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  • marching band on the state house steps date unknown

Remembering the Days

The history of the Carolina Band now spans more than a century, through times of prosperity and growth, and through world wars and unprecedented challenges. The students, directors, staff, and supporters of the band have changed, but its spirit has endured. On Saturdays in the fall, in Columbia and across the nation, the sights and sounds of the Carolina Band have energized fans and propelled teams to victory. Day or night, sunshine, rain, or snow, winning or losing, the Carolina Band has been a mainstay of Gamecock pride.

We hope this chronology will serve as a reminder of your own time in the band and pique your curiosity about our heritage. If you have a correction or addition to submit, please e-mail us.

“Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.”

Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

  • Majoretts 1962

     

     

  • Marching Band circa 1960

     

     

  • Marching Band 1963

     

     

The origin story

In 1920 the Board of Trustees approved organization of a band. The group at this time had fewer than 20 students. 

Director: Mr. Martin

The band was a student-organized group, and Mr. Martin was their student director.

Director:James C. Lanham

Director: George Olson
Facilities: Flinn Hall*, 3rd Floor Rutledge, College and Chapel*, Drayton Hall*
Olson’s Band typically numbered 50 musicians. In addition to being the band director, Olson was simultaneously Dean of the School of Commerce. During Olson’s tenure (in 1941 to be exact), women were first allowed to participate in the band.

Director: Robert and R. K. Mead, Mustering Petty Officers (Student band directors)
The band at this time transformed into the V-12 Naval ROTC band.
Director:Louis Albert Fink
Assistant Director:
Pat Garnett
Facilities:
Drayton Hall*, Lieber College*, School of Engineering: (Corner of Greene and Main Streets)
The band took away trips. Marching drill was learned from a chalkboard, and the band played mostly marches.
Director: Richard H. Zimmermann
Facilities:
School of Engineering: (Corner of Greene and Main Streets)
Band grew to the largest membership to its largest membership since its inception (82 members).
Director: Donald L. Banschbach
Facilities:
School of Engineering: (Corner of Greene and Main Streets)
At this time the Air Force ROTC, Navy ROTC and University bands were all operating independently of each other.
Director:Pat Garnett
Assistant Director:
Heyward Moore
Facilities:
School of Engineering: (Corner of Greene and Main Streets)
Garnett had been band director at Dreher High School before coming to USC. He was best known for getting rid of the majorettes. After suffering a stroke in late 1958, Garnett’s assistant Heyward Moore stepped in temporarily.
Director: James D. Pritchard, Sr.
Facilities:
School of Engineering: (Corner of Greene and Main Streets), McMaster: Unknown off-campus location
Brought about numerous changes, the least of which were the Coquettes and use of a feature twirler. During Pritchard’s tenure, the band reached over 100 members.
Director:Ralph Wahl
Assistant Director of Bands:
Kenneth Snyder, Pat Wylie
Facilities:
McMaster: Old Wheat St. Club Building (Sallee, 60), Former Band Hall (S. Main St.)
The Carolina Band reached 350 members due to Wahl’s aggressive recruitment of incoming students and inclusion of local high school band members. The band program separated from the Department of Music.
Director: Ralph Wahl
Associate Director of Bands:
Pay Wylie
Assistant Director of Bands:
Roy Sugden, Keith Rudolph.
Facilities: McMaster: Old Wheat St. Club Building (Sallee, 60), Former Band Hall (S. Main St.)
Director: Ralph Wahl
Associate Director of Bands:
James Keene
Facilities:
McMaster: Old Wheat St. Club Building (Sallee, 60), Former Band Hall (S. Main St.)
In 1972, the Carolina Band performed at the recently opened Disney World for the first time.
Director: Thomas R. O’Neal
Assistant Director:
John A. Pearson
Facilities:
Former Band Hall (S. Main St.)
The Band came back under the jurisdiction of the Music Department. The tradition of post-game concerts by the Carolina Band began at this time.

The "Cope" years

James K. Copenhaver, the longest ever tenured director of the band, created a new and much-loved pre-game show. He also is responsible for the tradition of always having national or world champion twirlers as a part of the band. Mr. Copenhaver’s impact on the band and his generosity are memorialized with the naming of the Copenhaver Band Hall, built in 2009.
Director of Bands: James K. Copenhaver
Assistant Director of Bands:
 Doug Graham
Facilities:
Former Band Hall (S. Main St.), School of Music (813 Assembly St.)

