All you need to know about S.C. Arts Awards Day

14 recipients to be honored May 1

  • Elizabeth O’Neill Verner Governor’s Award for the Arts, Jean Laney Harris Folk Heritage Award presented at ceremony
  • S.C. Arts Awards Luncheon & Art Sale to follow

COLUMBIA, S.C. – Two awards honoring high arts achievement in South Carolina will be presented to 14 recipients Wednesday, May 1, 2019 during South Carolina Arts Awards festivities at the UofSC Alumni Center in Columbia. The South Carolina Arts Awards, sponsored by Colonial Life, are a joint presentation of the South Carolina Arts Commission, South Carolina Arts Foundation, and McKissick Museum at the University of South Carolina to award the Elizabeth O’Neill Verner Governor’s Awards for the Arts and Jean Laney Harris Folk Heritage Awards.

Awards Ceremony

Both awards will be presented at the awards ceremony at the UofSC Alumni Center (900 Senate St., Columbia), which begins with a reception from 10-10:45 a.m. The official ceremony begins at 11 a.m. S.C. Arts Commission Board Chairman Henry Horowitz and Executive Director Ken May will be joined by South Carolina First Lady Peggy McMaster to present the awards to each recipient. Nine recipients from their respective categories are being recognized with Elizabeth O’Neill Verner Governor’s Awards for the Arts for outstanding achievement and contributions to the arts in South Carolina:
  • ARTIST: Tyrone Geter, Elgin
  • INDIVIDUAL: Kathleen Bateson, Hilton Head Island
  • ARTS IN EDUCATION (Individual): Simeon A. Warren, Charleston
  • ARTS IN EDUCATION (Organization): South Carolina African American Heritage Commission, Hartsville
  • BUSINESS: Hampton III Gallery, Taylors
  • GOVERNMENT: Florence County Museum, Florence
  • ORGANIZATION: The Gibbes Museum of Art, Charleston
  • ORGANIZATION (Special Award): Town Theatre, Columbia
  • LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT: Cecil Williams, Orangeburg
Four artists and one advocate are being recognized with the Jean Laney Harris Folk Heritage Award as practitioners and advocates of traditional arts significant to communities throughout the state. Their traditions embody folklife’s dynamic, multigenerational nature, and its fusion of artistic and utilitarian ideals. They are:
  • John Andrew “Andy” Brooks (Liberty): Old-Time Music
  • Dorothy Brown Glover (Lincolnville): Quilting
  • Julian A. Prosser (Columbia): Bluegrass Music
  • The Voices of Gullah Singers (St. Helena Island): Gullah Singing
  • Dale Rosengarten, Ph.D. (McClellanville): Advocacy, African-American Lowcountry Basketry & Southern Jewish Heritage
McKissick Museum will celebrate this year’s Folk Heritage Award recipients at a mixer Tuesday, April 30 from 6-8 p.m., at the Blue Moon Ballroom (554 Meeting St, West Columbia). Admission is free for McKissick members or $5 for non-members. RSVP’s can be made, or tickets purchased, by going here. For more information, or to RSVP or purchase a ticket over the phone, call 803.777.2876.

S.C. Arts Awards Luncheon & Art Sale

The S.C. Arts Foundation will honor the recipients afterward during a fundraising luncheon at the UofSC Alumni Center (900 Senate St., Columbia). Works by South Carolina will be on sale from 11 a.m. to noon, with proceeds supporting S.C. Arts Commission programs. The luncheon program is expected to run from 12:30 to 2 p.m.
  • Unique ikebana flower arrangements, in partnership with Ikebana International Chapter #182 of Columbia, will serve as table centerpieces. Each arrangement, available for sale, will be presented in an included, original vase crafted by a South Carolina artisan.
  • Art experiences will also be sold.
  • The keynote speaker will be S.C. Arts Commission Executive Director Ken May, retiring at the end of June 2019 after 33 years at the agency and the past nine as its leader, giving a “State of the Arts” message.
  • Luncheon tickets are $50 per person and available for purchase through SouthCarolinaArts.com or by calling 803.734.8696.

