Dr. Scott Weiss

Dr. Scott Weiss

Director of Bands / Professor of Music
University of South Carolina


Scott Weiss is the Sarah Bolick Smith Distinguished Professor of Music at the University of South Carolina where he conducts the USC Wind Ensemble and teaches graduate conducting. Beginning in August 2017 he will also conduct the USC Symphony Orchestra, and his 2017-18 season with the orchestra includes a fully-staged performance of Leonard Bernstein’s MASS in the Koger Center for the Arts in Columbia.

Equally at home leading both symphony orchestras and wind bands, Weiss maintains an active international conducting schedule, including recent concerts in China with many of that country’s leading professional symphony orchestras, including the Shenzhen Symphony Orchestra, the Hunan Symphony Orchestra, the Nanchang Philharmonic, the Shandong Symphony Orchestra, and the Inner Mongolia Symphony Orchestra. His 2017-18 schedule includes return engagements with the Inner-Mongolia and Hunan Symphony Orchestras, as well as his debut with the Sichuan Symphony Orchestra.

A passionate advocate of contemporary music, Weiss has commissioned and premiered over 40 new works, and performances under his direction have won the praise of such notable composers as Joseph Schwantner, Samuel Adler, Karel Husa, Frank Ticheli, David Dzubay, and many others. He has recorded several CD’s of American music on the Naxos and Summit labels, including a 2013 release on the Naxos label featuring music by Leonard Bernstein. Hailed by critics as “scintillating,” and “fresh and spontaneous,” of this disc Barry Kilpatrick of American Record Guide proclaimed, “There are simply too many great moments to mention.”

Dr. Weiss’s graduate conducting studio at the University of South Carolina is an international draw for talented young conductors. Former conducting students of his hold major conducting and academic positions throughout the world. He has also been the lead teacher at numerous conducting symposia, and in 2017 he will be a clinician at the Los Angeles Conducting Workshop Institute.

Scott Weiss is frequently invited to conduct performances and teach master classes at leading music schools around the world, including the Central Conservatory of Music (Beijing), the Shanghai Conservatory of Music, the Sydney Conservatorium of Music and the University of Western Australia. A strong supporter of public school music education, he has conducted all-state ensembles and festivals in over 30 states, and in 2018 he will serve as the conductor of the Music for All Honor Band of America.

Dr. Weiss earned an undergraduate degree in trumpet performance from the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music and both a master’s and a doctorate from the University of Illinois where he studied conducting with Donald Schleicher and James Keene. Prior to his tenure at the University of South Carolina, he served on the conducting faculties of the University of Kansas, the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music, Lamar University (TX), and Emory University. He also has nine years of public school teaching experience in Fairfax, Virginia and Cobb County, Georgia.

Scott and his wife, Teah, reside in Columbia and are the proud parents of their son, John, a high school senior. In addition to conducting and teaching, Scott enjoys traveling, surfing, and playing golf.

  Session Titles

Getting Beyond the Notes: Tips for conducting musically inspired performances


This clinic is designed to assist public school music teachers help their students through more effective non-verbal communication and gesture.

Teaching in a One Room Schoolhouse


This clinic is designed to assist public school instrumental music teachers in repertoire selection and curriculum development.

Teaching Individual Musicianship in an Ensemble Setting


Drawing on the clinician's background as a public school instrumental music teacher, this clinic provides attendees with pedagogical approaches to fostering individual musicianship in large ensemble settings.

Tuning Up for the New Year: Tips for Improving Intonation


This clinic provides attendees with rehearsal strategies and pedagogical approaches for improving individual and ensemble intonation.