Director of Bands: James K. Copenhaver
Associate Director of Bands: Larry Volman
Assistant Director of Bands:Doug Graham
Facilities: Former Band Hall (S. Main St.)

Director of Bands: James K. Copenhaver
Associate Director of Bands: Ken Pouncey
Assistant Director of Bands:Doug Graham
Facilities: Former Band Hall (S. Main St.)

Director of Bands: James K. Copenhaver
Associate Director of Bands: Andrew Gowan
Assistant Director of Bands:Doug Graham
Facilities: Former Band Hall (S. Main St.), School of Music (813 Assembly St.)
Director of Bands: James K. Copenhaver
Director of Athletic Bands:
David A. O’Shields
Assistant Director of Bands
: Doug Graham
Facilities:
Former Band Hall (S. Main St.), School of Music (813 Assembly St.)
O’Shields’ era saw the demolition of the Former Band Hall, the move across the street to the Interim Band Hall, and the plans for the new facility at 326 Sumter Street.

Director of Bands: James K. CopenhaverDirector of Athletic Bands: George Brozak
Associate Director of Bands
: Rebecca Phillips
Facilities:
Interim Band Hall (S. Main St.), School of Music (813 Assembly St.), Copenhaver Band Hall
Dr. Brozak’s era began with the first instance of scholarships for all Carolina Band Members.

A new era

Amid numerous changes at UofSC, the band has experienced unprecedented growth since 2009. Thanks to generous investment by the University Administration, School of Music, Department of Athletics, and friends, the Carolina Band continues to combine our traditions with the latest technological improvements, while providing scholarships and the finest possible experience for our students.

Director of Bands: Scott Weiss
Director of Athletic Bands: Steve McKeithen
Associate Director of Bands: Rebecca Phillips

Director of Bands: Scott Weiss
Director of Athletic Bands: Rebecca Phillips
Assistant Director of Bands: Jayme Taylor
During this time period, the Carolina football program experienced unprecedented success, leading to increased visibility of the band. The band also began wearing the new, all-white uniforms still worn today.

Director of Bands: Scott Weiss
Interim Director of Athletic Bands: Jayme Taylor
Interim Assistant Director of Bands: Steve Meyer

Director of Bands: Scott Weiss
Director of Athletic Bands: Cormac Cannon
Assistant Director of Bands: Jayme Taylor
Director of Bands: Scott Weiss
Director of Athletic Bands
: Cormac Cannon
The Carolina Band practice field is replaced with state-of-the art artificial turf, with the exact markings of the field at Williams-Brice Stadium.
Director of BandsScott Weiss
Director of Athletic Bands:
Cormac Cannon
Assistant Director of Bands:
Tonya Mitchell
The band begins its popular “Tailgate Takeover” tradition with mini bands performing around Williams-Brice stadium on gameday.
Director of Bands: Scott Weiss
Director of Athletic Bands:
Cormac Cannon
Assistant Director of Bands: 
Tonya Mitchell
Assistant Director of Bands:
Jack Eaddy
Director of Bands: Cormac Cannon
Director of Athletic Bands:
Jay Jacobs
Assistant Director of Bands:
Tonya Mitchell
Director of Bands: Cormac Cannon
Director of Athletic Bands:
Jay Jacobs
Director of Bands:Cormac Cannon
Director of Athletic Bands:
Jay Jacobs
Assistant Director of Bands:
Quintus Wrighten
  • Marching band in front of Thomas Cooper Library circa 1962

     

     

  • Drum line

     

     

  • Drum Majors with drum head posing circa 1960

     

     

Forever to thee!

Can't get enough history? Check out this story, podcast and video


Remembering the Days podcast  
https://www.sc.edu/uofsc/posts/2020/09/100_years_mighty_sound.php#.YQb-m5NKgRw

100 years of band  story  
https://www.sc.edu/uofsc/posts/2020/09/carolina_100.php#.YQb-4pNKgRw

 Facebook live event to celebrant 100 year anniversary 
https://www.facebook.com/uofsc/videos/3895667747116073


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