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School of Music

view from Koger stage

Public Concerts and Events

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Columbia residents, visitors and the USC community can enjoy hundreds of concerts and recitals throughout the year, many of which are free to attend. School of Music orchestras, choirs, ensembles, recitals and guest artist concerts take place in beautiful venues like the Koger Center for the Arts, the School of Music’s Recital Hall and, beginning in Fall 2014, the new Moore School of Business Hall, designed by Raphael Viñoly.

Annual signature events include the nationally acclaimed Southeastern Piano Festival and Southern Exposure New Music series, winner of the Chamber Music America/ASCAP Award for Adventurous Programming.


Concert attendees may park in the Discovery Garage (851 Park St.) behind the School of Music. After 7 p.m. and on weekends parking is $1 for School of Music events in the Discovery Garage. There is also some metered parking on College Street.

Recital Hall Empty Piano

Event Calendar

See all the upcoming School of Music concerts and events.

Wind Ensemble brass student


Experience the excitement of athletic bands and our high-energy concert ensembles. The USC Wind Ensemble is USC’s premier wind band and the Carolina Band, seen by tens of thousands of fans each game day, is billed as the “mighty sound of the Southeast.”

Choral concert


From Renaissance to jazz to gospel, the USC choirs have a long and distinguished history. The prestigious Concert Choir, our most select choral ensemble, has performed around the world including Spain, Italy and Austria. 

USC Symphony Orchestra Portnoy


Maestro Donald Portnoy directs the USC Symphony Orchestra, one of the top university orchestras in the region. Concerts take place at the Koger Center for the Arts. Season tickets are available. The Chamber Orchestra and Campus Orchestra also present concerts each year at the Koger Center. 

Cast members from Don Giovanni

Opera at USC

High-end productions and talented casts reflect our quality opera program, one of only a handful of colleges and universities nationwide offering special training and practice for aspiring opera stage directors. Season tickets are available.

Jazz Ensemble

Jazz Ensembles

Our jazz program delivers some of the most exciting contemporary big band, vocal and chamber jazz performances. The Left Bank Big Band is our premier jazz ensemble.

Guest artist clarinet

Faculty and guest artist concerts

You can enjoy many concerts throughout the year performed by our world-renowned faculty and an impressive roster of guest artists. Most of these concerts are free and take place in the School of Music’s Recital Hall. 

Southern Exposure performers

Southern Exposure New Music Series

The recipient of the 2007 Chamber Music America/ASCAP Award for Adventurous Programming, this series features a diverse mix of guest artists from around the globe, as well as the talents of students and faculty at the university. Concerts are free in the Recital Hall and most are standing room only so early arrival is suggested. 

Chamber Innovista Pierre Lunaire

Chamber Innovista Concert Series

Our newest series adds an important cultural component to the research and innovation district at USC, providing a world-class series of stimulating and original chamber music performances to satisfy any taste.

William Terwilliger violin

Cornelia Freeman Concert Series

Featuring the university’s esteemed music faculty performing a diverse repertoire, this popular chamber music series has been raising scholarship money for more than 20 years and takes place on Sunday afternoons in the fall.

Parker Quartet series

Parker Quartet Series

USC's Quartet-in-Residence has been hailed by The New York Times as “something extraordinary.” The Grammy Award-winning string quartet has rapidly distinguished itself as one of the preeminent ensembles of its generation. The residency offers several public concerts and master classes each semester.

percussion guest artist

Percussion Ensembles 

Hear high-energy, cutting edge percussion concerts several times a year. The Percussion Ensemble was selected as one of three winners of the prestigious Percussive Arts Society International Percussion Ensemble Competition in 2012. Palmetto Pans Steel Band performs the music of Trinidad, Tobago and island classics. 

Student recital

Student Recitals

Students perform solo recitals, in chamber groups and small ensembles as part of their degree requirements. These recitals provide a rich opportunity to hear a wide variety of instrumentation, musical styles and compositions. Student recitals are free and open to the public.

SEPF logo

Southeastern Piano Festival

The annual festival transforms the University of South Carolina School of Music and Columbia, S.C. into a major cultural destination that draws in audiences and young piano talent from across the U.S. The Festival is a high-level training platform for young pianists, a presenter of new and world-renowned concert pianists and master teachers, an advocate for new piano music, and a vehicle for exploring different roles the piano plays on stage and beyond.