Skip to Content

School of Music

Liner Notes

USC School of Music in the News

The University of South Carolina School of Music is pleased to announce our faculty, staff and students’ accomplishments and awards along with mentions in regional and national media channels.

Associate Professor of Jazz Studies Matt White to premiere Dolly at Charleston Jazz Festival
  • Matt White’s Dolly is a reimagining of the early music of Dolly Parton, combining her incredible song writing and lyrics with contemporary musical styles and improvisation. Matt was drawn to Dolly’s early career and imagined how her music, often tackling themes of poverty and gender equality, could be reconstructed by connecting southern roots music with contemporary styles and production. An album of this music was recorded in 2022 with support from the South Carolina Arts Commission. Don’t miss this world premiere of Matt White’s Dolly at the 2023 Charleston Jazz Festival on Thursday, April 20!
Music Theory Faculty Member Invited to Speak at International Event in February 2023
  • Bruno Alcalde, Assistant Professor of Music Theory, has been invited to speak at Iremus, series of conferences explores music analysis from the perspective of students and teachers and how their interests determine the repertoires and methods of study.  Alcalde will present "Outsourcing Familiarity: engaging with students’ personal playlists to teach harmonic concepts and contexts."
Assistant Dean for Enrollment Elected to Performing Arts Board of Directors
Professor of Music/Piano and Piano Pedagogy Receives Distinguished Alumni Award
  • Cleveland Institute of Music named Scott Price, Carolina Distinguished Professor of Music/Piano and Piano Pedagogy, as winner of their 2023 Distinguished Alumni Award. The award honors alumni who have attained the highest stature in their field. Price’s accomplishments as a pianist and his work with children with special needs helped earn him this recognition. Price received his MM from CIM in 1991.
Director of The Carolina Band Invited to Join College Football Playoff Operations Staff
  • Dr. Jay Jacobs, director of The Mighty Sound of the Southeast, is joining the College Football Playoff (CFP) operations team at the 2023 National Championship in Los Angeles.  For the 2023 national championship game, the Fiesta Bowl Champion will compete against the Peach Bowl Champion. As one of two Band Operations Workforce directors, Jacobs will assist the directors, staff and students of the university bands representing The Peach Bowl Champion.
School of Music GRAMMY Award Nominations
  • Congratulations to USC Assistant Professor of Guitar Mak Grgić for receiving a GRAMMY nomination for “A Night in Upper Town – The Music of Zoran Krajacis” in the “Best Classical Instrumental Solo” category! USC School of Music alumnus Andy Akiho’s “Ligneous Suite” has been nominated for “Best Contemporary Classical Composition.”
  • Grgic appeared on Columbia's WACH-57 to discuss the nomination. 

“It goes without saying that it is not only an honor to have received this nomination for an album so special, but to see my name appear amongst the leaders of the classical performing arts is a dream come true! Daniil Trifonov, Mitsuko Uchida, Hillary Hahn, Time for Three and Xian Zhang are at the topmost echelon of the classical music industry, bringing even more meaning to this accolade. I am beyond thrilled, and hopeful that this award also brings recognition to the USC School of Music, where I just started my faculty position this fall.”

–  Mak Grgić, USC Assistant Professor of Guitar

Associate Professor of Piano/Chamber Phillip Bush also made the list for his contribution to a GRAMMY nominee. Bush’s piece “When There Are No Words” was among a collection produced by James Ginsburg that earned the producer a nomination of “Producer of the Year, Classical.”

USC Selected as Co-recipient of 2023 MTNA Collegiate Chapter of the Year
  • University of South Carolina Collegiate Chapter of Music Teachers National Association (MTNA) has been selected as co-recipient of the 2023 MTNA Collegiate Chapter of the Year. The selection recognizes the significant accomplishments and important work you are doing to advance music and music teaching on your campus and in your community. During the past year, School of Music chapter members have been active in exploring under-represented composers and repertoire including piano works of varying levels from the United States, Nicaragua, the Philippines, South Korea, China and Malaysia. Teaching Workshops currently being presented include the following titles: The Echo of Beijing Opera in Piano Repertoire, Kodály Folk Song Collections: Developing the Inner Ear of Young Pianists through Folk Song, and Bror Beckman’s Herb Garden Flowers, Op. 20: Impressionistic and Late-Romantic Miniatures for Early-to-Late Intermediate Students.
Reginald Bain Presents “Teaching Algorithmic Composition through Genetic Data Sonification” at the 2022 ATMI/CMS national conference in Long Beach, CA.
  • Reginald Bain, professor of composition and theory, gave a paper presentation titled Teaching Algorithmic Composition through Genetic Data Sonification  at the 2022 ATMI/CMS National Conference in Long Beach, CA. This work is part of the Mutational Music Project created by Bain and Jeff Dudycha, USC Department of Biological Sciences. The project focuses on the development of music and software that helps students understand genetic mutation concepts. The paper presentation Bain gave at the conference discussed some of the software he has created for the project. 
Assistant Professor of Jazz Colleen Clark Receives Grant for Girls Jazz Day
  • Assistant Professor of Jazz Colleen Clark received an SEC Southeastern Conference Travel Grant for the rollout of the nationalization of Jazz Girls Day. Clark is partnering with Assistant Professor of Jazz Dr. Molly Redfield of Louisiana State University to help universities and communities establish their own Jazz Girls Day. Clark discusses this project, along with the challenges and lessons she has learned as a woman the male-dominated jazz world, in South Carolina Voyager magazine.
Serena Hill-LaRoche elected as Governor of the Mid-Atlantic Region of the National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS)
Cellist Featured in Multiple Feature Stories After Release of Debut Album
  • School of Music Assistant Professor of Cello Claire Bryant was featured in news stories including The Washington Post, WLTX and Sumter Item following a concert at Lee Correctional Facility. Bryant released her debut record, Whole Heart, with 6 shows in 4 days at venues in her home states of South Carolina and New York. The first release show was at Lee Correctional Institution, a maximum security prison in Bishopville, SC where she and her Decoda colleagues have run a collaborative songwriting program with the residents for the past 8 years.
Gail V. Barnes Named Keynote Speaker at the Australian String Teachers Association
  • Profession of Music Education and Director of the Strings Project Gail V. Barnes was a keynote speaker at the 2022 Australian String Teachers Association triennial conference in Melbourne, Australia. She also presented her research on preferences (associated with personality type) in school orchestra literature and the priorities in beginning string class instruction. Barnes was the chief adjudicator at the Victoria School Music Festival in Melbourne, conducting clinics with the 60 orchestras over the course of the four-day festival.


Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.