South Carolina Philharmonic

Conduct the Phil

Air conductors of all skill and experience levels are hereby on notice.

Music moves many to start conducting spontaneously in the car or office, but have you ever thought you’d like a chance to conduct a professional orchestra? If you said “yes,” start practicing.

The S.C. Phil is rehearsing, then heading off the stage and into the community again in 2016/2017 with the interactive and engaging “Conduct the Phil” program, funded by a "Connected Communities" grant from the Central Carolina Community Foundation.

“Conduct the Phil” improves the popular flash mob experience by making it interactive, in the process connecting around 100,000 people in the region with the S.C. Phil and each other by virtue of a unique shared experience.

“What we've experienced from adapting the ‘Link Up’ concerts in the recent years is the power of audience participation and audience/performer interaction,” says Music Director Morihiko Nakahara.

“‘Conduct the Phil’ is a fun way for people of all ages and backgrounds to experience what I am fortunate to experience every time I step in front of an ensemble. You are placed right in the middle of all the musical action, perhaps similar to being right on the sidelines during a football game as opposed to watching it from the stands or on TV. If you are adventurous, feel free to experiment – make the orchestra go faster, slower, louder, softer, etc.”

In the news

WACH-TV in Columbia chronicled the Nov. 17, 2016 Conduct the Phil event at the S.C. Dept. of Juvenile Justice. Click here to go to the story.

Image credits: Randy Jones/Carolina Photographics (top) and JJ Dunlap IV Photography


There will be ten, free concerts in 2016/2017 in vibrant social settings where the Midlands gathers. 

As passersby enjoy these festivals, they’ll encounter around 20 S.C. Phil musicians set up as if on stage, with music stands, chairs, and a podium and baton for the conductor – who will be conspicuously absent.On Music Director Morihiko Nakahara’s music stand will be a sign that reads, “Conduct us!” As brave volunteers take turns picking up the baton, the assembled orchestra will begin playing a surprise tune to whatever tempo the volunteer conductor sets.

Next event

Saturday, May 6, 2017 | 10-11 a.m.
Soda City Market, Main St., Columbia

Upcoming events:
  • May 8 - Epworth Children's Home*
  • May 13 - Kershaw County Farmers Market 
  • May 17 - Transitions Homeless Shelter*

* restricted access events

Our Thanks

This project was supported by a Connected Communities grant from Central Carolina Community Foundation. The S.C. Phil appreciates its generous, $40,000 award that funds the majority of this exciting program.

“The 'Conduct the Phil' concert series was delightful to watch last year. The series brought people from across the community together to experience classical music in a new way and in unique venues. We’re honored to support this series for a second year through our Connected Communities grant and look forward to introducing the joy of classical music to a number of new audiences.” JoAnn Turnquist, CCCF president and CEO said.