Carolina Summer Music Conservatory will be June 18-24, 2023. Application Deadline is May 15.
Participants study repertoire with USC music faculty on solo work and in small chamber ensembles culminating in a performance on the last day.
Students who have completed 9th through 12th grade focus on individual performance, chamber music and developing musicianship skills, such as listening, rhythmic and ensemble skills.
In addition to master classes, chamber music coaching and private lessons, students are offered a variety of activities, including courses in music history, music theory, how to prepare for an audition, and jazz improvisation.
Conservatory participants rehearse and perform solo works with professional accompanists and hear concerts and recitals given by conservatory faculty members.
In addition to our standard conservatory for brass, guitar, percussion, piano, strings and woodwinds, CSMC is offering intensives in voice and jazz, click the links to learn more.
Piano students have the opportunity to work in chamber ensembles in addition to daily lessons, master classes and classes with the other conservatory students.
Application fee: $75 (Application deadline is MAY 15)
Room and board (includes housing and all meals for residential students): $400
Optional Meals for commuters (includes 5 lunches and 5 dinners): $125
Accompanist fee (required for voice intensive participants): $100
Applicants must either submit 2-3 contrasting pieces during the registration process. Please see the Voice Intensive page and the Jazz Intensive page for the intensive program audition requirements.
Summer Music Conservatory FAQ
For more information: email Jennifer Mitchell or call 803-777-4281.
Carolina Summer Music Conservatory Faculty
Craig Butterfield is professor of double bass and jazz studies at the University of South Carolina where he directs one of the largest double bass programs in the Southeast. American Record Guide has said “Craig Butterfield is nothing short of magnificent. I haven’t heard such expressive playing and virtuosic command since Gary Karr. His tone is gorgeous, his intonation rock-solid, and his phrasing expressive and flexible.” Soundboard magazine stated, “Butterfield can make his instrument dance and sing with an effortless which is hard to credit. (He must have a bionic left forearm). Not only can he inhabit the range of a cello, but he can make it light and lyrical when needed.” Read more
Cellist Claire Bryant enjoys an active and diverse career as a performer of chamber music, contemporary music, and the solo cello repertoire. She is equally passionate and committed to her work as an educator and advocate for the inclusion of the arts in society. A founding member Decoda, Affiliate Ensemble of Carnegie Hall, Claire has collaborated with world-class artists including Daniel Hope, Anthony Marwood, Emanuel Ax, Sir Simon Rattle, Dawn Upshaw, the Weilerstein Trio, the Danish String Quartet and members of the St. Lawrence String Quartet, among others. She regularly performs with acclaimed ensembles in NYC such as Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, Novus NY, and Orchestra of St. Luke’s. Read more
Neil Casey is the assistant director of orchestras at the University of South Carolina, as well as the Music Director of the South Carolina Philharmonic Youth Orchestras. At USC, he teaches conducting, violin, chamber music, conducts Opera at USC and the USC Campus Orchestra, an ensemble that he created. Previously, Mr. Casey was the assistant conductor of the Augusta (Ga.) Symphony, Conductor of the Armstrong Atlantic Youth Orchestra (Savannah, Ga.), and a faculty member at the Conductors Institute in Columbia and the Opera Master Classes in Charleston, South Carolina as part of Piccolo Spoleto. Read more
Joseph Eller is associate professor of clarinet at USC. He has performed solo and chamber music recitals throughout North and South America, Europe and Asia. He was appointed principal clarinetist of the South Carolina Philharmonic in 2012 and has played extra with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, the Atlanta Opera Orchestra, Charleston Symphony Orchestra and numerous other orchestras throughout the southeastern U.S. Read More
Clifford Leaman is associate dean and professor of saxophone at USC. He is in great demand as a soloist and clinician and has performed and taught throughout the U.S., Canada, Italy, Spain, France, Slovenia, Sweden, Thailand and in China where he has been a featured guest artist eight times since 2004. Read More
Dr. Emily Creedle is committed to making her community a better place as an artist citizen by sharing her joy and passion for the flute and music making as a performer and teacher. She is Adjunct Professor of Flute at the University of South Carolina Aiken and the Director of the KinderFlute Columbia program through the Carolina Music Studios at USC Columbia. Some of her middle and high school students currently play with the SC Philharmonic Repertory and Youth Orchestra, have made All-State band, and have won competitions at the South Carolina Flute Society Festival and the New Jersey Flute Festival.
