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  • Abigail and cast members

December 2023 Graduate Spotlight: Abigail Smith

Major: Musical Theatre

Hometown: Gainesville, Ga.

How USC changed my life:

When I transferred to the University of South Carolina three years ago, I didn’t know where I belonged in the world of music. I grew up playing many instruments, was the typical All-State choir and theatre kid in high school, and received a scholarship to sing classically for another university. However, I knew at the time I wasn't in the right place and did not know how to find my joy in music again. The School of Music here at USC told me of the new musical theatre program, When I decided to transfer, I hadn't a clue of the countless joys that I would experience over three years.

The musical theatre concentration was brand new and so was I, but I quickly found my place with friends who held my hand, professors who pushed me, and opportunities far beyond my dreams reached three years ago. I found my love of music again, with the support and connections to help me be successful in the industry. Most importantly, I found a family and community here who believed in me and told me I could. So, I did. 

Advice for incoming students:

Dream. Believe. Push yourself. The most important thing I have learned during my college experience here is to never let someone tell you that you can't do something. For two years, I listened to people that told me I didn't have what it takes in this industry. I knew that I loved it with my whole heart, loved sharing it with others, and woke up every day excited to learn and grow. When I moved to USC, I worked just as hard to push myself, and earned the respect and support that I so wished to constantly prove to others. What I didn't know is that I had to believe in myself. You can do anything that you put your mind and heart into, no matter what others say. But most importantly, you have to first dream, and then believe that you can do it. 

Who played a role in my success:

Michelle Haché was new to the school, just as I was when I transferred, having been recruited to start a new program in a new state. Over the past three years, I have watched her cultivate the musical theatre program from seeds into the garden of beautiful talent that overgrows today. It has been one of the greatest joys of my life to stand beside her and be the first graduate of her program and to represent everything that she has worked tirelessly to create. Her passion, perseverance and genuine love for the connection with others through music and theatre will forever be one of my biggest inspirations, and it is an honor to know her, have learned from her and be her friend. 

What’s next:

I have been lucky enough to already begin my career in the performing arts after doing some local professional theatre, and recently booked the lead in the movie, “Christmas at Xander Point” with Fisher Films that premieres in December 2024. I am grateful beyond words for everything that the University of South Carolina has provided me and can’t wait to continue to represent my alma mater in theatre and film for the generations to come. 

About the Musical Theatre Degree

The University of South Carolina School of Music has established a national reputation for artistic and scholarly excellence. One of the school's newest offerings is a Bachelor of Arts in Music with a concentration in musical theatre, designed specifically for students interested in pursuing an outstanding liberal arts music degree with a specific focus on musical theatre. For more information, click  here.

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