Skip to Content

School of Music

Summer Conservatory violin students

Carolina Summer Music Conservatory

Advanced high school students of woodwind, brass, percussion, jazz, voice, piano and strings can participate in this intensive one-week training period for both day and boarding students.

Participants study repertoire with USC music faculty in small chamber ensembles and together in a chamber orchestra culminating in a performance on the last day.

Students who have completed 9th through 12th grade focus on individual performance and chamber music, developing musicianship skills – the listening, rhythmic and ensemble skills that go into making chamber music.

In addition to master classes, chamber music coaching and private lessons, students are offered a variety of activities, including courses in music history, music theory, how to prepare for an audition, and jazz improvisation.

Conservatory participants rehearse and perform solo works with professional accompanists and hear concerts and recitals given by conservatory faculty members.

Pianists are also encouraged to apply for the CSMC separately from the Southeastern Piano Festival. Piano students have the opportunity to work in chamber ensembles in addition to daily lessons, master classes and classes with the other conservatory students.

2019 Dates

June 9–15, 2019
Application deadline May 1, 2019


Application fee: $75 (nonrefundable)
Tuition: $400
Room and board: $275
Total fees: $750

Application fee: $75 (nonrefundable)
Tuition: $400
Total Fees: $475

Optional meal plan for commuting students: $90 (5 lunches and dinners; for commuting students only)
Commuting students must live off campus with an adult guardian.

A limited number of scholarships are available. All students wishing to be considered for scholarship assistance must submit a taped recording and indicate on the application that they wish to be considered.

To apply

  • Apply and pay online here.  
  • Include an electronic audio file link or send us a CD recording of 5-10 minutes of you performing on your major instrument (or proof of inclusion in your Allstate ensemble). A recording is required if you wish to be considered for a scholarship.
  • Mail to: Clifford Leaman, Carolina Summer Music Conservatory, USC School of Music, 813 Assembly St., Columbia, SC 29208

Summer Music Conservatory FAQ
For more information: email Dr. Clifford Leaman or call 803-576-5893.

Summer Music Conservatory Faculty


Craig Butterfield

Craig Butterfield, double bass

Craig Butterfield is associate professor of double bass and jazz studies at the University of South Carolina where he directs one of the largest double bass programs in the Southeast. Comfortable in many styles of music, he has performed extensively as a jazz artist as well as a classical soloist and clinician. During 2004 and 2005, he toured with the legendary jazz trumpet player Maynard Ferguson.

List Thumbnail

Neil Casey, violin, conductor

Neil Casey is the assistant director of orchestras at the University of South Carolina, as well as 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.

Ari Streisfeld

Ari Streisfeld, violin

Violinist Ari Streisfeld has garnered critical acclaim worldwide for his performances of diverse repertoire and has established himself as one of the foremost interpreters of contemporary classical music. Praised for his “dazzling performance” by the New York Times and “scintillating playing” by New York Classical Review, Dr. Streisfeld is a founding member of the world renowned JACK Quartet.

William Terwilliger

William Terwilliger, violin

Violinist William Terwilliger has enjoyed an exceptionally active and diverse career as a soloist, recitalist, chamber musician, orchestral musician and teacher. Currently professor of violin at the University of South Carolina, Mr. Terwilliger is also a gifted and dedicated pedagogue, and has given masterclasses throughout the U.S. and in Europe, Asia, Australia and Africa.

tian sanchez

Tian Sanchez, cello

A native of Tampa, Florida, Tian Sanchez is a cellist, vocalist, and educator. He was previously director of Strings and Choirs at Richard C. Spoto High School in Hillsborough County, Florida. Mr. Sanchez has studied under Laurel Stanton, David Starkweather, Scott Klukshdal, and Helga Winold. He is pursuing his Doctor of Musical Arts degree with an emphasis in cello performance with Dr. Robert Jesselson and a minor in music education with Dr. Gail Barnes. He currently holds a graduate assistantship with the University of South Carolina String Project.Mr. Sanchez has performed in world premieres by composers Claude Baker, Michael Gilbertson, Chihchun Chi-sun Lee, Wendy Wan-Ki Lee, and Thomas Allen West. He has also attended the Brevard Summer Music Festival, Green Mountain Chamber Music Festival, and Chamber Institute at Holy Cross. Tian Sanchez has performed alongside Itzhak Perlman, Bela Fleck, Michael Brown, Saul Bitran, and the rock band: Kansas.

