University of South Carolina School of Music

The University of South Carolina School of Music has established a national reputation for artistic and scholarly excellence and is among the most highly regarded music schools and conservatories in the U.S.  Our acclaimed faculty prepare approximately 500 undergraduate and graduate music majors for professional careers and leadership in music teaching, performance, composition, and research.

Accredited by NASM, the school generates research and creative activities that have local, national, and international impact. Students specializing in virtually every orchestra and band instrument, voice, piano, organ and guitar can choose from more than 20 degree programs.

Some of the newer degree programs and minors approved by the National Association of Schools of Music include: 

Bachelor of Music in Performance with a Concentration in either Technology, Chamber Music or Entrepreneurship

• Master of Music in Performance and Community Engagement, Minor in Music Industry Studies

• Minor in Recording Technology Studies.

The pioneering Spark Music Leadership Laboratory, the nation’s first comprehensive music leadership institute, provides students with music entrepreneurship, community engagement, and music advocacy experiences and education they need to forge successful and meaningful careers.

Our commitment to new and contemporary music is distinguished through innovative, award-winning programs and commissions of new works every year. Faculty dedication to performing and teaching music of our time is realized through Southern Exposure New Music Series, Chamber Innovista, the experimental music studio xMuse, and New Voices concerts by student composers.

Hailed by The New York Times as “something extraordinary,” the Grammy Award-winning Parker Quartet has been the USC Quartet-in-Residence since 2013. Made possible by donations and grants from USC and Chamber Music America’s prestigious Guarneri Residency Award, the quartet offers public concerts, school outreach, and master classes for USC string students. Pre-college string quartets from around the south and Mid-Atlantic compete and experience the artistic and educational power of the Parker Quartet each spring residency during Chamber Music Day.

Additional hallmarks of the school include the renowned Conductors Institute of SC and the Southeastern Piano Festival; USC String Project, a model of community service and teacher education for more than 40 universities; and our graduate piano pedagogy and choral, wind and orchestra conducting programs, considered among the top handful of such programs in the nation.

“Looking out into the audience and knowing we had touched so many of them with our story truly moved me,” said Margaret Eighmey who performed as a street singer in Leonard Bernstein’s MASS. “MASS was such an amazing experience. Fully staged performances are put on so rarely in the professional world, so it was amazing that we had the number of people and resources to pull it off as a university.”  

– Margaret Eighmey, Master’s candidate, Opera Theatre and a street singer in Leonard Bernstein’s MASS

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