independent gigs around the Midlands, and is co-section leader of the Carolina Band piccolo section. Allison enjoys reading, practicing, and spending her summers as a camp counselor in Knoxville, TN. She also enjoys taking unique and practical classes through the Honors College like The Chemistry of Food and Christianity and Evolution. 


Jessica Leeth

Jessica Dixon Leeth [DMA (ABD), University of South Carolina; MM, BM, East Carolina University] is second flutist and piccoloist with the Long Bay Symphony in Myrtle Beach, SC. She has received awards including First Place in the Central Ohio Flute Association’s Young Artist Competition, the Flute Society of Kentucky’s Piccolo Artist Competition, and the NC MTNA Young Artist Competition.  Jessica appeared as a featured soloist with the Fayetteville Symphony and was named a winner in the 2011 NFA Convention Performers Competition. In 2010, Jessica was awarded the William H. Nolte Graduate Assistant Teaching Award for her work teaching music appreciation, applied flute, and flute methods at USC. She has held teaching positions at Horry-Georgetown Technical College, College of Coastal Georgia, and Presbyterian College. She currently resides in Georgia with her husband Michael.


Samantha Marshall

Samantha Marshall is a senior flute performance major at the University of South Carolina. She performs there with the Symphony Orchestra as well as the Wind Ensemble. She has participated in The Julius Baker Flute Master Classes in 2010 as well as Jim Walker’s Beyond the Master Class in 2011. Samantha has won the SCFS Master Class Competition in 2012 as well as the NFA Master Class Competition in 2013. She also assists in running Charlottesville’s Blue Ridge Chamber Music Camp, where she enjoys teaching kids how to interact with music and with each other. When not playing flute, Samantha can be found running cross county, baking treats for her friends, or relaxing in the sun on a warm day.


Stacey Russell

Flutist Stacey Russell has a vast history as a soloist, teacher, and collaborative musician. Her career began to take shape following her 2010 orchestral debut with the Cedarville Orchestra. Equally comfortable from Bach to Cage, Russell is an advocate for new music as well as a presenter of the classics. Throughout her education, she has received many awards, including the Outstanding Future Music Teacher Award in 2011 and the Cedarville Music Grant from Cedarville University, and later the Outstanding Graduate Student Award from Wright State University in Ohio. She was awarded a Teaching Assistantship during her time at Wright State. While completing her Masters Degree at Wright State, she was invited to perform in the 2012 and 2013 Honor's Recitals, Stacey is currently pursuing her Doctorate of Musical Arts degree in Flute Performance at the University of South Carolina with Dr. Jennifer Parker-Harley. Other mentors and teachers include Michele Bonicci, Lori Akins, and Christopher Chaffee. An active performer and teacher, Russell is fresh from a Summer Tour of performances and teaching engagements in South Carolina, North Carolina, Iowa, Pennsylvania, and Germany. Most recently, she was invited to perform in Cedarville University's alumni recital in October, 2014.


Philip Snyder

Philip Snyder has been called “a physically imposing presence” on stage and has been referred to as a “Wagnerian” player (Classical Voice North Carolina 2012).  He is a current doctoral flute performance student at the University of South Carolina.  As a competitor, he has received honors from the South Carolina Flute Society, National Flute Association, Raleigh Area Flute Association, and was a winner of the University of North Carolina Symphony Concerto Competition.  An avid performer of contemporary music and electroacoustic works, Philip has premiered and commissioned many compositions.  His interest in the Shakuhachi flute lead to studies in Japan.  He is also a member of Standing Room Only Quintet, Collaborations in Contemporary Art (CICA), and the ebb:flow music collective.  BM University of North Carolina, MM University of South Carolina.


Josh Stine

Joshua Stine is a freshman flute performance major under the direction of Dr. Jennifer Parker-Harley. A Summa Cum Laude graduate from Carolina Forest High School, Joshua earned many chair placements in county, region, and state honor bands, most recently earning first chair in the 2015 USC Honor Band’s top ensemble, under the direction of Dr. Paul Popiel. One of his most powerful musical moments was performing “Mekong” at the 2012 Coastal Carolina University Honor Band Clinic directed by the composer himself, Robert W. Smith. Other important influences in Joshua’s career have been the three years spent working with Dr. Charles Evans in the Long Bay Youth Symphony Orchestra of South Carolina. Along with his concert band experience, Joshua also served as co-woodwind captain in the CFHS Marching Band. An inaugural inductee in the CFHS Band Hall of Fame, Joshua also enjoys sharing his talents with the CFHS Theater Department in productions such as “Phantom of the Opera,” “Ragtime,” and “Fiddler on the Roof.” While at USC, Joshua believes that working closely with Dr. Parker-Harley and the music faculty will not only enhance his musical ability, but will broaden his opportunities on national and international stages.