Samara Humbert-Hughes

Samara Humbert-Hughes, viola

Samara Humbert-Hughes is director of Suzuki Strings at USC. She was a violin and viola instructor in Cambridge for the Cambridge Suzuki Program and at the Community Center at RAF Mildenhall as well as an active performer in the Cambridge area.



TBA, oboe


Joseph Eller

Joseph Eller, clarinet

Joseph Eller is associate professor of clarinet at USC. He has performed solo and chamber music recitals throughout North and South America, Europe and Asia. He was appointed principal clarinetist of the South Carolina Philharmonic in 2012 and has played extra with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, the Atlanta Opera Orchestra, Charleston Symphony Orchestra and numerous other orchestras throughout the southeastern U.S.

Clifford Leaman

Clifford Leaman, saxophone

Clifford Leaman is associate dean and professor of saxophone at USC. He is in great demand as a soloist and clinician and has performed and taught throughout the U.S., Canada, Italy, Spain, France, Slovenia, Sweden, Thailand and in China where he has been a featured guest artist eight times since 2004.

Reed Hanna

Reed Hanna, bassoon

Reed Hanna is principal bassoon of Symphony Orchestra Augusta in Augusta, GA. He also performs regularly on bassoon and contrabassoon with the South Carolina Philharmonic, the Charleston POPS!, the Valdosta (GA) Symphony, the Greenville (SC) Symphony, and others.

Lauren Watkins

Lauren Watkins, flute

Flutist Lauren Watkins enjoys an active career as a performer and educator. She has performed as featured soloist with the Ohio State Symphony Orchestra and the Sewanee Festival Orchestra and is currently a flute instructor and Sunrise Band director with the Congaree New Horizon’s Band, flute instructor at the Hammond School, graduate teaching assistant for the flute studio at USC, and has a private studio in Columbia, S.C.



William Anonie

William Anonie, trumpet

William Anonie is the trumpet Instructor at the University of South Carolina Aiken and a doctoral candidate at the University of South Carolina Columbia. He has served as a Graduate Teaching Assistant at the University of South Carolina Columbia, and at Wichita State University. While in Kansas, Mr. Anonie was Second Trumpet in the Wichita Symphony Orchestra. He has also performed with the South Carolina Philharmonic, Wichita Grand Opera, Symphony Orchestra Augusta, Florence Symphony, and Aiken Symphony. In addition to performing throughout the United States, Mr. Anonie has performed in Italy, Spain, Canada, and Taiwan. His teachers include David Hickman and James Ackley.

Ronald Davis

Ronald Davis, tuba and euphonium

Ronald Davis is professor of tuba and euphonium at USC and is principal tubist with the South Carolina Philharmonic Orchestra. As an orchestral player he has performed with the Augusta Symphony Orchestra, the Santa Barbara Symphony, the Los Angeles Master Chorale and Sinfonia Orchestra under Roger Wagner, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, and the Charleston and Charlotte Symphonies.


Maria Nykos, horn

Maria Nyikos is currently pursuing an M.M. at the University of Missouri - Kansas City as a member of Volker Brass, UMKC's Graduate Fellowship Brass Quintet, and a Teaching Assistant for the UMKC Horn Studio. Maria has performed with numerous ensembles, including the South Carolina Philharmonic, the Kansas City Civic Orchestra, the Palmetto Concert Band, and the Sterling Chamber Players, and has appeared as a soloist with the University of South Carolina Wind Ensemble. She has participated in festivals in Europe and across the US, such as the Vianden Festival, Kendall Betts Horn Camp and Raphael Méndez Brass Institute. Her teachers include Martin Hackleman, JD Shaw and Robert Pruzin.

Eric Henson, trombone

Eric Henson, trombone

As an educator, Eric Henson is in demand as a clinician and teacher from Pennsylvania  to Georgia. Motivated by a strong desire to cultivate music in young people, he joined the faculty of Limestone College in 2011 and has rapidly grown the low brass studio in both quantity and quality. Ensembles under his direction have given performances at the 2016 International Tuba Euphonium Conference, the 2017 South Carolina Music Educator’s Conference, and the 2017 Great American Brass Band Festival. His students have won positions in various military bands, summer festivals, and high school honor ensembles in Maryland, North Carolina, and South Carolina.