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USC Symphony Orchestra Launches 2015 with A Tribute to Sidney Palmer

Pianist Charles Fugo and the Sandlapper Singers join the orchestra on January 22

The USC Symphony Orchestra’s first concert of 2015 presents an evening devoted to the music of American pianist, conductor and composer Sidney Palmer. Neil Casey conducts the concert on January 22 at 7:30 at the Koger Center for the Arts. The program features a number of Palmer’s beloved works, including Petite Concerto Classique for piano and orchestra featuring pianist Charles Fugo and choral work, Two Psalms and Alleluia, with the Sandlapper Singers. The concert program also includes Little Symphony for Strings, winner of the Texas Composers International Competition, the Dealy Composition Award, and the Los Angeles International Composition Competition.

Sidney Palmer came to Columbia, S.C. in 1960 and served as executive producer for National and International Television Productions at the South Carolina Educational Television Network and PBS, retiring from there in 1999. The multi-talented Palmer also produced symphony orchestra concerts and televised productions of major opera houses around the world including Cosi fan tutte from England’s Glyndebourne Opera House and three operas from Italy’s Arena di Verona hosted by Luciano Pavarotti.

He was educated at the Juilliard School of Music and the University of Texas, and before entering television full time he toured North America as a concert pianist. He held several symphony orchestra and opera conducting and stage directing positions and was director of the opera and musical theatre program at Columbia College for more than 40 years. As a composer, his music has been performed both in America and abroad. Palmer was the recipient of the South Carolina Arts Commission’s Elizabeth O’Neill Verner Award in 1981.

Dr. Charles Fugo, professor of piano at the University of South Carolina, has played collaborative recitals at New York City’s Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall, performed throughout the Southeast and has appeared on statewide programs on South Carolina Educational Radio and Television as both soloist and chamber musician.

Directed and founded by Dr. Lillian Quackenbush, The Sandlapper Singers, a 30-voice auditioned ensemble, is South Carolina's premier professional choral ensemble and presents American choral music in an entertaining and engaging style.

Neil Casey is the assistant director of orchestras at the University of South Carolina and the conductor of the Armstrong Atlantic Youth Orchestra in Savannah, Georgia. At USC, he teaches conducting, violin, chamber music, conducts Opera at USC and the USC Campus Orchestra. An active guest conductor, Maestro Casey has appeared with the former Savannah Symphony, Fort Wayne Philharmonic, Knoxville Symphony, Spokane Symphony, Richmond Symphony, Savannah Sinfonietta, the Charleston Symphony, Karelian Philharmonic Orchestra (Petrazovodsk, Russia), and others.

Tickets are on sale now

$30 general public; $25 senior citizens, USC faculty and staff; $8 students.
Call Capitol Tickets at 803-251-2222, online at, or in person at the Koger Box Office, corner of Greene and Park Streets.

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