USC Symphony Orchestra Celebrates Master of Song, Cole Porter - Feb. 24th

  Cole Porter


Warm the cold February chill with a tribute to Cole Porter, one of the major songwriters for the Broadway stage. The concert takes place at the Koger Center for the Arts on Tuesday, February 24 at 7:30 p.m. Four soloists and chorus celebrate some of Porter’s greatest hits including I Get a Kick Out of You, You’re the Top, All Through the Night, I Love Paris, Begin the Beguine, So in Love, and Night and Day.


Led by acclaimed director Donald Portnoy, University of South Carolina’s premier orchestra ensemble, the USC Symphony Orchestra, has received accolades for its fine and mature performances. Tickets are on sale now at


Joining the USC Symphony Orchestra for the concert are USC music faculty members, Tina Milhorn Stallard (soprano), Janet Hopkins (mezzo-soprano), Walter Cuttino (tenor), Jacob Will (baritone), and the Dreher High School Chorus.


Unlike many successful Broadway composers, Porter wrote the lyrics as well as the music for his songs, which are full of double entendres, clever internal rhymes, and sophisticated uses of melody, rhythm and harmony. Some of the cleverest, funniest and most romantic songs ever written came from the pen of Cole Porter.


Born in Peru, Indiana in 1891, Cole Porter was born into a wealthy family, studying violin and piano as a child at the insistence of his mother. Although violin was a struggle for the young Cole, the piano allowed him to produce the harmonies that captivated him and that would set him on his way to a successful musical career.


Although he was not a good student, he attended Worcester Academy in preparation for an Ivy League college, and it was there that he began composing witty songs at the age of eight. He soon learned he could win over the boys his age with the risqué lyrics that would become his trademark.


Porter went on to Yale University, where he almost flunked out – he was too busy with extracurricular musical activities. It was here that he began to get his songs published. Most students at Yale knew him for the fight songs he would write, many of which continue to be Yale classics.


Surprisingly, the likeable and industrious Porter was accepted to Harvard Law School, but was subsequently transferred into the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. During his first year at Harvard in 1915, he had two of his songs performed in Broadway shows, and his own “patriotic comic opera,” See America First, made it to the Broadway stage the following year.


Porter was able to enjoy a charmed social life flitting between Paris, London and Venice. After some early flops, he eventually won over critics and audiences. He produced one of his greatest hits with Gay Divorce, Fred Astaire’s last stage show, which was later made into a blockbuster Hollywood film starring Astaire and Ginger Rodgers. Many hits followed, and in 1948 he wrote his masterpiece, Kiss Me, Kate, winning the coveted Tony Award for Best Score.


Tickets are on sale now by calling Capitol Tickets at 803-251-2222, online at, or in person at the Koger Box Office, corner of Greene and Park Streets. $30 general public; $25 senior citizens, USC faculty and staff; $8 students.

Palmetto Opera, Lowe, Lenz, Krajewski & McClendon all help Jasper celebrate its fourth year of publication - Thursday Night!




We’re starting our fourth year of bringing Columbia in-depth local arts coverage in theatre, dance, visual arts, literary arts, music, and film, (and we’ll be adding design soon), and we’re celebrating with a multi-disciplinary release celebration to kick the year and the arts season off right.


Please join us on Thursday, September 18th at 5 pm at Vista Studios – Gallery 80808 at 808 Lady Street as we welcome the new issue of Jasper Magazine.


Classical oil paintings by internationally renowned realist Tish Lowe will set the stage in the main gallery.  Palmetto Opera’s artistic director, Walter Cuttino, will lead a one-night-only performance of highlights from Puccini’s La Bohème, hits from familiar musicals such as Phantom of the Opera and Carousel. .


The atrium will showcase a collaborative installation by fiber and installation artist Susan Lenz, who was Jasper’s 2012 Visual Artist of the Year and artist Michael Krajewski, who was Jasper’s first centerfold.  Their work, Threads: Gathering My Thoughts, will be a manifestation of the mental images and ideas that naturally flow through the human mind while engaged in the viewing of La Bohème.  Lenz’s tangle of unraveled, old threads will cascade in and out of suspended baskets mimicking the colors, complex plots, and emotions of a performance. Krajewski’s bohemian, pencil graffiti will literally express the connections between the visual, musical, dramatic, literary, and poetic world of a bygone, operatic world still dancing in the twenty-first century mind.  The arts exhibition will remain on view through Tuesday, September 30th.

Jasper adores the film Wade Sellers, our beloved film editor, made for Susan Lenz -- you can watch it here - and you should because it's really lovely.


Following the presentations by Palmetto Opera, multi-talented musical artist Tim McClendon, who is also featured in this issue of Jasper Magazine for his design work, will perform an impromptu set of music.  One Columbia will also be on hand to kick off their Cultural Passport program as will the Rosewood Arts Festival and the Jam Room Music Festival to share information about their upcoming events. The event is free and open to the public.