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School of Music

  • 2019 SAVVY

SAVVY Faculty

The SAVVY Arts Venture Challenge faculty includes innovative artists, entrepreneurs, administrators and leaders who have changed the world.

Season 5 Faculty: (2019 Faculty coming soon)

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David Cutler: Director

Dr. David Cutler balances a varied career as a jazz and classical composer, pianist, educator, arranger, concert producer, author, consultant, speaker, advocate, and entrepreneur. (In fact, a recent career diagram illustrated that he maintains no less than 24 income streams! Ah, the life of an artist…) In all these pursuits, he works to push boundaries while connecting with new audiences. On of the world’s leading voices on arts leadership, career, and entrepreneurship training, he has offered ground-breaking interactive workshops for organizations such as the Juilliard School, Dutch Classical Music Meeting, New World Symphony Orchestra, Individual University, and Italy’s soundSCAPE music festival. Cutler’s books The Savvy Musician and The $avvy Music Teacher have influenced a generation of musicians, helping them achieve greater career, financial, and societal success. In 2016, he directed a College Music Society summit focused on the future of music in higher education. As Director of Music Entrepreneurship at the University of South Carolina, Dr. Cutler is working to create a culture of entrepreneurship across and beyond curriculum.


Lance LaDuke: Assistant Director

 Lance LaDuke is internationally know as an educator, performer, and creator. He teaches at Carnegie Mellon University as Artist Lecturer in Euphonium, Freshman Advisor and Coordinator of Special and Creative Projects. Lance teaches business, marketing, and communications as part of the CMU Music Entrepreneurship Program, coaches and mentors a variety of chamber ensembles, and is also Adjunct Professor of Euphonium at Daquesne University. Lance was a members of Boston Brass and the US Air Force Band in Washington DC, has performed with Philadelphia Orchestra and currently plays with the River City Brass. He has taught and/or give masterclasses at some of the world's finest conservatories, including Juilliard, the Royal Academy of Music in London and the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts. Lance co-wrote and produced "Band Blast Off," a highly successful band recruiting DVD and maintains an active speaking career, sharing his thoughts on practice, leadership, and self-development. He is also the author of “Music Practice Coach, Five Workouts to Get the Most Out of Your Practice Time!” Lance is an Educational Ambassador for Jupiter Band Instruments.

Donna Walker-Kuhne

Donna Walker-Kuhne: Thought Leader

 Acknowledged as the nation’s foremost expert on Audience Diversification by the Arts & Business Council, Donna Walker-Kuhne has devoted her professional career to increasing the accessibility and connection to the arts by our Nation’s rapidly growing multicultural population. “I firmly believe that the arts are the only pure vehicle we have in today’s society that cross cultural and ethnic barriers and allow people to transcend their differences.” She is the Vice President of Community Engagement at New Jersey Performing Arts Center; founder of Walker International Communications Group, a boutique marketing agency; co-founder of Bite the Big Apple, a multicultural audience development tour of Australian arts professionals; and co-founder of Impact Broadway, a socially and technology driven audience development initiative serving 300 African American and Latino students throughout the 5 boroughs of New York City. 

Juan Antonio Cuellar

Juan Antonio Cuellar: Thought Leader

 Doctor in Music (Indiana University, 2004). Served as Dean of the School of Arts at Universidad Javeriana (2002-2008), and as Executive President of Fundación Batuta (2008-2014). He is currently Associate Professor at Universidad Javeriana and Senior Adviser to Fundación Azteca’s Youth Orchestras (México) as well as for the Colombian Youth Philharmonic, sponsored by Fundación Bolívar-Davivienda. 

Gavin Chuck

Gavin Chuck: Thought Leader

 Gavin Chuck is Managing Director and a founding member of Alarm Will Sound. While at Eastman, he co-founded Ossia, a student-run organization whose mission is to produce concerts based on community input and thereby to teach entrepreneurial and production skills through practical application. He has been on the faculties of the University of Michigan and Northwestern University where he teaches music theory, and performing-arts entrepreneurship.

