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Jim Copenhaver

USC band hall dedication to honor former leader

By: Frenche` Brewer, brewer4@mailbox.sc.edu, or 803-777-3691

The University of South Carolina School of Music will strike up the band for a signature event Tuesday, Jan. 29, to honor James K. Copenhaver, director of bands, emeritus.

At the ceremony, the university marching band facility will be named the Copenhaver Band Hall, honoring the man who spent 34 years as the program’s popular and influential director of bands. The dedication is set for 5 p.m. at the band hall, 324 Sumter St.

Copenhaver, recently awarded the Phi Beta Mu International Bandmasters Fraternity award for Outstanding Bandmaster, says, “I am grateful and deeply honored to have the USC band building bear my name in recognition of my service and contributions to the university band program. I extend my sincere thanks to all the students, staff, faculty and administrators that assisted me in developing and sustaining a representative college band program at USC.”

Copenhaver became director of bands at USC in 1976. Under his leadership, the entire band program achieved a national reputation for excellence.

"It is altogether fitting that the University of South Carolina and its School of Music recognize the unequalled contributions of James K. Copenhaver to the quality of its band programs by naming the facility that was built to his legacy, the nation's finest marching band building, the Copenhaver Band Hall. Jim Copenhaver created the modern Carolina Band and did so by standing on the shoulders of the great ones that preceded him, as we will do now with him for generations to come in a building that rightly bears his name," says Tayloe Harding, dean of the School of Music.

Copenhaver also conducted the University Wind Ensemble and Symphonic Band and taught undergraduate and graduate classes in wind instrument techniques. The Symphonic Band performed at conferences for the South Carolina Music Educators Association, Music Educators National Conference, College Band Directors National Association, and American Bandmasters Association.

Copenhaver has served as a guest conductor, lecturer and adjudicator throughout the United States and is recognized by leading educational institutions for his accomplishments in the areas of instrumental performance and music education. He has earned the Citation of Excellence from the National Band Association, the Distinguished Service to Music Medal for Instrumental Music Education from Kappa Kappa Psi national honorary band fraternity, and both the Outstanding Bandmaster Award and Outstanding Contributor to Bands Award from the South Carolina chapter of Phi Beta Mu national bandmaster fraternity.

In January 2012, the School of Music announced a million dollar bequest from Copenhaver to support band scholarships.

He was inducted into the South Carolina Band Directors Association Hall of Fame in 2003.

Posted: 01/28/13 @ 12:00 AM | Updated: 01/28/13 @ 11:51 AM | Permalink

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