Mathew Tuk currently serves as Instructor of Low Brass at Presbyterian College in Clinton, SC. He received his formal training at Louisiana State University where he was awarded his Bachelor's Degree in Music Education and later his Master’s Degree in Tuba Performance. At LSU, his primary teachers were Dr. Joe Skillen and Dr. Charles Goodman.
After receiving his undergraduate degree, he served as Director of Bands at Central High School in Baton Rouge, LA where he ran a comprehensive and successful high school band program. His bands consistently received Superior ratings at marching and concert festivals. Afterwards, he returned to LSU as a graduate assistant where he received his Masters degree. He is currently enrolled at the University of South Carolina as a Graduate Assistant, where he is pursuing a Doctoral Degree in Tuba Performance.
Mathew is an active freelance musician in the area. He has competed with success as a soloist and chamber musician in a number of International Tuba and Euphonium Association competitions. He is also a member of the Backburner Tuba and Euphonium Collective, the nation’s premiere large tuba-euphonium ensemble consisting of professional musicians from across the U.S. including 20 collegiate professors. Debut album to be released in 2022. He has maintained an active private studio with student ages ranging from the primary level through the collegiate level.
Hunter Poe is a doctoral student at the University of South Carolina, where he is a teaching assistant to JD Shaw and the horn studio. As an active musician and teacher, Hunter maintains an active horn studio and regularly freelances with orchestra in and around South Carolina. Hunter holds a Master of Music degree from Oklahoma State University and a Bachelor of Music Education degree from Baylor University. His former teachers include Lanette Compton, Jeffrey Powers and Dr. Kim Haglestein.
Scott Herring directs the percussion area at USC. He frequently appears as a guest artist with university percussion ensembles across the U.S. and has presented concerts and clinics at PASIC 1996, 2002, 2006 and 2011. Read More
Touted as a “gifted young guitarist” by the New York Times, and “a guitarist to keep an eye on” by the Washington Post, Grammy®- nominated artist Mak Grgić [GER-gich] is a star on the worldwide stage. An expansive and adventurous repertoire attests to his versatility and wide-ranging interests. From the ethnic music of his native Balkans to extreme avant-garde and microtonal music, his roles as soloist, collaborator, and Grammy-nominated recording artist are fueled by curiosity, imagination, and boundless energy. As a testament to his versatility and wide-ranging appeal, in 2018 Mak was invited by legendary singer-songwriter k.d. lang to perform as the opening act for the North American leg of her Ingénue Redux Tour. Read More
Lauren Meccia is director of jazz bands at the University of South Carolina and USC Aiken and instructor of saxophone at USC Aiken. She is the founder and director of the CSRA (Central Savannah River Area) New Horizons Band for senior adults in Aiken, SC and assistant director of the Congaree New Horizons Band in Columbia, SC.
Craig Butterfield is professor of double bass and jazz studies at the University of South Carolina where he directs one of the largest double bass programs in the Southeast. American Record Guide has said “Craig Butterfield is nothing short of magnificent. I haven’t heard such expressive playing and virtuosic command since Gary Karr. His tone is gorgeous, his intonation rock-solid, and his phrasing expressive and flexible.” Soundboard magazine stated, “Butterfield can make his instrument dance and sing with an effortless which is hard to credit. (He must have a bionic left forearm). Not only can he inhabit the range of a cello, but he can make it light and lyrical when needed.” Read More
Drummer, composer, educator and bandleader, Dr. Colleen Clark is the first drummer and woman to earn a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Jazz Performance at the world-renowned University of North Texas, the oldest jazz institution in America.
As a player, Clark has been described as "someone to watch" and "someone who will be turning heads in jazz for years to come." Clark was invited by the ASCAP Foundation to lead her band, the Colleen Clark Collective, at the Kennedy Center. Dr. Clark has performed in prominent NYC venues including Jazz at Lincoln Center, Birdland and the 55 Bar. Her debut album, consisting entirely of her original music, Introducing Colleen Clark, was produced by Gordon Stout and engineered by ten-time Grammy Award nominee/winner, Brian Dozoretz. Clark proudly joined the Sisters in Jazz Collegiate Combo on their premiere performance at the Jazz Education Network in 2019.
