The graduate wind conducting program at the University of South Carolina provides
a varied, intense, and tailor-made course of study to help each student achieve their
unique musical goals. As part of an active, energetic, and highly organized team,
graduate students receive instruction in gesture, rehearsal technique, literature,
and history, and develop administrative and instructional skills through work with
a wide variety of ensembles. The faculty work collaboratively to offer maximum opportunities
for each student’s development. Graduate students encounter a genuinely collegial
environment within their cohort and across disciplines in the School of Music.
Interested students should contact Dr. Cannon to arrange a phone or video meeting to discuss the program. Campus visits are welcome
anytime and can be arranged with Dr. Cannon.
Distinctive Features of the Program
- Generous podium time with a variety of ensembles
- Graduate conducting seminar with conducting lab
- Intense athletic band experience with opportunities for arranging and drill writing
- Individual attention in a small studio
- Opportunities for collaboration with choral and orchestral ensembles
- Professional band teaching experience
- Strong desire for expanding musicianship, rehearsal technique, and repertoire knowledge
- Desire to work with athletic bands
- A general knowledge of diverse wind ensemble repertoire
Interested students should have some familiarity with most of the repertoire listed
Degree requirements for the Master of Music in conducting can be found here.
Degree requirements for the Doctor of Musical Arts degrees in conducting can be found
Application and Audition Process
For application requirements, click here.
Send audition videos to Traci Hair, graduate coordinator.
Note: the prescreening video submission deadline of December 15. Applications will be reviewed on an ongoing basis, and selected candidates will be
contacted in late December or early January to arrange an on-campus audition. Specific
repertoire will be assigned at that time. On-campus auditions are held in mid-late
February each year, and last one day. A typical audition day includes an interview
with the band faculty, facilities tour, wind literature diagnostic exam, lunch with
current graduate students, rehearsal/audition with the USC Wind Ensemble, and final
wrap-up/individual conducting coaching.
Graduate conducting students who serve as graduate teaching assistants receive a full
tuition waiver covering up to 9 hours each semester, and pay in-state tuition for
any additional hours. Graduate assistants are also eligible for health insurance provided
by USC and receive a stipend.
Contact Dr. Cannon for more details.
USC Band Faculty
Dr. Cormac Cannon
Cormac Cannon is Director of Bands and Associate Professor of Music at the University
of South Carolina, where he conducts the University of South Carolina Wind Ensemble,
guides the graduate wind conducting program, and oversees all aspects of the band
Dr. Jay Jacobs
Jay Jacobs is Associate Director of Bands and Associate Professor of Music at the
University of South Carolina, where he is the director of The Carolina Band, conducts
the Symphonic Winds and teaches courses within the School of Music.
Dr. Quintus Wrighten
Quintus F. Wrighten, Jr. is the Assistant Director of Bands and Associate Director
of Athletic Bands at the University of South Carolina. In addition to conducting
the University Bands, he teaches courses in conducting and band methods, supervises
student teachers, co-directs the basketball bands, and coordinates the volleyball