Patti Dobrowolski

Patti Dobrowolski: Team Doctor

Boost your organizational genius! Visual goal setter Patti Dobrowolski captivates and inspires audiences using the business leadership tool of the future: Drawing Solutions. TEDx speaker, critically acclaimed comic performer, writer and business consultant, Patti’s innovative visual keynotes, break out and gamestorming sessions inspire employee and leadership creativity. Set your goals, envision your desired future, create positive change, enhance culture and accelerate team performance for a better bottom line.

Michael Harley thumbnail image

Michael Harley: Chamber Competition Director

Michael Harley enjoys a varied career as a teacher, performer and music advocate. He teaches bassoon, chamber music and music literature classes at the University of South Carolina where he also serves as artistic director of the award-winning Southern Exposure New Music Series. Southern Exposure, a nonprofit concert series that presents free concerts exploring the rich variety of contemporary classical and world music, has hosted the Columbia debut of many of today’s most exciting and adventurous ensembles, including the International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE), the JACK and Calder string quartets and Imani Winds. Southern Exposure won the 2007 Chamber Music America/ASCAP Award for Adventurous Programming. Harley’s playing has been called “spectacular” (Washington Post) and “exquisite” (Columbus Dispatch). As a founding member of the contemporary music chamber orchestra Alarm Will Sound, called “one of the most vital and original ensembles on the American musical scene” by The New York Times, Harley has worked with and premiered pieces by many of today’s most accomplished composers including John Adams, Derek Bermel, Caleb Burhans, Donnacha Dennehy, Michael Gordon, Aaron Jay Kernis, Meredith Monk, Steve Reich, Roger Reynolds, Wolfgang Rihm and Augusta Read Thomas.


Nancy Christensen: Chamber Music Manager

Nancy Christensen is the Founder and President of Christensen Arts, LLC – a management company comprised of innovative and vibrant artists committed to advancing and enhancing specific programmatic and career goals. She also holds the position of program director for William Paterson University’s “Music After School” program as part of the university’s music education department. Her prior work experience has included booking classical music and dance with Diane Saldick, LLC and MCM Arts & Entertainment. In the late 1990s, Christensen held the position of education director at Chamber Music America where she created and implemented the Education and Residency Institute for chamber ensembles and presenters and administered the NEA/Chamber Music America Rural Residencies Program. Christensen was also employed as part of Carnegie Hall’s programming team as well as the educational organization, Midori & Friends, where she was acting director/program director. Christensen is currently serving a second term on the Western Arts Alliance’s Board of Directors.

Tayloe Harding

Tayloe Harding: Host

Tayloe Harding is a passionate advocate for the impact of higher education music study on American communities and national society and is devoted to an array of organizations whose missions are consistent with this vision. As president of the College Music Society from 2005-2006, he founded the Engagement and Outreach Initiative where efforts of the music professoriate are articulated with national constituents, including other higher education disciplines/populations, music businesses and industries, and general audiences to meet common musical and civic goals. As dean of the USC School of Music, he brought a bold idea to fruition: to more fully prepare tomorrow’s professional musicians by combining conventional music study with a systematic exploration of advocacy, entrepreneurship and community engagement, forming SPARK: Carolina’s Music Leadership Laboratory. A presenter of a TedX talk in 2014 titled “Music and Hope: Towards a More Musical America,” he remains active as a composer earning commissions, performances and recordings around the world.


Rebecca Nagel: Host

Professor of Music at the University of South Carolina, oboist Rebecca Schalk Nagel enjoys a varied career as a soloist, chamber and orchestral performer, teacher, and administrator. Rebecca Nagel’s role as Director of Spark is an outgrowth of her work in chamber music,  and explores new ways for School of Music students to engage with their communities.  Going beyond simply performing, these experiences help students develop skills ranging from public speaking to grant writing,  and connect young musicians to people of all ages and walks of life.