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University of South Carolina’s Spark program seeks assistant

Spark Laboratory, at the University of South Carolina School of Music, is accepting applications for an assistant to the director. The assistant will be involved in all aspects of the Music Leadership Laboratory, and job duties may include event design and management, marketing, grant writing, donor cultivation, website and social media content creation, and guest artist coordination. The assistant will serve on the core creative team, report to the director of Spark and work closely with the director of Music Entrepreneurship. This position requires a high level of relationship building, organizational planning, flexibility, and the ability to solve problems. The candidate should have technological aptitudes, a talent for managing multiple time-sensitive projects, the ability to maintain a professional demeanor and a sense of humor within a fast-paced, innovative environment. Spark oversees a number of vibrant initiatives that contribute to an entrepreneurial culture throughout the University of South Carolina School of Music and region. These include the nation's first music entrepreneurship minor, an array of extracurricular programs, an experiential arts entrepreneurship workshop, a chamber competition centered on artistic excellence and innovative event design, a developing summer program that impacts underserved high school students through innovative arts education, and an engagement wing that organizes performances in community venues. Beyond transforming the USC community, Spark is regularly featured at national profile events (such as the 2016 Chamber Music America pre-conference day) and aims to serve as a model for 21st Century music schools. A Bachelor's degree and outstanding written and oral communication skills are required. Desirable qualifications include a Bachelor's or Master's degree with a concentration in music, arts administration, marketing, communications, or a related field; at least two years of fundraising/arts organization experience; and a passion for positively impacting society through the arts. Applications will be accepted until the position is filled. Start date is July 1, 2015. Applicants must apply at https://uscjobs.sc.edu, attaching a letter of application specifying qualifications for this position; a CV/resume; and contact information for three references. For more information, call (803) 777-4336 or email lgibson@mozart.sc.edu.

Musicians: learn to generate more income and impact at Spark’s workshop

Winners of the Chamber Ensemble Competition will kick off the workshop with performances at Tapp’s Art Center on June 5. (Pictured above, first-place winners The Fourth Wall Ensemble.) The Savvy MusicianSpark: Carolina’s Music Leadership Laboratory holds its second annual summer workshop June 5 – 8 on the University of South Carolina campus. The Savvy Musician in ACTION is an intensive, experiential four-day event designed to help musicians generate more income and impact. Participants pitch arts-based business ideas, vote on favorites, form teams, design a business from the ground up, and compete for awards. The workshop is designed for:

  • Professional musicians in search of solutions that further advance their professional and financial level of success while expanding impact.
  • College music students from all disciplines, both undergraduate and graduate, who want to develop entrepreneurial and leadership skills that lead to greater professional success.
  • College music faculty and administrators interested in experiential education and/or the pedagogy of music entrepreneurship and leadership. Please note this is not just geared to teachers of career classes or music business. Lessons explored are relevant and applicable to all faculty and administrators interested in creating a greater culture of entrepreneurship throughout their institution.
  • Full chamber ensembles
The workshop kicks off with a concert featuring winners from Spark's Chamber Ensemble Competition.  In addition to music excellence, the winners expand beyond the musical-only concert format with the use of unexpected innovations like multi-media, choreography, audience engagement, theatrical elements, or unusual performance practices. The competition, hosted by the University of South Carolina School of Music, was open nationwide. Winners were chosen through a competitive juried process and evaluated on artistic excellence and innovative event design. Learn more about Spark’s Summer Workshop and register to attend online. The Chamber Ensemble Competition winners: First place winner: The Fourth Wall Ensemble Based in Indiana and founded in 2010, The Fourth Wall explores a new hybrid of the performing arts in which musicians are also dancers and actors. Stretching the boundaries of instrumental performance, the ensemble commissions new interdisciplinary works and reinterprets established repertoire to make music that literally leaps from the stage. A flutist dancer, a trombonist choreographer, and a percussionist narrator took the first-place prize and were awarded the opening night performance, full tuition scholarships to the workshop, a cash stipend and professional development coaching with Dr. David Cutler. Runner-Up: Warp Trio On piano, cello and violin, Warp Trio push the boundaries of music through inter-disciplinary collaborations and eclectic programming that includes electrifying original material, dynamic interpretations of popular music, improvisation and unique takes on classical repertoire. For this performance, they are joined by a drummer and dancer. Runner-Up: Ensemble39 Ensemble39’s unique mix of strings and winds embraces many musical styles from the classical oboe to the jazz bass, the klezmer clarinet to the old time fiddle. The group, featuring graduates of Curtis, changes the conventional concert paradigm, exploring new venues, seeking diverse collaborators, loosening the presentation protocol and pursuing mixtape-style programming. Honorable Mention: Duo Anova Based in New York City, the cello and guitar duo opens up listeners’ minds to a new dimension of textures and sounds unique to cello and guitar. Honorable Mention: invoke Believing that the string quartet remains one of the most maneuverable ensembles, Maryland-based invoke, aims to reinvent the string quartet as a relevant 21st-century medium. Via: Spark

