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School of Music’s summer workshop cultivates collaboration, creativity and imagination

The Savvy Musician in Action helps musicians generate more income and impact

An initiative of SPARK: Carolina's Music Leadership Laboratory, The Savvy Musician in Action helps musicians develop the tools they need for innovation in the 21st century – business models, prototype design, customer research, financial considerations, marketing and social media. Participants take part in exercises and challenges that cultivate collaboration, creativity and imagination.

The workshop, in its second year, brings 60 attendees from 19 states and three countries to the University of South Carolina for four days of high energy, high impact experiential learning from June 5 through 8, 2014.

Led by pianist, composer, "The Savvy Musician" author and USC director of music entrepreneurship Dr. David Cutler, the workshop teaches the skills necessary to make one's way in the world of professional music.

Participants learn from "thought leaders" in the field of music entrepreneurship. This year's notable faculty include Howard Herring, executive director, New World Symphony; Margaret Lioi, CEO, Chamber Music America; Ranaan Meyer, bassist, Time for Three; Kimball Gallagher, pianist and entrepreneur; and Ariel Hyatt, social media guru.

Workshop teams develop meaningful arts-based businesses with sound financial models that are judged on the strengths of overall concept, business model, marketing strategy and presentation during the final day's Venture Challenge.

In conjunction with the workshop, a free concert at Tapp's Art Center during the city's First Thursday on Main celebration will feature winners from the nation-wide Chamber Ensemble Competition, chosen through a competitive juried process. Winners were chosen based on artistic excellence and innovative event design. In addition to music excellence, the winners expand beyond the musical-only concert format with the use of unexpected innovations like multimedia, choreography, audience engagement, theatrical elements, or unusual performance practices.

Chamber Ensemble Competition Winner Showcase

Thursday, June 5, 7:15–9:45 p.m.
Tapp's Arts Center (1644 Main St.) – FREE

Read about the competition winners.

About SPARK: Carolina's Music Leadership Laboratory

SPARK: Carolina's Music Leadership Laboratory taps into the creative and imaginative energy of USC music students and faculty and organizes a number of initiatives that benefit the university community. Focused on success, innovation and community, SPARK prepares music leaders for the 21st century. Spark's formula for developing leaders is at the core of its mission: Success + Innovation + Community = Leadership. Spark and the USC School of Music are committed not only to cultivating outstanding musicians, but also leaders who are well equipped to succeed professionally.

Learn more about SPARK.


Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.