USC Percussion Ensemble wins international competition

June 18, 2024

On Monday, June 17, Percussive Arts Society International Percussion (PAS) announced that the University of South Carolina Percussion Ensemble is one of three collegiate winners of the 2024 Percussive Arts Society International Percussion Ensemble Competition (IPEC).

  • The award is the pinnacle achievement for the percussion ensemble art form.
  • The purpose of the Percussive Arts Society International Percussion Ensemble Competition is to encourage, promote and reward musical excellence among college/university percussion ensembles.

Why this is important: With this remarkable triumph, the University of South Carolina has earned a place among the most prestigious colleges and universities, having achieved this feat more than three times.

  • This illustrious group includes renowned institutions such as Texas Christian University, Northwestern, Florida State University, Eastman, and the University of Kentucky.
  • The University of South Carolina’s consistent triumph in the competition is a clear testament to its unwavering dedication to musical excellence.

What they’re saying: “With the School of Music celebrating its centennial year starting in Fall 2024, we were really hoping for this victory,” says Scott Herring, director of the USC Percussion Ensemble and associate professor of percussion. “For percussionists, this accomplishment is comparable to a sports team winning an NCAA title.”

  • Competition winners must wait three years to reapply for IPEC.
  • With their last win in 2021, winning the competition the first year they are allowed to compete is even sweeter for the USC Percussion Ensemble.
  • Several of the ensemble’s twenty members heading to Indianapolis — Ian Mahaffey, Julia Ross, Marshall Robinson, and Yuesen Yang — have previously represented USC on the PASIC stage.

“Winning the International Percussion Ensemble Competition is an extraordinary achievement for our school. One of the highest honors available in the percussion community, this award reflects the dedication, skill, and passion the program has committed to,” says Mahaffey, a DMA candidate and percussion graduate assistant.

What’s next: The University of South Carolina Percussion Ensemble will perform a 50-minute Showcase Performance on November 14, 2024. PASIC is one of the world’s largest drum and percussion events.

Reach out: To schedule an interview with Scott Herring, please contact Marlena Crovatt-Bagwell, School of Music Marketing Director, at 803-777-7962 or [email protected].