We entertain, educate, enrich and excite diverse audiences through live symphonic music.
Mission: The South Carolina Philharmonic is committed to performing live symphonic music and providing dynamic educational opportunities in the Midlands. We carry forward a legacy of passion for the music and embrace our responsibility to be a vibrant part of the cultural fabric of our diverse community.
An independent 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, the South Carolina Philharmonic performs and promotes high-quality, professional symphonic music, serving the community’s needs for cultural development and education, entertainment and tourism since 1964. The introduction of Music Director Morihiko Nakahara in 2008/2009 ushered in a New Era of Artistic Excellence that is allowing the orchestra to move forward and become the Midlands pre-eminent performing arts group.
Committees and Chairs
Board Members Emeriti
Youth Orchestras Staff
Advisory Council Chairs
Co-Chairs: Charlotte Berry & Michael Ferguson
Vice-Chair: Tom Gottshall
Advisory Council Members
Dr. Roslyn Clark Artis – President, Benedict College
Mark & Janet Ballew – Grant Thornton, Past SCP Board President
Kristin Beckham – Dominion Energy Carolina Gas
Clinch & Mary Belser – Attorney, Belser & Belser
Steve Benjamin – Mayor, City of Columbia
Paula Benson – Attorney, South Carolina Senate
Carl Blackstone – Executive Director, Columbia Chamber of Commerce
Frank Brown – Retired MarketSearch, Past SCP Board President
Claire Bryant – Professional cellist, educator and arts advocate
Donna Bucalo – Community Volunteer
Ann & Andy Cameron – Retired, E.D. of External Relations; President of Southern Electric Co.
David Campbell – President & COO, Chernoff Newman
Bob Caslen – President, University of South Carolina
Deepika & Ajay Champaneri – Lexington Hospitality, LLC Hotel Management Group
Jimmy Chao – President, Chao & Associates
Joni & Roy Chaney – Lexington Medical Center, Dick Dyer & Associates
Dr. Frank Clark – Psychiatrist at Prisma Health, former SC Philharmonic Board Member
Hilton & James Cooper – WellCare Health Plans
Ken Cox – First Citizens Bank
Sam Davis – City Councilman, City of Columbia
Dr. Faith Divisek & Skip Kugler – Philanthropists
Becky & Earl Ellis – Attorney – Earl Ellis Mediation
Tammy Finney – Chief of Voluntary Service, Wm. Jennings Bryan Dorn VA Medical Center
Anita Floyd – Executive Director, Nickelodeon
Bradley Fuller – SCETV Radio
Harvey Galloway – Retired BlueCross BlueShield of SC, Past SCP Board President
Tim Gardner – Owner, Lula Drake Wine Parlour
Avni Gupta-Kagan – Educator
Audrey Harris – SC Philharmonic Musician
Miles Hoffman – Morning Edition music commentator, musician, SCETV, Peace Center
William "Skip" Holbrook – Chief, City of Columbia Police Department
Ann & Steve Holtschlag - President and CEO (retired) Consolidated Systems
Janet Hopkins – Associate Professor, USC School of Music
Libby Anne & Jeff Inabinet – Providence Health, Financial Planning
Sam Johnson – Nexsen Pruet, LLC
Kim & Matt Kennell – Executive Director of City of Columbia Center Partnership
Jane & Michael Kohn – Architect
Bill LaMotte – Synovus
Paul Leo – IT Consulting State of South Carolina
Dr. David Lovit – Columbia Family & Cosmetic Dentist
Senator Mia McLeod – State of South Carolina
Rev. Ed McDowell & Ms. Jeannie Jackson – City Councilman, City of Columbia
Verne McGough – Attorney, Merline & Meacham, P.A.
Hal & Linda McIntosh – Director of Worship, Music Ministries at Saxe Gotha Presbyterian Church
Dr. Earnest McNealey – President, Allen University
Scott Middleton – Owner, The Grand, The Venue, Top Golf
Jackie Newland – Arts Supporter
Mary & Jyotindra “JP” Parehk – Rice Music House
Patricia & Harris Pastides – Retired President, University of South Carolina
Marty Pearson – 2nd VP of Transformation, Aflac
Joe Pinner – WIS-TV
Bill Quattlebaum – CPA
Dr. David Reisman – Professor, Biological Sciences, University of South Carolina
Dr. Ronald L. Rhames – President, Midlands Technical College
Beth Richardson – Attorney, Robinson Gray
Curt Rone – Retired CFO Loxcreen Company, Inc.
Steve & Alice Rosansky – Retired Nephrologist
Cantor Dr. Michal Rubin – Psychotherapist, Columbia SC
Cindy & Al Saad – Jeweler, A.L. Saad & Co.