About the South Carolina Arts Commission

With a commitment to excellence across the spectrum of our state’s cultures and forms of expression, the South Carolina Arts Commission pursues its public charge to develop a thriving arts environment, which is essential to quality of life, education, and economic vitality for all South Carolinians. Created by the South Carolina General Assembly in 1967, the Arts Commission works to increase public participation in the arts by providing services, grants, and leadership initiatives in three areas:
  • arts education,
  • community arts development,
  • and artist development.
Headquartered in Columbia, S.C., the Arts Commission is funded by the state of South Carolina, by the federal government through the National Endowment for the Arts and other sources. For more information, visit SouthCarolinaArts.com or call 803.734.8696.

S.C. Arts Awards: Dorothy Brown Glover

2019 Recipient Feature Series

As the day nears for the 2019 South Carolina Arts Awards, The Hub is taking 15 days to focus on this year's recipients: nine receiving the Elizabeth O'Neill Verner Governor's Awards for the Arts and five receiving the Jean Laney Harris Folk Heritage Award, which are managed jointly by the South Carolina Arts Commission and McKissick Museum at UofSC. In between the two groups, we'll run a special feature on S.C. Arts Awards sponsor Colonial Life.

Dorothy Brown Glover

Quilting Dorothy Glover is well-known for her distinctive use of traditional quilt design elements and patterns from the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Born in 1925, she was the child of farmers Essie and William Glover creates exquisite quilt tops incorporating improvisational design methods that were popular among quilters whose social and economic status did not allow for the purchase of store-bought fabric for use in quilt making. Like most farm girls of her time, Glover was introduced to quilting by watching her mother make the quilts beneath which she slept as a child. These family treasures were created from strips and blocks of fabric salvaged from various articles of family clothing that were worn out and no longer wearable. The quilt backings were made from feed sacks and other pieces of old cloth from around the household. As a young adult, Glover took up the tradition and in time, through her patient and persistent devotion, she became a master of the art form. After marrying, Glover and her husband, Curtis, made their home in Lincolnville, where they raised their children. Continuing the family tradition, all three children slept each night beneath the quilts made by their talented mother. Lincolnville Town Hall, across the street from Glovers’ home, became an important artistic oasis. It was there that Ms. Glover embraced a community of women who organized an ongoing quilting bee, via which they shared an infinitude of creative ideas and tales of town history. This unique quilting bee, among other significant achievements, pieced together a group quilt to provide an historical timeline of Lincolnville—a place that had been founded by freed African-Americans following the Civil War. The women’s powerful history quilt paid homage to the days of the Reconstruction era, when Lincolnville became a haven to which formerly enslaved families came for a better life and community support. This special bee came, in time, to capture the hearts (and hands!) of many of the women of Lincolnville. For decades, Glover has inspired countless quilters, young and old, to join her in her artistic journey. Glover’s quilt reputation does not stop at Lincolnville. Quilters from throughout the state come to seek out her impressive quilting knowledge. Interested quilters watch her work painstakingly on intricate patterns like the “The Cathedral Window,” a quilt design known for the artist’s use of “invisible hand” applique stitches and precision piecing. Glover gracefully transforms thoughts and visions onto fabric and encourages other quilters, regardless of skill level, to experiment with patterns, colors, and designs. She generously shares her knowledge with all who want to learn and makes herself available to younger artists who seek out her experience and guidance.
South Carolina Arts Awards Day is Wednesday, May 1, 2019. The festivities begin at 10 a.m. with a reception that leads up to the awards ceremony at the UofSC Alumni Center (900 Senate St., Columbia). The event is free and open to the public. Following the ceremony, the South Carolina Arts Foundation honors the recipients and the arts community at the S.C. Arts Awards Luncheon and Art Sale. Tickets are $50. Please go here for more information and reservations.

