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School of Music

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Workshop Faculty

The SAVVY Musician in Action faculty includes innovative musicians and entrepreneurs who have changed the world.

2016 Workshop Faculty

David Cutler thumbnail image

David Cutler: Pianist; Composer; Author of “The Savvy Musician”

Dr. David Cutler balances a varied career as a jazz and classical composer, pianist, educator, arranger, conductor, collaborator, concert producer, author, blogger, consultant, speaker, advocate and entrepreneur. (In fact, a recent career diagram illustrated that he maintains no less than 24 income streams! Ah, the life of an artist…) In all these pursuits, he works to push boundaries while connecting with new audiences. One of the world’s leading voices on arts leadership, career and entrepreneurship training, he has offered ground-breaking interactive workshops for organizations such as the Julliard School, Dutch Classical Music Meeting, New World Symphony Orchestra, Indiana University, and Italy’s soundSCAPE music festival. Cutler’s book, "The Savvy Musician: Building a Career, Earning a Living, and Making a Difference," was heralded by Jeffrey Zeigler of the Kronos Quartet as "Hands down, the most valuable resource available for aspiring musicians." Following 11 years of teaching at Duquesne University, Dr. Cutler joined the faculty at the University of South Carolina as the director of music entrepreneurship in fall 2012, where he is working to create a culture of entrepreneurship across and beyond curriculum.

Michael Harley thumbnail image

Michael Harley: Bassoonist; Founding member of Alarm Will Sound; Director of Southern Exposure New Music Series

Michael Harley enjoys a varied career as a teacher, performer and music advocate. He teaches bassoon, chamber music and music literature classes at the University of South Carolina where he also serves as artistic director of the award-winning Southern Exposure New Music Series. Southern Exposure, a nonprofit concert series that presents free concerts exploring the rich variety of contemporary classical and world music, has hosted the Columbia debut of many of today’s most exciting and adventurous ensembles, including the International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE), the JACK and Calder string quartets and Imani Winds. Southern Exposure won the 2007 Chamber Music America/ASCAP Award for Adventurous Programming.Harley’s playing has been called “spectacular” (Washington Post) and “exquisite” (Columbus Dispatch). As a founding member of the contemporary music chamber orchestra Alarm Will Sound, called “one of the most vital and original ensembles on the American musical scene” by The New York Times, Harley has worked with and premiered pieces by many of today’s most accomplished composers including John Adams, Derek Bermel, Caleb Burhans, Donnacha Dennehy, Michael Gordon, Aaron Jay Kernis, Meredith Monk, Steve Reich, Roger Reynolds, Wolfgang Rihm and Augusta Read Thomas.

Nancy Christensen

Nancy Christensen: Artist Manager; Founder and President of Christensen Arts, LLC.

Nancy Christensen is the Founder and President of Christensen Arts, LLC – a management company comprised of innovative and vibrant artists committed to advancing and enhancing specific programmatic and career goals. She also holds the position of program director for William Paterson University’s “Music After School” program as part of the university’s music education department. Her prior work experience has included booking classical music and dance with Diane Saldick, LLC and MCM Arts & Entertainment. In the late 1990s, Christensen held the position of education director at Chamber Music America where she created and implemented the Education and Residency Institute for chamber ensembles and presenters and administered the NEA/Chamber Music America Rural Residencies Program. Christensen was also employed as part of Carnegie Hall’s programming team as well as the educational organization, Midori & Friends, where she was acting director/program director. Christensen is currently serving a second term on the Western Arts Alliance’s Board of Directors.

Tayloe Harding

Tayloe Harding: Dean, University of South Carolina School of Music  

Tayloe Harding is a passionate advocate for the impact of higher education music study on American communities and national society and is devoted to an array of organizations whose missions are consistent with this vision. As president of the College Music Society from 2005-2006, he founded the Engagement and Outreach Initiative where efforts of the music professoriate are articulated with national constituents, including other higher education disciplines/populations, music businesses and industries, and general audiences to meet common musical and civic goals. As dean of the USC School of Music, he brought a bold idea to fruition: to more fully prepare tomorrow’s professional musicians by combining conventional music study with a systematic exploration of advocacy, entrepreneurship and community engagement, forming SPARK: Carolina’s Music Leadership Laboratory. A presenter of a TedX talk in 2014 titled “Music and Hope: Towards a More Musical America,” he remains active as a composer earning commissions, performances and recordings around the world.

Brandon Pearce

Brandon Pearce: Founder of

Brandon Pearce is the owner and founder of, an online software platform to help music teachers manage their businesses. It is currently grossing over $1 million in annual sales. Brandon has been a piano teacher, choir director, software developer, entrepreneur, CEO and business coach. His personal website is, where he writes about his adventures traveling the world with his wife and three daughters, as well as his journeys in business, music, spirituality, and more.

Lance LaDuke

Lance LaDuke: educator, performer and creator

Lance LaDuke is internationally know as an educator, performer, and creator. He teaches at Carnegie Mellon University as Artist Lecturer in Euphonium, Freshman Advisor and Coordinator of Special and Creative Projects. Lance teaches business, marketing, and communications as part of the CMU Music Entrepreneurship Program, coaches and mentors a variety of chamber ensembles, and is also Adjunct Professor of Euphonium at Daquesne University. Lance was a members of Boston Brass and the US Air Force Band in Washington DC, has performed with Philadelphia Orchestra and currently plays with the River City Brass. He has taught and/or give masterclasses at some of the world's finest conservatories, including Juilliard, the Royal Academy of Music in London and the Hong Kong Academy for Perfomring ARts. Lance co-wrote and produced "Band Blast Off," a highly successful band recruiting DVD and maintains an active speaking career, sharing his thoughts on practice, leadership, and self-development. He is also the author of “Music Practice Coach, Five Workouts to Get the Most Out of Your Practice Time!” Lance is an Educational Ambassador for Jupiter Band Instruments.

Gavin Chuck

Gavin Chuck: Managing Director and founding member of Alarm Will Sound

Wile at Eastman, Gavin co-founded Ossia, a student-run organization whose mission is to produce concerts based on community input and thereby to teach entrepreneurial and production skills through practical application. He has been on the faculties of the University of Michigan and Northwestern University where he teaches music theory and performing-art entrepreneurship.