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James K. Copenhaver leaves indelible mark

James K. CopenhaverJames K. Copenhaver, USC band director for more than 30, years died on Wednesday, November 26, 2014

It is with great sadness that we must say our final farewell to James K. Copenhaver, who passed away on Wednesday, November 26, 2014. Director of Bands in the University of South Carolina for more than 30 years, Mr. Copenhaver will be forever etched into the fabric of the USC School of Music. His commitment, recruitment of star students, dedicated education to all students, and intensive focus on making beautiful music were credited for making the USC band program respected around the country.

Directing USC's bands from 1976 to 2010, Mr. Copenhaver impacted the lives of thousands of students and has been lauded again and again by alumni as making an indelible mark on their lives while at Carolina. His personal connection to each student and his challenge to them to excel and be better musicians is part of what made him much loved among everyone whose lives he touched.

Two years ago the School of Music received an estate gift from Mr. Copenhaver of a million-dollar endowment to generate yearly scholarships awarded based on need, musicianship and academic success. He said the music program at USC was central to his life and hoped the scholarship endowment would pave the way for the future of the band and the School of Music. His legacy, the James K. Copenhaver Alumni Band Scholarship Fund, will benefit USC band students for perpetuity.

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