Thursday, June 3, 2010

25th-annual Conductors Institute to take stage at the Koger Center
For 25 years, the Conductors Institute of South Carolina has been on the “must do” list for young aspiring and experienced conductors alike.
The Conductors Institute will be open daily to the public for observation, beginning June 7 from 9 a.m. to noon (fellows conduct) and from 1:30 to 4 p.m. (associates conduct) at the Koger Center. No sessions will be held June 13.
The Institute for Fellows and Associates will be held from June 6 to 19. Directed by Donald Portnoy, conductor and music director of the USC Symphony Orchestra, the program is for conductors with moderate to advanced conducting skills. Fellows and associates study with Portnoy and guest conductors and composers.
Both fellows and associates are guaranteed podium time every day. Fellows work with the institute ensemble during morning sessions. Associates work with a chamber orchestra in afternoon sessions. On Friday afternoons, both groups work with a full orchestra. The Discovery Program will be held from June 9 to 19.
Directed by Manuel Alvarez, former dean of the School of Music, the program is for conductors with limited conducting experience. Each week, participants will work with a string quartet in afternoon conducting sessions. Participants are also required to observe morning sessions and the late afternoon lecture series.
Other guest conductors and composers are Libby Larsen, composer (string orchestra session, June 7–10); Peter Jaffe, conductor (string orchestra session, June 7–10); Dick Goodwin, composer (chamber orchestra session, June 11–15); Guillermo Scarabino of Argentina, conductor (chamber orchestra session, June 11–15); Samuel Jones, composer/ conductor (orchestra session, June 16–19); and Paul Vermel, conductor (orchestra session, June 16–19).
The Conductors Institute draws participants from the United States and numerous foreign countries. Students
receive tutorials from conductors and composers who have experience in the commercial, academic, and professional worlds of music.
The guest conductors and composers are aware of what it takes to succeed in a tough, competitive field, and they are willing to share their knowledge and expertise. The Conductors Institute has been successful for so many years because it offers daily podium time to every individual in the program. The institute also focuses on the details of conducting and opportunities for conductors to enhance their skills and achieve a greater command of their orchestral forces.
Veteran conductors offer constructive criticism and encouragement. There are no mirrors and no recorded music. Each day, as their peers observe, conductors have the opportunity to conduct professional musicians who know the scores intimately. At the end of each day, conductors receive a video of their performance to study and to assist them in preparing for another day at the podium.

For more information, go to or e-mail Charlene Rackley at
From the USC TIMES.

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