Trumpeter, composer, educator and technologist Dr. Matthew White is a curious musician, often blurring the lines between musical styles and conventions. Before entering academia, he was a freelance and session musician in Nashville and Miami. He holds degrees from the University of North Florida and The University of Miami and has appeared on numerous albums, radio broadcasts, and television shows, performing and composing music for artists as varied as: Rihanna, Becca Stevens, The Tommy Dorsey Orchestra, Victor Wooten, Steve Bailey, Oscar DeLeon, Duranice Pace, Charlie Peacock, the Czech Republic Arts Ministry, and Jeff Coffin, in addition to various other artists, ensembles, symphonies, and big bands. Read More
Michael Wilkinson joined the faculty at University of South Carolina in August 2017 as Assistant Professor of Trombone and has since thoroughly enjoyed immersed himself in the local scene, performing with the South Carolina Philharmonic, the Soda City Brass Band, various jazz ensembles at Pearlz Upstairs, teaching/performing at the USC ColaJazz Camp, and performing with the newly-formed South Carolina Jazz Masterworks Ensemble. Prior to USC, he was Assistant Professor of Trombone and Jazz Studies at the University of Central Florida (UCF), performing extensively with the Brass Band of Central Florida all over the Central Florida area, as well as brass band competitions in the US and England.
Retired professor Bert Ligon is the former director of jazz studies at the University of South Carolina. He received his Bachelor of Music and his Master of Music in jazz piano performance and arranging from the University of North Texas. Ligon has published four books: Jazz Theory Resources Vol. 1 & 2, Connecting Chords with Linear Harmony, and Comprehensive Technique for the Jazz Musician. Ligon has published several original compositions and arrangements for big band, jazz orchestra, and steel drum ensembles. He composed extensively in the Radio/TV/film industry receiving many awards including national PBS awards and an EMMY nomination. He composed the SCBDA All-State Jazz Band Audition music. Ligon has been president of the South Carolina IAJE and chair of the jazz committee of the South Carolina Band Directors Association. Ligon was commissioned to compose music by the Midwest Clinic in celebration of the 2018 Conference. Read More
Almond Ponge is a native from Manila, Philippines, and has recently won the grand prize at the Adria Art Fest 2021 and Royal Sound Music Competition 2021. He also won first prize at the 2022 Tiziano Rossetti International Music Competition, 2021 Lams Matera Award, Danubia Talents International Competition, and Canadian International Music Competition, among others. His orchestral debut was with the Manila Symphony Orchestra in 2013; he has participated in the Southeastern Piano Festival both as an associate and a performer, the UST Sampung Mga Daliri, as well as Philippine Teacher’s Guild for Piano (PTGP) events such as the Forte@40, Mall Tours and Paco Park Presents.
He has participated in masterclasses with Anton Nel, Carol Leone, John O’Connor, Walter Hautzig, Pascal Roge, Dorian Leljak, and Sofya Gulyak, among others.
Mr. Ponge graduated from the University of South Carolina with his Graduate Certificate in Piano Performance under Dr. Marina Lomazov. He has completed his Master’s degree at Winthrop University, also in South Carolina, and his Bachelor’s degree at the University of Santo Tomas, Philippines. He is currently pursuing a DMA in Piano Performance at the University of South Carolina, where he is studying with Philip Bush and Charles Fugo.
He was the interim director for the Center of Piano Studies at the University of South Carolina last Fall 2022, and is currently an Adjunct Piano Instructor at Winthrop University for Spring 2023.
