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School of Music

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Friends of the School of Music

Friends of the University of South Carolina School of Music have been helping students achieve their dreams since 1992. We invite you to join the inner circle of supporters and actively participate in shaping the School's future. The Friends show their support by providing music scholarships to students and supporting other needs of the School, encouraging community participation in musical events and by sponsoring special activities.

Friends help keep the music playing

Friends show their support for the continued growth and success of the USC School of Music by providing music scholarships to students, encouraging community participation in musical events and by sponsoring special activities.

By becoming a Friend, you benefit from a special relationship with the university. Since its inception, Friends have provided more than half a million dollars to outstanding students of music at USC.

Join us in our commitment to the dedicated and talented students and faculty of USC School of Music. Because of people like you, more students have more opportunities to become noted performers, composers and educators. Be a part of our vision for one of the foremost schools of music in the country.

As a Friend, you receive invitations to special events to meet guest artists and students, recognition in concert programs and the satisfaction of knowing you are helping to create the best musical experiences for our patrons and students alike. Friends enjoy the company of like-minded music enthusiasts and receive invitations to special events like the annual Musical Feast

Student/Educator - $25
Family - $50
Partner - $100 - $249
Contributor - $250 – $499
Patron - $500 - $999
Sustainer - $1,000 and above

Become a Friend

Board of Directors

David Sickinger

David Martin Sickinger is the Architect/Principal for Garvin Design Group and he enjoys playing the piano.

Simms Oliphant

Simms Oliphant is the Senior Manager of Advancement at the Charleston Symphony. She graduated with a Bachelor of Music in composition from the School of Music in 2014. She was a part of University Chorus and she is a soprano.

"There are top-notch performances happening at the School of Music by talented students and acclaimed faculty members every day of the week!"

Karen Alexander-Banks

Karen Alexander-Banks is the President and CEO of the Auntie Karen Foundation. She graduated from USC with a Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education in 1984. She performed with Carolina Alive from 1981-1984 and she is a jazz vocalist.

Eugene Brooks

Eugene Brooks is the Regional Director of Live Events & Marketing at Audacy Communications, Inc. He graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Music in 1994. He is an alto saxophone player. During his time at USC, he was a part of The Carolina Band, USC Concert Band and Jazz Band.

Joni Tindall Chaney

Joni Tindall Chaney recently retired from Lexington Medical Center and is an active singer.

"The School of Music provides something for everyone in all realms of music education for their students and the music enhancement of the community and state. "

Christina Clark

Christina Clark is retired, an avid artist and former violinist. 

"The School of Music teaches students at a level of proficiency equal to the major music conservatories and offers this quality to the community through many concerts of various music genres."

Mary Parekh

Mary Parekh is the community liaison at Rice Music House and is a trained pianist. 

"Music and music education are passions of mine. Joining the Friends Board is a perfect fit to support, pursue and advance excellence in music at USC."

Dr. Tayloe Harding
, Dean
Caroline Earp, Director of Alumni & Donor Engagement
Audra Vaz, Assistant Dean for Advancement


Scholarships are awarded annually by the Friends of the School of Music to worthy students currently enrolled at the School of Music.

Friends of the School of Music Scholarship Sponsor

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2021–2022 Recipients

Melody Shaffer, oboe 

Henry King, clarinet

Ellis McLarty, cello

Giovanna Worley, tuba

Christina Grace Harding, voice

Cate Balsamo, flute

Matthew Chesnutt, voice

Julia Jacobsen, violin


For more information, contact the School of Music Office of Development

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