Meet the Recipients

Use these links to read the long-form bios of the other 2019 South Carolina Arts Awards recipients.

S.C. Arts Awards: Andy Brooks

2019 Recipient Feature Series

As the day nears for the 2019 South Carolina Arts Awards, The Hub is taking 15 days to focus on this year's recipients: nine receiving the Elizabeth O'Neill Verner Governor's Awards for the Arts and five receiving the Jean Laney Harris Folk Heritage Award, which are managed jointly by the South Carolina Arts Commission and McKissick Museum at UofSC. In between the two groups, we'll run a special feature on S.C. Arts Awards sponsor Colonial Life.

John Andrew "Andy" Brooks

Old-Time Music Andy Brooks first plucked the strings of a banjo when he was four years old. He fondly remembers holding his great uncle Sammy Lee Stephens’ banjo at the home of his great grandmother, on the Alice Mill Hill in Easley. Stephens taught Brooks everything he knew on the banjo and lent him his fiddle to try. Stephens’ enthusiasm motivated Brooks to keep practicing. Brooks’ musical journey is inspired by multiple traditions, yielding a collection of hundreds of tunes that he knows and plays by heart. Early on, Stephens taught him tunes like “Under the Double Eagle,” from the textile mill brass band tradition. Brooks discovered the music of Pete and Mike Seeger, and by 17 was fascinated by the flashy performances of bluegrass pioneers Earl Scruggs and Lester Flatt. Brooks’ love of the fiddle led him far and wide, seeking out albums, festivals and fiddlers to expand his repertoire and learn a variety of styles. When he heard Roger Howell play old-time fiddle at the 1991 Galax, Virginia Fiddler’s Convention, he felt he had found the real sound of Southern music. Other influences include Al Osteen of 5th String Bluegrass Band and Bill Lowe of Cripple Creek. Old-time music combines diverse cultural sources. The fiddle and the banjo—which is African in origin—were popular instruments among traveling musicians. Immigrants from the British Isles brought their musical traditions to the U.S. and melded them with those of enslaved Africans. Melodies of immigrant tunes fused with the driving rhythms of African music. Old-time music encompasses both secular and sacred songs. In South Carolina’s Upstate region, the sounds of textile mill weave rooms shared the rhythm of many old-time songs played on the mill hills. Brooks’ dedication and talent has earned him recognition, including winning the 2016 South Carolina State Fiddle Championship at Hagood Mill in Pickens, where he also placed second in banjo. He also accompanied fellow musician John Thomas Fowler at the SC State House when Fowler received the 2013 Jean Laney Harris Folk Heritage Award and played with The Carolina Relics at the Carolina Music Museum at the 2018 Heritage Green Music Festival in Greenville. A tireless old-time music ambassador, Brooks strives to keep old-time music dynamic and relevant. To him, old-time music is a community-based, rather than performance-based, tradition, in which everyone contributes to the music by dancing, playing or singing. Brooks plays for dances and hosts jams where musicians of different skill levels and repertoires share and learn from one another. In 2016, Brooks co-founded the Old Keowee Contra Dance to benefit the Oconee Heritage Center’s music program. An avid educator, Brooks has taught in the Young Appalachian Musicians After School Program and the Oconee Heritage Center in Walhalla. This summer, he will teach Appalachian banjo at the John C. Campbell Folk School in Brasstown, NC. When he plays for dances, he encourages students to join him onstage, and is always eager to talk about their musical ambitions. Brooks and his students often play at nursing homes, churches, and charity events. Passionate about sharing his knowledge of the history, songs, and spirit of old-time music, Brooks is keeping the tradition alive.
South Carolina Arts Awards Day is Wednesday, May 1, 2019. The festivities begin at 10 a.m. with a reception that leads up to the awards ceremony at the UofSC Alumni Center (900 Senate St., Columbia). The event is free and open to the public. Following the ceremony, the South Carolina Arts Foundation honors the recipients and the arts community at the S.C. Arts Awards Luncheon and Art Sale. Tickets are $50. Please go here for more information and reservations.