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Emily Stumpf

Emily Stumpf is a flutist from Baltimore, Maryland. She is currently working on a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Performance at the University of South Carolina. She currently holds the Music 110 Graduate Teaching Assistantship, the Music 100L Graduate Assistantship and works as an Office Assistant in the School of Music Office. She is a certified KinderFlute teacher and the director of the KinderFlute Columbia program at the Carolina Music Studios at UofSC. Ms. Stumpf began studying flute at the age of eleven with Cynthia Steigerwald Pierce and studied with David P. Tessmer at Grove City College completing her Bachelor of Music in May 2011 with a double major in French. In the 2011-12 school year Ms. Stumpf studied with Bonita Boyd as a non-degree seeking student and completed her Masters of Music degree at the University of South Carolina in the spring of 2014.

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Zachary Warren

Zach Warren is currently in his second year pursuing a Bachelor of Music in flute performance at the University of South Carolina, under the teaching of Dr. Jennifer Parker-Harley. Hailing from Charlotte, North Carolina, Zach was very active in the Charlotte music scene performing at numerous venues around the city. Zach held principal positions in the Charlotte Youth Wind Ensemble and the Charlotte Symphony Youth Orchestra, appearing as a soloist with both ensembles. Zach has also participated in various summer music programs such as the Charlotte Chamber Music Camp, the Cannon Music Camp, and the Brevard Music Center, where he held principal positions. Throughout high school, Zach studied with Jennifer Dior and also briefly with Dr. Nancy Schneelock-Bingham, Brooks De Wetter-Smith, Dilshad Posnock, and Marianne Gedigian. In college, Zach has won prizes at the Kentucky Flute Association and the South Carolina Flute Society. Zach plans to graduate from USC in the spring of 2017.


Lauren Watkins

Lauren Watkins has enjoyed performances as soloist with the Ohio State Symphony Orchestra, the Sewanee Festival Orchestra and as a member of the innovative flute and percussion duo, flusSion. She has performed with the SC Philharmonic, Symphony Orchestra Augusta, The Palmetto Opera, and the Taneycomo Festival Orchestra. Lauren serves as Adjunct Instructor of Flute at Newberry College, directs the Congaree New Horizon's Sunrise Band, teaches flute at Hammond School, and is a summer program instructor at Trustus Theater. She is a Third Place winner of the Myrna Brown Artist Competition, finalist of the Byron Hester competition, First Prize winner in both the Central Ohio and Atlanta Flute Club’s Young Artist Competitions, and Second Prize winner in the Mid-South Flute Society's Young Artist Competition.  Lauren received her MM from the University of Southern California’s Thornton School of Music under the tutelage of Jim Walker and as a recipient of the Maxwell H. Gluck Foundation and Thornton Outreach Resident Ensemble Fellowships. Lauren earned a Bachelor of Music degree summa cum laude from the Ohio State University as a student of of Katherine Borst Jones, and she is currently a Graduate Teaching Assistant for the flute studio at the University of South Carolina while pursuing her DMA under the instruction of Dr. Jennifer Parker-Harley.


Ally Welborn

Ally Welborn is a freshman Music Education major studying with Dr. Jennifer Parker-Harley. Before graduation with honors from Sumter High School, she participated in all things musical, including her various performances in concert bands (school and community), her high school orchestra and marching band (where she had solos and was a section leader for two years), and events hosted by the SC Flute Society. Ally has participated in region band as well as the SC State All-State honor band her senior year of high school. She takes pleasure in helping others and paying things forward in her community (just a small part of why she aims to be an educator) and has performed countless times at local churches, for a wedding and even for an Air Force retirement ceremony. Besides music, Ally enjoys creating art, being outdoors, and going on adventures- preferably with friends!