Carol Saunders – Carol Saunders Gallery
David Sennema – Past SCP Board President
Senator Vincent Sheheen & Amy Sheheen – State of South Carolina
A.T. Shire – Producer, South Carolina Public Radio
Amy & Francis Shodowski – Executive VP, Columbia College
Nancy Smith – General Manager, SC State Fair
Judge Joe Strickland – Master in Equity for Richland County
Samuel Tenenbaum – President, Prisma Foundation
Allison Terracio – Councilperson, Richland County
Linda & Andy Van Dam – Fine Arts and Antiques, Arts enthusiasts
Bhavna Vasudeva – Community Volunteer & Advocate
Dr. Mary Baskin Waters – Educator, University of South Carolina
Charles Weathers – Consultant, The Weathers Group
Congressman and Mrs. Joe Wilson (Roxanne) – US House of Representatives
Barbara Yongue – Artist & President of Fairfield Arts Council
The South Carolina Philharmonic is deeply committed to building and maintaining a culture of equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) through partnerships with our musicians, staff, audience members, and volunteer leadership. We denounce racism and racial injustice.
In February 2020, we completed a strategic plan for the organization to systematically improve the socio-economic, gender, ethnic, special needs, and age diversity of our Board, musicians, and staff to reflect the diversity of the community we serve. As part of this plan, Executive Director Rhonda Hunsinger joined the Diversity Leaders Initiative of the Riley Institute at Furman - a program that helps community leaders better understand the diversity and inclusion shortfalls within their organizations. Upon completion of the program, Rhonda will be equipped with focused decision-making skills and a deeper knowledge of how to effectively manage and lead increasingly diverse workers, clients, and constituents.
The SC Philharmonic's strategic plan includes staff and Board educational sessions with other organizations who are doing meaningful EDI work in our community; creating an EDI committee comprised of Board and Advisory Council members; establishing annual goals for engaging a more diverse cross-section of our community for Board service, with a priority of having an inclusive Board that embraces all ethnicities, socio-economic backgrounds, ages and genders; and building an audience that reflects our community. While our commitment to EDI is ongoing, we acknowledge that we have struggled to move as quickly as we should to align practices with our beliefs. The strategic plan is propelling this shortfall into action.
The SC Philharmonic is a member of the League of American Orchestras (LAO) - an organization that is committed to elevating the principals of EDI as the highest priority in the orchestra field. Members of the SCP staff, orchestra, and Board are actively engaged in opportunities through the LAO to participate in forums for training, discussion, and reflection and use its resources and tools to facilitate change and continuous learning.
Community Outreach and Inclusion
While the SC Philharmonic is perhaps best known for its performances of live symphonic music on stage, members of our orchestra and staff work closely with local partners to develop inclusive educational outreach programs to fill the needs of our community.
With the unrest of social injustice and the pandemic, the SC Philharmonic saw an opportunity to support the wellbeing of our community’s mental health through "InTune," a mindfulness exercise collaborating our music with a guided meditation by psychiatrist Dr. Frank Clark. We also partnered with senior care centers to present video concerts by our musicians to individuals who are unable to leave their care facilities. Another virtual program, "From Our Homes to Yours," was launched to provide a broader audience with a series of on-line concerts available for free, along with releases of archival audio releases of the full orchestra. While virtual concert events will continue to be created throughout the pandemic, free musical offerings will become a permanent part of the SC Philharmonic's commitment to making symphonic music accessible to everyone.
Under the leadership of Music Director Morihiko Nakahara, the SC Philharmonic has developed programs to reach underserved communities and will continue to do so when musical gatherings and education programs are safe again. "Conduct the Phil" concerts, where the audience members conduct the orchestra, have been presented extensively throughout the Midlands, not only in public spaces like festivals, farmers markets, and the SC State Fair but for members of our community that otherwise might never have the chance to experience live symphonic music. These include interactive concert events at Transitions Homeless Center, Epworth Children's Home, the SC Department of Juvenile Justice, and Babcock Center.
The SC Philharmonic also presents "Healing Harmonies" concerts throughout the hospitals and campuses of the Prisma Health System, at underserved eldercare facilities and at the Dorn VA Medical Center - providing soothing and uplifting music to patients, families and staff alike.
Our orchestra actively seeks partnerships that enable children and adults of all ages to experience live symphonic music. These include educational programming for public school children throughout the Midlands, and actively working with Title 1 schools to ensure that every student has a chance to hear live music.
We are currently developing a sensory-sensitive concert series for neurodiverse members of our community. The concerts will allow children and adults who are unable to normally attend concert events with their families to enter a safe and welcoming environment where clapping, movement, and vocalization are accepted and embraced.
For more than a year, the SC Philharmonic has actively worked on the current strategic plan, with the goals of equity, diversity, and inclusion being at the top of our prioritized goals. The creation of our EDI program is the first step to changing our organizational culture so that every aspect of our work embraces inclusion and the values of EDI.