The Conductors


Scott Weiss

Scott Weiss is the Director of Orchestras and Sarah Bolick Smith Distinguished Professor of Music at the University of South Carolina where he conducts the USC Symphony Orchestra and teaches instrumental conducting. Since 2010, he has also proudly served as conductor of the Palmetto Concert Band, one of the nation’s most outstanding adult concert bands.

In constant demand as a guest conductor, Scott travels regularly to China where he has conducted many of that country’s leading symphony orchestras. Recent engagements have included the Shenzhen Symphony Orchestra, the Tianjin Symphony Orchestra, the Hunan Symphony Orchestra, the Inner Mongolia Symphony Orchestra, and the Nanchang Philharmonic, among many others. Closer to home, he has conducted all-state and honor ensembles in over 30 states, including the 2018 Honor Band of America.

A champion of new music and emerging composers, Scott has commissioned and premiered dozens of new works by many of today’s leading composers, including Nico Muhly, Jennifer Higdon, Zhou Long, Joseph Schwanter, and William Bolcom. He has also recorded several critically-acclaimed CD’s on the Naxos, Summit, Cataloupe, and Mark Custom labels.

Scott is frequently invited to conduct performances and teach masterclasses at leading conservatoires and music schools around the world, including the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, the Central Conservatory of Music (Beijing), the Shanghai Conservatory of Music, and the University of Western Australia. In the 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 Donald Schleicher and James Keene. Before joining the faculty at the University of South Carolina, he held conducting posts at the University of Kansas and the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music.


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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