Meet the Recipients

Use these links to read the long-form bios of the other 2019 South Carolina Arts Awards recipients.

Grants Roundup: Deadlines for the Forseeable Future

Though far from the only thing, grants are among the main things we do here. And because of their importance in our work, and what they mean to so many of you, The Hub wants to help keep Arts Commission grants top-of-mind and reduce the number of times people say, "If only we'd known about X grant!" We can't reach everybody, but we can try. On Mondays with deadlines on the horizon, "Grants Roundup" highlights first what grants are due that week and then includes what's coming later in increments.
Ed. Note: Good morning! This is the last "Roundup" for a bit as there aren't any grants with hard deadlines on the horizon. The Arts Commission does offer several different grants with rolling deadlines that might/might not be applicable to you. Those are listed below.  

Rolling Deadlines

Important Notes

  • You are encouraged to also consult the SCAC grants page for up-to-date information on all grant deadlines (subject to change) and deadlines for non-grant programs.
  • For next steps, grant guidance, and more information, consult your county coordinator if you are an artist or represent local organizations, a business, or an educational institution.

Guest Post

S.C. Arts Awards: Colonial Life

2019 Recipient Feature Series

As the day nears for the 2019 South Carolina Arts Awards, The Hub is taking 15 days to focus on this year's recipients: nine receiving the Elizabeth O'Neill Verner Governor's Awards for the Arts and five receiving the Jean Laney Harris Folk Heritage Award, which are managed jointly by the South Carolina Arts Commission and McKissick Museum at UofSC. In between the two groups, we'll run a special feature on S.C. Arts Awards sponsor Colonial Life.

Colonial Life

Lead Sponsor The S.C. Arts Commission 50th anniversary umbrellas traveling exhibition on display in the Atrium at Colonial Life headquarters.
When you think of an unwavering commitment to enhancing our community, especially through the arts and arts education, Colonial Life is one of the first companies to come to mind. Strong Schools Grant recipient John Rogers at Cyril B. Busbee Creative Arts Academy in Lexington School District 2. For 80 years, Colonial Life has been providing financial protection to customers and their families during difficult times in their lives to help protect the things they value most. This commitment extends to the community where our employees live and work. Colonial Life believes in giving back to the community and providing opportunities for employees to do the same. We do this through corporate giving, a charitable matching-gifts program, and thousands of volunteer hours. Employees and company leaders work together with community organizations that strive to improve the quality of life for citizens through education, health and well-being and the arts. Colonial Life’s commitment to supporting the arts extends to a variety of audiences and celebrates many cultures as diverse as its neighbors. We believe that a truly vibrant community includes engaging outlets and opportunities for cultural education. We understand for a community to reap the benefits of these institutions, we need to provide opportunities for students and educators to use these places to connect classroom curriculum with real-world experience. Here are a few of the ways Colonial Life supports the arts:
  • Educational outreach with the Columbia City Ballet
  • Professional development for educators at the Columbia Museum of Art
  • Sponsorship of the Youth Theatre at Town Theatre
  • Teacher Appreciation Nights with Second Shift Twosdays at the S.C. State Museum
  • Sponsorship of Link Up concerts with the S.C. Philharmonic
  • Strong Schools Grants program for educators that supports arts education initiatives
  • Arts education sponsorship through the Lexington County Arts Association
  • Underwriting of arts events and exhibits
In addition to these outreach efforts, Colonial Life is honored to feature an Art/Work gallery, in our newly renovated Columbia headquarters, showcasing original pieces produced by artists from across South Carolina. These creations enable members of our extended community to share their stories with our employees and guests. Colonial Life is proud to partner with the South Carolina Arts Foundation as the presenting sponsor of the 2019 South Carolina Arts Awards. We congratulate the Palmetto State’s outstanding award recipients and commend them on demonstrating excellence in the arts in South Carolina.
South Carolina Arts Awards Day is Wednesday, May 1, 2019. The festivities begin at 10 a.m. with a reception that leads up to the awards ceremony at the UofSC Alumni Center (900 Senate St., Columbia). The event is free and open to the public. Following the ceremony, the South Carolina Arts Foundation honors the recipients and the arts community at the S.C. Arts Awards Luncheon and Art Sale. Tickets are $50. Please go here for more information and reservations.