Serena Hill-LaRoche, DMA, is an active concert artist having recently been featured in works such as Samuel Barber’s Knoxville: Summer of 1915, Herbert Howells’ Hymnus Paradisi, Poulenc’s Gloria, Handel’s Messiah, Haydn’s Creation and Seasons, Brahm’s Requiem, Charpentier’s Te Deum, Vaughan William’s Dona Nobis Pacem and Handel’s Samson. Hill-LaRoche’s recent locations for performance and/or master class engagements include East Tennessee State University, Chattanooga Symphony Orchestra, Greenville Light Opera Works, East Carolina University, University of North Carolina at Pembroke, South Carolina Philharmonic, Coker College, Bechtler Museaum of Art, Virginia Commonwealth University, Palmetto Opera, University of Maryland, Central Florida Lyric Opera, Firenze Lirico, Columbia Museum of Art, and Abadía Benedictina de la Santa Cruz del Valle de los Caídos as well as other performances in both Spain and Italy. Her opera credits include Micaela (Carmen), Lady with the Cake Box (Postcard from Morocco), Rosalinde (Die Fledermaus), Fiordiligi (Cosi fan tutte), Countess (Le Nozze di Figaro), Pamina (Die Zauberflöte) and the title role in Dominick Argento’s Miss Havisham’s Wedding Night. Read More
Janet Hopkins joined the University of South Carolina School of Music in the fall 2008 semester, as Associate Professor of Voice, mezzo-soprano. Ms. Hopkins holds a Bachelor of Music degree in Music Education, cum laude, and a Masters Degree in Vocal Performance, cum laude, from the State University of New York, Potsdam, NY. In addition to touring extensively with The Met, Ms. Hopkins has performed in Japan and throughout Europe, as well as all over the United States. She has appeared at Carnegie Hall and at the opening ceremonies of the 1980 Winter Olympics in Lake Placid, NY. Read More
Having recently been appointed Assistant Professor of Voice at The University of South Carolina, tenor Dominic Armstrong has been celebrated for his musicality, characterization, and beauty of tone on stages both nationally and internationally. In the 2019-20 season, Mr. Armstrong was hailed by Opera News for ‘truly a classic, memorable performance on all levels’ of Janacek’s The Diary of One Who Vanished for the Brooklyn Art Song Society, and by Parterre Box for being ‘an absolute star...able to pull from a wide expressive palette in his utterly unflappable, fluid tenor...’ in his performance as Prologue/Peter Quint in OnSite Opera’s production of Benjamin Britten’s Turn of the Screw. He was also seen as Don José in Kentucky Opera’s production of Carmen, and debuted the role of John and understudied the role of Mr. Marks in Ricky Ian Gordon and Lynn Nottage’s new work Intimate Apparel with Lincoln Center Theatre, under the direction of Bartlett Sher. Read More
Since her appointment in 2004, Ellen Douglas Schlaefer has staged over 50 productions for Opera at USC and established the Carolina Opera Experience, a summer day camp for children. She received her BA from Davidson College and MFA (stage directing) from The Catholic University of America.
Early in her career, Schlaefer assisted directors Francesca Zambello, Gian Carlo Menotti,
Julius Rudel, Sonja Frissell, Ann-Margret Pettersson, Ted Pappas, Michael Ehrman,
Baayork Lee and Roman Terleckyj on productions with The Washington Opera, Houston
Grand Opera, Dallas Opera, Opera Colorado, Central City Opera, Charleston Symphony,
The Israel Festival (Jerusalem, Israel), Teatro Comunale di Modena (Italy), Spoleto
Festival (Melbourne, Australia) and New York Harlem Productions (Munich, Germany).
Schlaefer is the Founder and General Director of FBN Productions, Inc., Opera for Kids, a professional touring company established in 1994 performing operas in schools, libraries and other venues throughout the Southeast. Read More
Praised for her “gorgeous and colorful soprano” (American Record Guide), Tina Milhorn Stallard has performed solos in works such as Brahms’ Ein Deutsches Requiem, Haydn’s The Creation, Bach’s St. John Passion, Poulenc’s Gloria and Handel’s Messiah. She made her Carnegie Hall debut as soprano soloist in Mozart’s Missa Brevis and her Lincoln Center debut in Timothy Powell’s Incarnation Mysteria, both under the auspices of Distinguished Concerts International. As part of the cultural prelude to the 2008 Summer Olympics, Ms. Stallard performed the soprano solos in Vivaldi’s Gloria with the Shanghai Philharmonic Orchestra and members of the Beijing National Ballet Orchestra. She has also performed with the Zagreb Chamber Orchestra, Plovdiv Philharmonic Orchestra, Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra, Lexington Philharmonic Orchestra, Johnson City Symphony, Louisville Orchestra, South Carolina Philharmonic Orchestra, Bowling Green Western Symphony and the University of Arkansas Orchestra. Read More