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USC Symphony Orchestra begins year with new talent

Winners of the 2013-14 University of South Carolina Concerto-Aria Competition and student conductors will be performing during the USC Symphony Orchestra concert on Thursday, January 23.

“This annual concert launches the new year with new talent,” said orchestra artistic director Donald Portnoy. “These students are working at a very high level and bring a fresh outlook to the music.”

The concert starts with performances by competition winners Jonathan Rouse, double bass, performing the first movement of the Concerto No. 2 by Giovanni Bottesini, and Evan Clark, saxophone, playing the first movement from the concerto for Alto Saxophone and Orchestra by Henri Tomasi. The concert continues with Felix Mendelssohn’s overture “The Hebrides,” the overture from “Nabucco” by Giuseppe Verdi and Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s “Marche Slave,” op. 31.

A native of Atlanta, Rouse began performing with the Atlanta Symphony Youth Orchestra at age 17. He attended the Manhattan School of Music where he was principal bassist for the symphony and opera orchestras. Rouse continued his studies at the Juilliard School where he was principal bassist in the symphony and opera orchestras and New Juilliard Chamber Ensemble. After graduating from Juilliard he spent three years with L’Orchestre Symphonique de Quebec and then served as assistant principal bass of the S.C. Philharmonic and Symphony Orchestra Augusta in Georgia and section bassist with Atlanta Opera and Charleston and Greenville symphony orchestras.

Clark, of Blythewood, S.C., was a national finalist in the 2011 National Young Arts Foundation program and won second prize in the Music Teachers National Association Senior Woodwind Competition, the Vandoren Emerging Artist Competition and the 2013 LaGrange Symphony Young Artist Competition. Winner of the Theodore Presser Scholarship, he is pursuing a bachelor of music degree in performance.

Conductors for the concert are Cullen Lucas, Matthew Samson, Dorian Neuendorf, Amanda Trimpey and Dianna M. Fiore, all students at USC. Suzanna Pavlovsky, who holds a doctoral degree in conducting from USC and is assistant conductor of the Lake Murray Symphony Orchestra, will lead the orchestra joined by members of the Lake Murray Symphony for Tchaikovsky’s work.

The concert takes place at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 23 at the Koger Center. Tickets are $30 for the general public, $25 for USC faculty and staff and seniors, and $8 for students.

To purchase concert tickets:

  • Koger Box Office, corner of Greene and Park Streets, Columbia, SC 29201, Mon. – Fri. from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
  • By phone at (803) 251-2222, Mon. – Fri. from 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
  • Online at
  • Koger Center lobby starting one hour prior to the performance

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