Meet the Recipients

Use these links to read the long-form bios of the other 2019 South Carolina Arts Awards recipients.

Two job openings at Redux Contemporary Art Center

Is Charleston calling you?

  Redux Contemporary Art Center Redux Contemporary Art Center Redux Contemporary Art Center submitted the following open positions to The Hub.

S.C. Arts Awards: Cecil Williams

2019 Recipient Feature Series

As the day nears for the 2019 South Carolina Arts Awards, The Hub is taking 15 days to focus on this year's recipients: nine receiving the Elizabeth O'Neill Verner Governor's Awards for the Arts and five receiving the Jean Laney Harris Folk Heritage Award, which are managed jointly by the South Carolina Arts Commission and McKissick Museum at UofSC. In between the two groups, we'll run a special feature on S.C. Arts Awards sponsor Colonial Life.

Cecil Williams

Lifetime Achievement Cecil Williams is a professional photographer, videographer, publisher, inventor, and author. Born and raised in Orangeburg, his extraordinary life and career were shaped by the personal, economic, and political boundaries of segregated life during the Jim Crow Era South. He is perhaps best known for using his penetrating lens to document the struggle to achieve freedom, justice, and equality during the civil rights movement. By the age of 9, he had already begun his career in photography and by 15 was working professionally. From a childhood darkroom in Orangeburg to New York hotels with heads of state to the frontlines of protests and mass meetings around South Carolina, Williams has recorded remarkable moments from the past. He worked as a freelancer for JET magazine, the Baltimore Afro-Americana and the Pittsburgh Courier and as a stringer for the Associated Press. As a young journalist, Williams developed close associations with key Civil Rights figures who provided him unique access to events around South Carolina that were closed to outsiders and the mainstream press. The teenaged Williams documented the Clarendon County movement that led to Briggs v. Elliott, an important legal precedent for the 1954 Brown v. Board of Education decision that desegregated public schools. He also captured the bravery of student protesters at South Carolina State College, desegregation at Clemson University and the University of South Carolina, the quiet heroism of teachers at the Elloree Training School who resigned from their jobs rather than renounce their affiliation with the NAACP and then and was there for the Orangeburg Massacre in 1968. When Lennie Glover, a Benedict College student, returned to the protest lines after a near-fatal stabbing, Williams was there, his camera focused on Glover’s determined steps down Columbia’s Main Street as he challenged segregation. An accomplished architect, he designed six residences that served as his home and art studio. He became an author in May 2006, publishing Out of the Box in Dixie, a photo-documentary. That publication’s sequel, Unforgettable, was released February 2018. Williams earned a degree in art from Claflin University and was recently appointed by Claflin as its historic preservationist. Williams is recipient of the Order of the Palmetto, the state’s highest award to an individual, and last fall received the Governor’s Award in the Humanities from SC Humanities. He owns Cecil Williams Photography, LLC in Orangeburg, and his new creation, the Cecil Williams Museum in Orangeburg, is slated to debut May 17, 2019.
South Carolina Arts Awards Day is Wednesday, May 1, 2019. The festivities begin at 10 a.m. with a reception that leads up to the awards ceremony at the UofSC Alumni Center (900 Senate St., Columbia). The event is free and open to the public. Following the ceremony, the South Carolina Arts Foundation honors the recipients and the arts community at the S.C. Arts Awards Luncheon and Art Sale. Tickets are $50. Please go here for more information and reservations.

