A Brief History of Carolina Bands

Adapted by Ashlie Keylon Conway from:
Dunbar, Dwight Andrew. 1995. "A History of the University of South Carolina School
of Music, 1920-1993." PhD diss., University of South Carolina.

Sallee, John M. 1999. "Keep Your Seats! A History of the University of South Carolina Marching Band."
Honor's College bachelor's thesis, University of South Carolina.

Director of Bands Years Facilities Notes
Mr. Martin 1920(?)-1921 Unknown Board of Trustees approved organization of a band. The band at this time had less than 20 students. The band was a student-organized group, and Mr. Martin was their student director.
James C. Lanham 1921(?)-1923 Unknown  
George Olson 1923-1945 Flinn Hall*
3rd Floor Rutledge
College and Chapel*
Drayton Hall*
Olson's Band typically numbered 50 musicians. In addition to being the band director, Olson was simultaneously Dean of the School of Commerce. During Olson's tenure (in 1941 to be exact), women were first allowed to participate in the band.
Robert and R. K. Mead, Mustering Petty Officers (Student band directors) 1943-1945(?) Unknown The band at this time transformed into the V-12 Naval ROTC band.
Louis Albert Fink
(with Pat Garnett as assistant)
1946-1950
(1948-1950)
Drayton Hall*
Lieber College*
School of Engineering: (Corner of Greene and Main Streets)
The band took away trips. Marching drill was learned from a chalkboard, and the band played mostly marches.
Richard H. Zimmermann 1950-1955 School of Engineering: (Corner of Greene and Main Streets) Band grew to the largest membership to its largest membership since its inception (82 members).
Donald L. Banschbach 1955-1956 School of Engineering: (Corner of Greene and Main Streets) At this time the Air Force ROTC, Navy ROTC and University bands were all operating independently of each other.
Pat Garnett 1956-1959 School of Engineering: (Corner of Greene and Main Streets) Garnett had been band director at Dreher High School before coming to USC. He was best known for getting rid of the majorettes. After suffering a stroke in late 1958, Garnett's assistant Heyward Moore stepped in temporarily.
James D. Pritchard, Sr. 1959-1969 School of Engineering: (Corner of Greene and Main Streets)
McMaster
Unknown off-campus location
Brought about numerous changes, the least of which were the Coquettes and use of a feature twirler. During Pritchard's tenure, the band reached over 100 members.
Ralph Wahl 1969-1973 McMaster
"Old Wheat St. Club Building" (Sallee, 60)
Former Band Hall (S. Main St.)
The Carolina Band reached 350 members due to Wahl's aggressive recruitment of incoming students. The band program separated from the Department of Music. Before leaving USC, Wahl destroyed many of the band's earliest records and documents.
Thomas R. O'Neal 1973-1975 Former Band Hall (S. Main St.) The Band came back under the jurisdiction of the Music Department. The tradition of post-game concerts by the Carolina Band began at this time.
James K. Copenhaver (Director of Bands) 1976-Current Former Band Hall (S. Main St.)
and School of Music
(813 Assembly St.)
Copenhaver created the current well-known and loved pre-game show. He also is responsible for the tradition of always having national or world champion twirlers as a part of the band.
Dr. David A. O'Shields (Director of Athletic Bands) 1995-2006 Former Band Hall (S. Main St.)
and School of Music
(813 Assembly St.)
O'Shields' era saw the demolition of the Former Band Hall, the move across the street to the Interim Band Hall, and the plans for the new facility at 324 Sumter Street.
Dr. George Brozak (Director of Athletic Bands) 2006-Current Interim Band Hall (S. Main St.)
School of Music (813 Assembly St.)
and 324 Sumter Street
Dr. Brozak's era began with the first instance of scholarships for all Carolina Band Members.

*No proof of band rehearsal area prior to 1947. The buildings listed are the buildings in which the Music Department was housed.

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