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School of Music

Southern Exposure New Music Series

The Southern Exposure New Music Series is devoted to exploring the rich variety of contemporary classical and world music written in the past 30 years and masterworks of the 20th century.

Get Set for Innovative New Music!

Once again, Southern Exposure New Music Series has an exciting line-up of composers, performers and improvisers dedicated to adventurous music-making.

The 2023-24 season is bookended by two spectacular string quartets, Amernet and Columbia’s  favorite chamber quartet — The Parker Quartet — performing with esteemed artists mezzo soprano Rachel Calloway and pianist Vijay Iyer, a MacArthur winner and four-time Jazz Artist of the Year (DownBeat magazine). The year’s other concerts feature larger ensembles of mixed winds, strings, and piano: the superb performer-composer collectives Wet Ink and Decoda.

2023-2024 Southern Exposure Season

September 29, 2023

Amernet String Quartet with Rachel Calloway

The Amernet String Quartet has been praised for their “intelligence” and “immensely satisfying” playing. Mezzo-soprano Rachel Calloway, voice professor at USC, has established herself as one of the premiere vocal interpreters of contemporary music in the world. There is a family connection here that has helped bring Amernet, currently Ensemble-in-Residence at Florida International University in Miami, to Columbia: Calloway and Amernet’s cellist Jason Calloway are siblings.

Amernet’s program, which coincides with National Hispanic Heritage Month, features works by three Latinx greats: Cuban-born 2021 Pulitzer-winner Tania León’s 2nd string quartet; Baalkah, a hauntingly beautiful song cycle inspired by Mayan cosmology by acclaimed Mexican composer Gabriella Ortiz; and the 2nd string quartet of Argentine master Alberto Ginastera, one of the foremost 20th-century composers of the Americas. León’s quartet will be accompanied by a bespoke video animation by local artist Alejandro Garcia Lemos.

Live-streaming is available.

October 27, 2023

Wet Ink Ensemble

Named “The Best Classical Music Ensemble of 2018” by the New York Times, Wet Ink Ensemble’s work is rooted in an ethos of innovation through collaboration, extending from the music and the unique performance practice developed in the “band” atmosphere of Wet Ink’s core octet of composer-performers, to projects with a broad range of renowned creators, from Evan Parker to George Lewis to Peter Ablinger, and committed performances of music by young and underrepresented composers, from today’s most promising emerging voices to the next generation of artists.

The ensemble will record and perform new works written by recipients of the Duncan Endowment Fund from USC's composition program. 

January 19, 2024


As an artist-led collective, Decoda seeks to create a more compassionate and connected world through music—thoughtfully curating outstanding performances of live chamber music, facilitating creative community projects, and training the next generation of musical artists to rethink and reimagine their role in society. 

March 10, 2024

Fundraising Gala at Bourbon Restaurant

Join us for a lively evening at Columbia's Bourbon restaurant on Sunday, March 10 at 6 p.m. This fundraiser  features hors d'oeuvres and signature cocktails, performances by Orange Road, Eudaimonia and the Bourbon Quartet, a silent auction, local and live painting and a preview of the 2024-25 season! Help our series bring exciting new music artists to our school by joining us. Tickets are just $75. Click to reserve your spot!

April 3, 2024

Vijay Iyer and the Parker Quartet

The Southern Exposure New Music Series’ final show of the 2023-24 season features some of the leading artists of their generation in a special collaborative concert: acclaimed composer and pianist  Vijay Iyer, a three-time Grammy nominee, joins forces with Columbia favorites, the Grammy-winning  Parker Quartet.

All Southern Exposure concerts are FREE.

Support Southern Exposure New Music Series

Patrons may reserve seats and support the Southeast’s most adventurous music series! A gift of $150 secures a seat for the entire 2023-24 season. To purchase online, click here or contact Brad Martin at, 803-777-0704.

About the Series

Founded in 2001 by USC associate professor of composition and composer John Fitz Rogers, the nonprofit series has grown steadily and attracts standing-room-only crowds from throughout South Carolina and neighboring states.

The series has achieved a national reputation for the quality and adventurous spirit of its four yearly concerts, unparalleled in the southeast for their mix of artistic quality, audience education and cutting-edge programming.

Southern Exposure New Music Series is pleased to announce the Duncan Endowment for Student Composers. The fund supports the annual recording of new works written by USC graduate and undergraduate composition students. Each year, four to six students are selected to write pieces expressly for the series. Guest ensembles will record the selected composers’ new pieces while at USC, with the composers in attendance to help produce. 

Southern Exposure was awarded a 2007 Chamber Music America / ASCAP Award for Adventurous Programming in its 2005-2006 season.

These free concerts are often standing room only and early arrival is suggested for seating. For a donation of $150 or more, you can reserve one seat for the entire Southern Exposure season.  Donate online.

If you prefer to pay by phone, contact Brad Martin at
803-777-0704. You can also mail a check payable to "Southern Exposure New Music Series" to:
Southern Exposure New Music Series School of Music, University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC 29208

Patrons who reserve seats for the season will receive seating priority in concerts with restricted access, and receive relevant information on a concert-by-concert basis when special reservations are required.

Groups and artists of international repute who have made their Columbia and South Carolina premiere performances in a Southern Exposure concert include:

  • So Percussion
  • Brooklyn Rider
  • Karel Dohnal
  • Argento Chamber Ensemble
  • Tony Arnold and Jacob Greenberg
  • International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE)
  • Alarm Will Sound
  • Imani Winds
  • Los Angeles Piano Quartet
  • Music from Copland House
  • Calder and JACK string quartets
  • Matt Haimovitz, internationally renowned cellist
  • Kartik Seshadri, sitar virtuoso
  • Lisa Moore, esteemed New York-based pianist
  • Gamelan Galak Tika

For more information reach out to Michael Harley, Southern Exposure New Music Series artistic director.

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