Meet the Recipients

Use these links to read the long-form bios of the other 2019 South Carolina Arts Awards recipients.

S.C. Arts Awards: Town Theatre

2019 Recipient Feature Series

As the day nears for the 2019 South Carolina Arts Awards, The Hub is taking 15 days to focus on this year's recipients: nine receiving the Elizabeth O'Neill Verner Governor's Awards for the Arts and five receiving the Jean Laney Harris Folk Heritage Award, which are managed jointly by the South Carolina Arts Commission and McKissick Museum at UofSC. In between the two groups, we'll run a special feature on S.C. Arts Awards sponsor Colonial Life.

Town Theatre

Organization Category | Special Award Celebrating its 100th season in 2018/2019, Town Theatre’s mission is to provide quality, live, family-oriented community theatre to the Midlands and beyond as well as to offer the foundation for those who wish to participate on stage or backstage. Town Theatre is pleased to be a theatre OF the community, BY the community and FOR the community. The founders of the Town Theatre were not professional producers, directors or actors. They were people who dreamed of a new concept for Columbia: a theatre where families could not only watch plays, but also participate in them and learn from the experience. The commitment to presenting plays and musicals of wide general appeal has earned Town Theatre the largest regular audience of any cultural performing organization in the Midlands of South Carolina. In excess of 30,000 individuals come through Town’s doors annually as performers, patrons, students and volunteers. The theatre produces five main stage productions from September to May. Summer months bring large extravaganza productions which are geared towards young people. Town Theatre is home to a well-developed youth theatre program which has grown 900% in 18 years and includes weekday classes, a musical theatre troupe for teens, multiple full-scale productions and a healthy offering of summer classes. Town Theatre provides an exceptional opportunity to entry level actors by giving them the chance to work on stage with experienced veterans, many of whom are working professionals volunteering their time. The first home for the theatre was the Sloan House at 1012 Sumter St. The current Town Theatre building was constructed in 1924. It is the oldest community theatre building in continuous use in the United States and is listed in the National Register of Historic Places. On the Town stage Carl Sandburg recited poetry; Academy Award winners Delbert Mann directed,and Stanley Donen acted; Martha Graham danced; DuBose Heyward lectured; and famed artist Jasper Johns painted sets. While Town Theatre’s primary goal is to produce quality shows with local talent as the players and technicians, the theatre prides itself in its commitment to the community. In the last 25 years, the theatre has combined its heartbeat – presenting shows – with unique ways in which other nonprofits could raise money and awareness of their own causes. By virtue of its 100-year legacy to the arts, Town Theatre has contributed significantly to the cultural life of the city of Columbia and state of South Carolina. For more, visit TownTheatre.com.
South Carolina Arts Awards Day is Wednesday, May 1, 2019. The festivities begin at 10 a.m. with a reception that leads up to the awards ceremony at the UofSC Alumni Center (900 Senate St., Columbia). The event is free and open to the public. Following the ceremony, the South Carolina Arts Foundation honors the recipients and the arts community at the S.C. Arts Awards Luncheon and Art Sale. Tickets are $50. Please go here for more information and reservations.

S.C. Arts Awards: S.C. African American Heritage Commission

2019 Recipient Feature Series

As the day nears for the 2019 South Carolina Arts Awards, The Hub is taking 15 days to focus on this year's recipients: nine receiving the Elizabeth O'Neill Verner Governor's Awards for the Arts and five receiving the Jean Laney Harris Folk Heritage Award, which are managed jointly by the South Carolina Arts Commission and McKissick Museum at UofSC. In between the two groups, we'll run a special feature on S.C. Arts Awards sponsor Colonial Life.

