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UofSC Symphony Orchestra Alumni Spotlight Concert

Due to health concerns raised by the spread of COVID-19, the UofSC School of Music has cancelled of all public events and performances through at least April 5, and possibly beyond.


Flutist Blair Francis and conductor Nové Deypalan perform March 24

Blair FrancisIn the winter of 1777, Mozart became very friendly with various wind players whose playing he thought was brilliant. One of these, flutist Johan Baptiste Wendling, procured commissions for him from a wealthy Dutch surgeon and amateur flutist Ferdinand Dejean. He requested what the composer referred to as “three short, simple concertos and a couple of quartets for flute.” The piece, Mozart’s Concerto in G major for Flute and Orchestra, was not short or simple, however. Performing the charming work is flutist and UofSC alumna Blair Francis who graduated in 2012 with a bachelor of music, emphasis in performance.

The University of South Carolina Symphony Orchestra Alumni Spotlight concert takes place on Tuesday, March 24 at 7:30 p.m. at the Koger Center for the Arts (1051 Greene St). Valet parking is available.

“Music can make you feel an entire palette of emotions – a sense of joy when you are down, a sense of connection with divinity, a sense of hope, love and empathy,” said Blair Francis. “Being a USC alumna, I’ve become connected to the idea that musicians have a responsibility to cultivate and share these feelings with audiences through music that has been gifted to us by incredible composers.”

Francis was appointed assistant principal/second flute of the Naples Philharmonic in 2018. She previously performed with the New York Philharmonic as acting section flute for the 2016-2017 and 2017–2018 seasons, working with renowned soloists and conductors. She held the Edgar and Patricia Harris Flute II Chair of the Austin Symphony Orchestra for the 2013-2014 season and has performed with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, New World Symphony, Oregon Symphony Orchestra and Augusta Symphony Orchestra. She has been an instrumental fellow at the Tanglewood Music Center, Music Academy of the West, Sarasota Music Festival, Brevard Music Center and Eastern Music Festival.  

The recipient of numerous awards, Francis was selected as a prizewinning finalist in the Young Artist Competitions of the Florida Flute Association and the South Carolina Flute Society, and has been a winner of the National Flute Association Masterclass Performers Competition. She has also been a winner of the concerto competitions at the University of Texas at Austin and the University of South Carolina. After receiving a bachelor of music from the UofSC, she went on to earn a master of music degree from UT Austin and a professional studies certificate in orchestral performance from the Manhattan School of Music.

Nove DeypalanAlso on the evening’s program is Johannes Brahms’ Piano Quartet in G minor, orchestrated by Arnold Schoenberg who admired Brahms’ music deeply. The quartet was orchestrated by Schoenberg in 1937 at the instigation of conductor Otto Klemperer, and it was premiered by the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra on Brahms’ birthday in May, 1938. This orchestrated version was made into the ballet Brahms–Schoenberg Quartet by George Balanchine. Alumnus Nové Deypalan conducts.

Professor Livingston, department chair of conducting at Thornton School of Music, describes Deypalan as “exceptionally musical, exhibits clarity and elegance of gestures that guides his ensembles as much with his emotional vocabulary as he does with his hands. Nové has an immense dedication to the music score and he signatures his work with in-depth personal opinions resulting in interpretations, which are at once authentic and original.”

Deypalan received the doctor of musical arts degree in orchestral conducting at the University of South Carolina, master of music in choral conducting magna cum laude at the University of Southern California, and bachelor of music in conducting performance at Chapman University.

In addition, he received the Special Commendation Award in the conducting competition with the London Classical Soloists Orchestra, won the Highest Distinction Award with the St. Petersburg Chamber Philharmonic in Russia, and was a two-time winner of the International Conductors Workshop and Competition in Georgia. In 2018, Deypalan received the Second Prize Award at the 14th Danube International Conducting Masterclass and Competition 2018 with the Danube Symphony Orchestra in Budapest, Hungary. He premiered and conducted UofSC Professor Fang Man’s “Dream of a Hundred Flowers” at Carnegie Hall in February 2012, and he has led choir performances for St. John Paul II, Benedict XVI and Francis at the Vatican. A pianist, organist, theorist, violinist, singer, arranger, published composer and visionary leader, Deypalan  conducted the world premiere of his original composition, Libera Me, for solo baritone, chorus and orchestra at Pasadena City College in 2008.

Deypalan’s educational training and commitment to the highest standards affirms his competency to make music at its finest and highest level of creativity. His conducting teachers include Gustav Meier, Kenneth Kiesler, Larry Livingston, Donald Portnoy, Neil Thomson and Scott Weiss.

Tickets Now on Sale

UofSC Students - free with student ID (must be picked up from the Koger before 5:00 p.m. on the day of the performance). General public - $30; senior citizen/USC faculty and staff - $25; children under 18 and non-USC students with ID - $5. Call 803-251-2222 or Koger Box Office, corner of Greene and Park Streets (M-F 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.) or online at

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