New entrepreneurship initiative to develop savvy musicians

Participants from 21 states and Canada will descend on the University of South Carolina campus June 6-9 for The Savvy Musician in ACTION, a unique 4-day experiential retreat designed to help musicians increase income and impact (think The Apprentice meets higher education.) Music professionals, faculty and students will pitch arts-based business ideas, vote on their favorites and form teams to design business models and marketing campaigns to compete for awards. Attendees will experience a variety of learning opportunities including training sessions, peer-teaching, mentorship, an “expert expo,” field research, prototyping, reflection sessions and more. The Savvy MusicianLed by pianist, composer, “The Savvy Musician” author and USC director of music entrepreneurship David Cutler, the retreat brings attendees face to face with thought leaders and entrepreneurs from the arts world. Participants take part in training sessions and learn from experts including Lance LaDuke of the Boston Brass, internationally known as a performer, writer, producer, speaker and educator, and Justin Kantor, co-founder of (Le) Poisson Rouge, a multi-media performance space, art gallery and cabaret in New York's Greenwich Village. The retreat culminates with a Venture Challenge, where teams pitch their proposed arts businesses to a panel of judges including Ken May, executive director of the South Carolina Arts Commission, and Greg Hilton, executive director of Midlands Center for Entrepreneurial and Technological Innovation, as well as a panel of Columbia-based leaders involved with the arts, entrepreneurship and economic development. USC School of Music Dean Tayloe Harding says, "This retreat is a perfect collection of learning and doing experiences for delivering the profound message and companion skills necessary to make one’s way in the world of professional music. The USC School of Music has championed, through its distinctive SPARK: Carolina’s Music Leadership Laboratory, the very principles and visions for our musical futures that are at the heart of this intensive retreat. We are so proud to be able to offer it to musicians and music lovers everywhere who are committed to tomorrow's musically enriched America that is essential for our society." The Savvy Musician in Action is about both music and entrepreneurship. To emphasize this dual goal, one of the retreat’s initiatives is a Chamber Music Competition with winners chosen through a competitive juried process. Open to forward-looking students and young professional chamber groups, the competition's judging criteria included artistic excellence and innovative event design. The winning ensemble, C Street Brass, was awarded full tuition scholarships to the retreat, a $500 stipend and an add-on professional development workshop with retreat faculty. The public is invited to performances by C Street Brass and two runners up during First Thursdays on Main Street, Columbia's cultural festival, on June 6 from 7:30 – 9:30 p.m. at Tapp’s Art Center (1644 Main Street). About Spark: Carolina’s Music Leadership Laboratory Spark: Carolina’s Music Leadership Laboratory taps into the creative and imaginative energy of USC music students and faculty and organizes a number of initiatives that benefit the university community. Focused on success, innovation and community, Spark, formerly Carolina Institute for Leadership and Engagement in Music (CILEM), prepares music leaders for the 21st century. Spark’s formula for developing leaders is at the core of its mission: Success + Innovation + Community = Leadership. Spark and the USC School of Music are committed not only to cultivating outstanding musicians, but also leaders who are well equipped to succeed professionally.

The Savvy Musician in Action: an entrepreneurship retreat

Professional musicians, music students, professors, arts administrators and music business owners - here's a retreat designed just for you! Spark: Carolina's Leadership Music Laboratory at the University of South Carolina presents The Savvy Musician in ACTION, an intensive, experiential 3½-day retreat designed to cultivate music entrepreneurs and leaders (think The Apprentice meets higher education). The retreat takes place June 6-9 on the USC campus in Columbia. The Savvy MusicianCombining interactive presentations, games, team challenges, breakout groups, video conferencing, mentorship, networking and competitions, each day of this solutions-based event is built around a different challenge facing the music world. Whether you are a student, performer, educator, faculty member, administrator, business owner, or all of the above, this experience will  teach you what it takes to thrive professionally and develop practical entrepreneurial skills that benefit your career or organization. Participants will learn by doing -- developing business and marketing plans for an arts-based business with potential to generate significant revenue and impact. By the end of the retreat, participants will possess skills and a process for applying these lessons to their own musical life. All levels of business background are welcome, including none. The retreat faculty includes David Cutler (pianist, composer and author, The Savvy Musician), Justin Kantor (founder, (Le) Poisson Rouge), Lance LaDuke (trombonist, Boston Brass), Ariel Hyatt (social media guru), Ken May (executive director, South Carolina Arts Commission), and others. Early bird tuition of $399 is available until April 1. Tuition includes all events and seven meals. Low-cost campus housing is available. Despite what you may have heard, there is a lot of important and unexplored work for musicians to do. Come learn about the craft of business and the art of opportunity creation! Find out more about the retreat and how to register. Via: University of South Carolina