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
  • Chris SparaceOriginally 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 ByrdTyrese 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 GanttAbby 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 Ott

    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.

  • Josh Myers HeadshotJosh 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 in Columbia, South Carolina.  He then practiced law at Nelson, Mullins, Riley & Scarborough LLP in Washington, D.C.  After almost two years of private practice, Josh then clerked for the Honorable Henry F. Floyd of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit for the 2021-2022 term.  He returned to Nelson Mullins to practice law following his second clerkship.  In his spare time, he enjoys cooking, exploring museums, reading novels by Stephen King, and writing on employment law topics.    
  • Headshot of Julia JacobsonJulia Jacobsen is a graduate of the SCGSAH class of 2020, having studied violin with Deirdre Hutton and Jennifer John. She is currently based in Columbia, South Carolina, and a senior in the Honors College at the University of South Carolina where she studies as a violin performance major under Dr. Ari Streisfeld and as a marketing major at the Darla Moore School of Business. Julia is a section violinist for the Aiken Symphony and a substitute violinist for the South Carolina Philharmonic and Long Bay Symphony. Julia works as a marketer for Boulanger Initiative, the USC Symphony, and the USC School of Music. She has also held summer marketing positions at Spoleto Festival USA and the Interlochen Center for the Arts. Her mission is to bring full diversity, equity, and accessibility to the classical music industry through her performing and arts marketing. 

  • Headshot of Blakely FrancisBlakely 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.

  • Austin Johnson2014 Alumnus Austin Johnson is in his 5th year of teaching in Fairfax County Public Schools. He received his Bachelors degree from USC in Music Education and completed his Masters in Arts Management at George Mason University in May of 2022.  Austin currently serves on the board of the Fairfax Arts Coalition for Education (FACE), the Membership Coordinator for the Virginia Music Educators Association (VMEA), a co-director for SoCo Summer Strings orchestra camp, perform as principal violist for the Northern Virginia Community Orchestra (NVCO), a teacher with the FCPS Parent Orchestra, and works in summer curriculum development for FCPS.