The South Carolina Governor's School for the Arts and Humanities Govie Alumni Association seeks to connect members of the school's alumni community in a meaningful way. The Alumni Association members support the school, its students and programs, and the Governor's School for the Arts Foundation. Upon graduation, all students become members of the S.C. Governor's School for the Arts and Humanities Alumni Association. Founding Alumni are also eligible for membership.
- Alumni Advisory Council
The Alumni Advisory Council (AAC) comprised of current members of the Alumni Association will serve as the leadership branch of the Association. AAC members are selected via a nomination process for two-year terms and may serve two consecutive terms. Upon the completion of two terms, members must rotate off of the Council for at least one year. Terms will begin in August of the respective year. A Chair and Vice-Chair will be elected from amongst the members of the AAC and these members will serve as liaisons between the school, AAC, and Alumni Association.
The Alumni Association and its leadership serve as an advisory body to promote the goals of the school’s alumni. Members of the AAC should be prepared to do the following:
1. Attend (or participate via teleconference) at least 3 of the 4 yearly scheduled meeting.
2. Regularly attend alumni events scheduled in their area.
3. Make an annual financial contribution to the Foundation.
4. Promote alumni, school, and Foundation events.
If you are interested in becoming a member of the AAC, please complete an application here.
- Alumni Advisory Council Members
- Originally from Pendleton South Carolina, Chris Sparace graduated from SCGSAH in 2009 and later from Northwestern University in 2013 with a degree in Music Performance. After graduation Chris founded the Altamont Brass, a working brass quintet based in the upstate comprised of faculty from Southern Wesleyan University and Clemson. Chris also shares a deep passion for cycling and manages the Trek Bicycle Store of Greenville one of the largest bike shops in the southeast. When he's not out riding you'll find Chris playing in groups throughout the upstate as well as keeping a small studio of private students. Chris currently serves as a co-chair of the AAC.
- Tyrese Byrd of Williamston, South Carolina, graduated from SCGSAH in 2016 where he studied voice with Mr. Thomas Dickinson for two years. He also served as the Class of 2016 President during his tenure. He currently attends Furman University and is pursuing a Bachelor of Music degree in Vocal Performance under the tutelage of Dr. Grant Knox. Tyrese’s recent accomplishments include winning first place at the National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS) National Student Auditions in the High School Men category.
- Abby Gantt is a 2001 graduate of SCGSAH where she studied music (flute). During her time at SCGSAH, she was a member of the choir and numerous small ensembles. After graduation, Abby attended the University of South Carolina, earning a Bachelor of Arts degree in Music with a cognate in Education in 2007.
- John Funchess Ott, Jr., graduated from SCGSAH in 2009 with a pre-professional degree in creative writing and currently works at GREEN Charter School as a Social Studies teacher. After graduating from Governor's School with an 800 out of 800 reading SAT score and a Palmetto Fellows Scholarship, he attended the University of South Carolina Honors College and studied abroad in South Korea and Kenya. Besides teaching, he is also a professional writer and illustrator and currently lives in Greenville, South Carolina.
- Dr. Megan Murph (Music, 2005) is a Musicologist and Ethnomusicologist currently teaching music history courses at the University of South Carolina, Upstate. She received her Ph.D. from the University of Kentucky (2018), M.M. from Louisiana State University (2013), and B.A. from Brevard College (2009). While in college and at SCGSAH, Megan studied piano, but has also branched out to perform vocal jazz, Shona Mbira (from Zimbabwe), Korean Drums, Balinese Gamelan, and Shaped Note Singing. She has published articled and presented her research pertaining to noise and experimental music internationally and nationally. Currently, Megan serves as the co-chair of the Society for American Music's Experimental Interest Group and the Society for American Music's Conference Site Selection Committee.
- Josh Myers graduated magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Music in Cello Performance and a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Virginia. As an undergraduate student, Josh was a fellow with the Center for the Study of the Presidency and Congress, focusing his work on federal arts policy, and subsequently interned with Americans for the Arts. He also served as a long-term intern for Congressman James E. Clyburn [D-SC-6] and worked as an undergraduate music admissions counselor. Josh received his law degree from the University of Virginia School of Law in Charlottesville, Virginia. After law school, Josh clerked for the Honorable J. Michelle Childs of the United States District Court for the District of South Carolina. He then practiced law with Nelson, Mullins, Riley & Scarborough LLP in Washington, D.C. His practice focused on various criminal, civil, and regulatory matters, including insurance, employment, and white-collar crime. He is currently clerking for the Honorable Henry F. Floyd of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit for the 2021-2022 term. In his spare time, he enjoys cooking, exploring museums, reading novels by Stephen King, and writing on employment law topics. His first scholarly piece appeared in the Review of Litigation, and one is forthcoming in the Seattle Law Review. Josh currently serves as a co-chair of the AAC.
Julia Jacobsen, a resident of Columbia, South Carolina, is a junior in the Honors College at the University of South Carolina-Columbia where she studies as a violin performance major under Dr. Ari Streisfeld and as a marketing major at the Darla Moore School of Business. She previously attended the South Carolina Governor's School for the Arts and Humanities, where she studied violin under Deirdre Hutton and Jennifer John, and previously with Michele Cockram and Brian Gencarelli. Julia is currently a substitute violinist for the South Carolina Philharmonic and Aiken Symphony and plays with several other orchestras in the Carolinas. She has performed at venues such as Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center, the Peace Center, the Koger Center for the Arts, and the Thomaskirche in Leipzig. Julia also works as a marketer for Boulanger Initiative, the USC Symphony, and the USC School of Music. She has made it her mission to bring full diversity, equity, and accessibility to the classical music industry through her performing and arts marketing.
Blakely Francis, graduate of the SCGSAH Music Class of 2012, is a native of Anderson, South Carolina. Blakely started playing violin at the age of five. She attended both the Odyssey and Academy summer programs which led her to want to be a part of the Govie family a little longer by attending the residential high school. Blakely went on to attend Anderson University. She graduated in 2016 with a Bachelor of Science with a degree in Business and a concentration in Marketing. Since graduation, Blakely has worked with companies in advertising, education, and manufacturing over the years. She current works at a manufacturing plant in Talent Acquisition. Although she does not currently work in music, she continues to gig, play in church, and play in the Anderson Symphony Orchestra. Blakely loves being a part of the Alumni Council to always remember the memories, the growth she gained from the school, to stay connected with her peers, and to be an advocate for SCGSAH and the arts. She lives in Anderson with her Australian Shepherd/Irish Setter mix, Dublin.