South Carolina African American Heritage Commission

Arts in Education Category | Organization The S.C. African American Heritage Commission (SCAAHC) identifies and promotes the preservation of historic sites, structures, buildings, and culture of the African American experience in South Carolina, and assists and enhances the efforts of the S.C. Department of Archives and History. A joint resolution of the General Assembly in 1993 established the South Carolina African American Heritage Council, re-established as a commission in 2001. The 15-member commission includes representatives from all regions of the state. The commission’s goals are to: increase the social, political, and economic value of African American heritage; encourage and demonstrate respect for all heritage; encourage the documentation of African American heritage; institutionalize African American heritage as an ongoing goal of preservation; and explore every area of South Carolina for African American contributions. The SCAAHC is known across the state for publishing A Teacher’s Guide to African American Historic Places in South Carolina. The guide was originally published in 2008, revised in 2012, then updated in 2015. But in 2016, they published the first arts-integrated supplement. The work was the product of a team of dedicated teachers and college students from across South Carolina representing grades K-12. That supplement was updated in 2018 to incorporate 2017 South Carolina College-and Career-Ready Standards for Visual and Performing Arts Proficiency. The current version added 18 lesson plans to the 22-plan 2016 supplement, giving teachers 30 potential lessons that merge arts learning with learning about African American history and achievements. Other notable arts-related accomplishments include publishing The Business of Rural Heritage, Culture and Art: An Introductory Resource Guide for Entrepreneurs; presenting FREED, African American female Civil War reenactors in 2018; featuring award-winning speaker, storyteller and artist Natalie Daise in her production “Becoming Harriet Tubman” in 2012; and presenting Opera Noire in Columbia and Hartsville in 2010. In 2017, the SCAAHC received acclaim for launching “Green Book of South Carolina,” an online travel guide to S.C.  African American historic and cultural sites. For more, visit their website.
South Carolina Arts Awards Day is Wednesday, May 1, 2019. The festivities begin at 10 a.m. with a reception that leads up to the awards ceremony at the UofSC Alumni Center (900 Senate St., Columbia). The event is free and open to the public. Following the ceremony, the South Carolina Arts Foundation honors the recipients and the arts community at the S.C. Arts Awards Luncheon and Art Sale. Tickets are $50. Please go here for more information and reservations.

Submitted material

Alumna Sue Samuels named Furman bands director

Sue Samuels, a 1987 Furman University graduate, has been named director of bands for the Furman Department of Music. Samuels, who fills the post of retiring music faculty member Leslie W. Hicken, will assume the role in fall semester 2019. Samuels is director of visual and performing arts at Randolph School in Huntsville, Ala. Prior to Randolph School, she served 14 years as director of bands at the University of Alabama at Birmingham where she led the Marching Blazers, the Wind Symphony, the Symphony Band, and the Blazer Band, as well as taught courses in conducting and music education. Samuels’ teaching experience includes 12 years at Lassiter High School in Marietta Ga., one year as assistant director of bands at the University of Georgia, and two years as director of bands at WT Woodson High School in Fairfax, Va. Under her direction, the high school bands received straight superior ratings at festivals throughout her 14-year career as band director and have garnered recognition on the national stage.


Growing up in a military family, Samuels lived in five states as a youngster before her family settled in Columbia. Later, Samuels attended Furman and earned a bachelor’s in music education. Samuels also studied at Georgia State University in Atlanta, where she received a master’s in instrumental conducting. She also studied at the Eastman School of Music, and at Auburn University where she earned a Ph.D. in music education in 2009. Current Director of Bands Leslie W. Hicken joined the Furman music faculty 26 years ago. He will pass his academic baton to Samuels when he retires this spring. Just weeks after leading the Symphonic Winds in a performance at New York’s Carnegie Hall, Hicken will conduct his last concert with the ensemble Friday, April 12, at 8 p.m. in McAlister Auditorium on campus. Known for his contributions to the community, Hicken will again lead the 2019 Furman Summer Concert Series, Music by the Lake, a Greenville tradition for more than 50 years, and continue as artistic director and conductor of the Carolina Youth Symphony, which will also perform at Carnegie Hall in late April.