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School of Music

  • Professor Bush and piano student


Our keyboard studies program provides varied, meaningful and challenging opportunities for you to learn about the worlds of performance, teaching and research. The six full-time faculty members in the keyboard area are internationally recognized performers, recording artists, pedagogues, authors and clinicians.

We offer comprehensive levels of degree programs, from bachelor’s to doctorates in performance and piano pedagogy, allowing students to learn from fellow students as well as faculty.

Students gain professional and performing experience through weekly music department recitals and studio classes, degree recitals, accompanying and chamber music opportunities and a concerto competition.

Our students are actively engaged in the musical life of the city of Columbia, performing in local and regional concert venues, music directing and performing in local theater and ballet productions, teaching in piano academies and holding church positions.

Through special programs like the Piano Pedagogy Forum, Carolina LifeSong Initiative, Southeastern Piano Festival and the Center for Piano Studies, we provide many opportunities for our students to excel, learn, advocate and educate.

Clinics, master classes and appearances by world renowned guest artists feature prominently in USC's keyboard studies and offer you the finest opportunities for learning.

Keyboard Faculty

Phillip Bush

Phillip Bush

Phillip Bush is associate professor of piano and chamber music. Since his New York recital debut at the Metropolitan Museum in 1984, he has appeared as recitalist throughout North America and Europe and is a frequent performer at noted chamber music festivals.

Jerry Curry

Jerry Curry

Jerry Curry is professor emeritus of music theory and harpsichord. He has performed recitals and as a continuo player in chamber groups, including the South Carolina Philharmonic Orchestra. He is the author of freshman theory text, "Introduction to the Study of Counterpoint." 

Sara Ernst

Sara M. Ernst

Sara Ernst is associate professor of piano pedagogy. Her research includes investigating teaching effectiveness, the use of language in instruction, and successful parent-teacher interactions. She frequently explores pedagogical music of the 20th and 21st centuries and examines the pacing of instruction through the intermediate years.

Charles Fugo

Charles Fugo

Charles Fugo teaches applied piano and coaches chamber music. He is the recipient of the 2008 Cantey Outstanding Faculty Award given by the School of Music. Fugo has played collaborative recitals at New York City’s Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall.

Marina Lomazov

Marina Lomazov

Marina Lomazov is Southeastern Piano Festival co-director. Following prizes in the Cleveland, William Kapell, Gina Bachauer and Hilton Head International Piano Competitions, she has performed throughout the world. 

Matthew Manwarren photo

Matthew Manwarren

Visiting professor Matthew Manwarren has established a notable career as performer and artist teacher. Since 2006, he has served as professor of piano at Winthrop University in Rock Hill, SC.

Scott Price

Scott Price

Scott Price is professor of piano and piano pedagogy and coordinates the piano pedagogy program. He is creator and editor-in-chief of the online journal "Piano Pedagogy Forum," which won the 2008 Frances Clark Keyboard Pedagogy Award. He is founder of the Carolina LifeSong Initiative, which provides music experiences for students with special needs.

Joseph Rackers

Joseph Rackers

Joseph Rackers is adjunct  professor of piano, Southeastern Piano Festival program co-director and an International Steinway Artist. Hailed as an "American Virtuoso" (Audiophile Audition), Rackers has performed for enthusiastic audiences in New York, Chicago, Kiev, Rome, Shanghai and Washington D.C., at venues across Canada, China, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Bulgaria, Ukraine and extensively throughout the United States.

Keyboard Events

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