Former Green Street Methodist Church to host USC jazz program
It’s not a brand new technology center or a multimillion-dollar facility that students on the USC campus are excited about. Instead, a decades-old church takes center stage.
COLUMBIA, SC — Some USC students are buzzing with a new space that’s unlike any other building on campus.
Kris Phelps is a native of Lexington and now a senior at USC Music school. He is studying jazz and is excited about the new space that will open soon for the jazz program.
Currently teaching classes inside the Assembly Street facility, he says the limited practice space can get crowded. Now he is thrilled to hear that the school is investing in a new place for him and his classmates.
“We can definitely use this space to fill it with lots of instrument equipment and be able to practice whenever we want.” He says he’s “super excited to be able to play there, excited to play and train there.”
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The new space is directly opposite the current building at Green Street Methodist Church. The school has a long relationship with the church, hosting concerts and events inside the sanctuary. According to a University spokesperson, “Since 2009, joint community outreach efforts have included hosting school concerts and children’s music lessons in the church, which is located near the school. at the corner of Greene and Assembly streets.”
The school says the building was originally purchased by the school in 2020 for $1.1 million and renovations began in August for a total of $2.5 million. The music school’s dean, Tayloe Harding, said the money was given to the school by USC in addition to some donations. He adds that no additional fees will be charged to students as a result.
He talked about his plan for the building’s future as the home of the school’s jazz program-
“the vision is of course to make it a functional music school space that will allow us to meet the space demands that we have…and the jazz program will move in, lock the stock and barrel there .”
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Reverend Lex McDonald was the pastor of Green Street from 2019 to 2022. Part of early discussions, he said it was quickly apparent that with the church’s small congregation and modest budget, it would be difficult to keep the building in operation entirely under their control.
“The building was a bit run down, and now they are very excited to have the building completely renovated.”
He adds that there is an agreement between the church and the school that church members will still have access to the building and once the renovations are complete, Sunday services will be held inside.
Harding says the project will take place in two phases, with the first being completed in the spring and it is expected that students will be inside by next fall.
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