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Southern Exposure New Music Series

The Southern Exposure New Music Series is devoted to exploring the rich variety of contemporary classical and world music written in the past 30 years and masterworks of the 20th century.

Announcing Southern Exposure’s 2020-21 Season! CONNECTIONS

The Southern Exposure New Music Series’ 19th season is about making connections: between humans and the natural world, the present and the past, one of today’s foremost ensembles and UofSC students and faculty, and a father and son.

All Southern Exposure concerts are FREE

The safety of our audience and performers is paramount and will be ensured through outdoor performances, social distancing, mandatory face coverings and limited audience sizes.

Sat., Oct. 3, 2020
Ten Thousand Birds by John Luther Adams, developed by Alan Pierson
6:00 p.m., UofSC campus, Historic Horseshoe

5:30 audience check-in outside McKissick Museum
Season patrons receive registration priority. 
Free / Limited access
A part of Bridging Our Distances, an initiative imagined by the faculty and student leaders of the School of Music.

Ten Thousand Birds is a celebration of the music of the natural world and our relationship to it by one of America’s foremost living composers, Pulitzer-winner John Luther Adams. The piece, meant to be performed outdoors, features the composer’s stylized renderings of birdsong (20 bird species are represented) and other sounds from nature, played by a chamber orchestra of strings, winds, brass, percussion and keyboards. This special event, staged on the heart of campus, UofSC’s historic Horseshoe, was performed by UofSC students, socially distanced, with discreet areas for audience members and performers. Staging and direction by Michael Harley, original concept and design by Alan Pierson. For more information about this event, including pictures, videos, and a special Southern Exposure interview with the composer, please see our Ten Thousand Birds website.

Sun., Nov. 1, 2020
Glory: A Tribute to Richard Greener

3:00 p.m., Russell House Patio Stage  (UofSC campus between the Russell House Student Union and Cooper Library)
Free / limited audience / reservations required
Reserve seats here. (limit 2 per person); season patrons will receive priority registration.
UofSC music faculty and special guests perform works originally commissioned for the 2018 unveiling of the Cooper Library statue dedicated to Richard T. Greener. Greener was the university’s first African American professor, the first Black graduate of Harvard, Dean of the Howard University Law School, and served as a diplomat in Vladivostok, Russia, among his many accomplishments. “Glory” by Valerie Coleman (Performance Today’s 2020 “Classical Woman of the Year”) and “A Pioneer’s Opus” by Jeff Scott, celebrate Greener’s life and legacy, setting his own words, original poetry and Langston Hughes’ “Let American be America Again.”  Featured artists are Columbia baritone Kendrick Williams and narrator Isaiah Hogue.

This is an outdoor, socially distanced concert for a limited audience. The audience will be required to wear face coverings. For those who don't attend in person, the performance will be live-streamed. More info about the program here.

Greener’s biographer Katherine Reynolds Chaddock, author of Uncompromising Activist: Richard Greener, First Black Graduate of Harvard College, will give a short talk to open the concert.

Opening Remarks by Katherine Chaddock
A Pioneer’s Opus (2018) by Jeff Scott
Glory (2018) by Valerie Coleman
Ari Streisfeld and William Terwilliger, violins; Daniel Sweaney, viola; Claire Bryant, cello; Craig Butterfield, bass; Jennifer Parker-Harley, flute; Rebecca Schalk Nagel, oboe; Joseph Eller, clarinet; Dakota Corbliss, French horn; Michael Harley, bassoon; Kendrick Williams, baritone; Isaiah Hogue, narrator. Conducted by Jabarie Glass.

A part of Bridging Our Distances, an initiative imagined by the faculty and student leaders of the School of Music.

Fri., Feb. 19, 2021
Alarm Will Sound: Video Chat Variations
, music by John Fitz Rogers, Meredith Monk, Tyshawn Sorey and others
7:30 p.m. Livestream
(your living room!)
 A live broadcast featuring innovative recordings made online by of America’s most acclaimed contemporary music groups, including virtual collaboration with UoSC music students.  Hosted by Michael Harley, with special guests including conductor Alan Pierson and members of Alarm Will Sound. Performed online by Alarm Will Sound, including guest appearances by UofSC students.

Fri., March 19, 2021
Terry and Gyan Riley
7:30 p.m., Johnson Performance Hall
(Darla Moore School of Business)
The legendary composer and one of the founders of musical minimalism, Terry Riley, and his son Gyan, a virtuoso guitarist, form a one-of-a-kind improvisatory duo.  This marks a highly unusual opportunity to hear this famous father/son team live and in person.

Get the details here.

Founded in 2001 by UofSC associate professor of composition and composer John Fitz Rogers, the nonprofit series has grown steadily and attracts standing-room-only crowds from throughout South Carolina and neighboring states.

The series has achieved a national reputation for the quality and adventurous spirit of its four yearly concerts, unparalleled in the southeast for their mix of artistic quality, audience education and cutting-edge programming.

Award for Adventurous Programming

Southern Exposure was awarded a 2007 Chamber Music America / ASCAP Award for Adventurous Programming in its 2005-2006 season.

Reserve a seat

These free concerts are often standing room only and early arrival is suggested for seating. For a donation of $100 or more, you can reserve one seat for the entire Southern Exposure season. Donate online.

If you prefer to pay by phone, contact Polly Lafitte at 803-777-4337. You can also mail a check payable to "Southern Exposure New Music Series" to:
Southern Exposure New Music Series School of Music, University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC 29208

Premiere performances

Groups and artists of international repute who have made their Columbia and South Carolina premiere performances in a Southern Exposure concert include:

  • So Percussion
  • Brooklyn Rider
  • Karel Dohnal
  • Argento Chamber Ensemble
  • Tony Arnold and Jacob Greenberg
  • International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE)
  • Alarm Will Sound
  • Imani Winds
  • Los Angeles Piano Quartet
  • Music from Copland House
  • Calder and JACK string quartets
  • Matt Haimovitz, internationally renowned cellist
  • Kartik Seshadri, sitar virtuoso
  • Lisa Moore, esteemed New York-based pianist
  • Gamelan Galak Tika

For more information: Michael Harley, Southern Exposure New Music Series artistic director.

Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.