The Conductors


Scott Weiss

Scott Weiss is the Music Director and Conductor of the Palmetto Concert Band, the Director of Orchestras at the University of South Carolina School of Music, and the Music Director and Conductor of the Aiken Symphony Orchestra. In demand internationally as a guest conductor, Scott has conducted recent performances with the orchestras of Shenzhen, Tianjin, Hunan, Inner Mongolia, Shandong, and Nanchang and at major international venues including the Taipei National Theatre and Concert Hall, the National Centre for the Performing Arts Concert Hall in Beijing, and the Hangzhou Grand Theatre Concert Hall. Soloists he has recently shared the stage with include Elena Urioste, Angelo Xiang Yu, Zuill Bailey, John O’Conor, Marina Lomazov, and Paul Jacobs.

Scott has several critically-acclaimed recordings on the Naxos Records and Summit Records labels. His latest offering is the world premiere recording of Nico Muhly’s Reliable Sources, released on the Cantaloupe Music label in October 2021. The piece is one of dozens of new works that Scott has commissioned from many of today’s leading composers, including Samuel Adler, Jennifer Higdon, Zhou Long, Cindy McTee, and Joseph Schwanter.

At the University of South Carolina, Dr. Weiss is the Sarah Bolick Smith Distinguished Professor of Music. In addition to conducting the UofSC Symphony Orchestra, Professor Weiss leads the master’s and doctoral programs in orchestral conducting at UofSC, and his studio is a destination for talented young conductors from around the world. He is frequently invited to conduct performances and teach masterclasses at leading conservatoires and music schools, including the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, the Central Conservatory of Music (Beijing), the Shanghai Conservatory of Music, and the University of Western Australia. Each summer, he teaches at the Los Angeles Conducting Workshop and Competition.

Born in Monterey, California in 1967, Scott holds degrees from the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music and the University of Illinois, where he studied conducting with James Keene and Donald Schleicher. Before joining the faculty at the University of South Carolina in 2010, he held conducting posts at the University of Kansas and the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music.

Scott and his wife Teah are intrepid travelers and enjoy hiking, surfing, and fine wines. They are the proud parents of John, a chemical engineer in Los Alamos, NM.

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William J. Moody

Dr. Moody (1931-2018), co-founder and Director Emeritus of the Palmetto Concert Band, is a Distinguished Professor of Music Emeritus at the University of South Carolina. Dr. Moody was a band director in public schools for seven years, Director of Bands at the University of Southern Mississippi for five years, Director of Bands at the University of Texas at Austin for seven years, and Director of the School of Music at the University of South Carolina for seventeen years. His university bands performed for a Southern Divisional meeting of CBDNA, a national meeting of CBDNA, and the 1973 Convention of the American Bandmasters Association.

Dr. Moody started MM and DMA conducting degrees for band directors at both UT and USC, and served as coordinator of conducting at USC. During his years as Director of Bands, he wrote several articles on band pedagogy that were printed in various music education journals, and in 1990 he edited the book Artistic Intelligences, Implications for Education. He was on the first Board of Directors of the National Band Association and is a past president of that organization. He is a member of NBA’s Academy of Wind and Percussion Arts and of the NBA Hall of Fame of Distinguished Conductors. He was elected to The American Bandmasters Association in 1966 and has served as secretary-treasurer since 2003; he was editor of ABA’s Journal of Band Research from 1995 to 2009.


James K. Copenhaver

Mr. Copenhaver (1943-2014), co-founder of the Palmetto Concert Band, was a Distinguished Professor of Music Emeritus at the University of South Carolina. He served as Director of Bands at the University of South Carolina from 1976 – 2010. His university concert bands performed at conventions of the National MENC, the CBDNA Southern Division, and The American Bandmasters Association. He previously served as a public school music teacher and Assistant Director of Bands at both Morehead State University and Clemson University. He served as a clinician, conductor, and adjudicator throughout the United States.

Mr. Copenhaver was a member of The American Bandmasters Association and a Past-President of the National Band Association and the Southern Division of the College Band Directors National Association. He was a member of the South Carolina Band Directors Association Hall of Fame. In May of 2010, Governor Mark Sanford awarded him The Order of the Silver Crescent, the state’s highest honor for volunteer and community service to the people of South Carolina.

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