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The Elizabeth O'Neill Verner Awards

Lillian Quackenbush

2012 Lifetime Achievement Award


 As a performer, teacher, conductor, scholar and advocate, Dr. Lillian Quackenbush has been instrumental in the creation, performance, understanding and widespread exposure of music, specifically choral music, in innovative settings that engage artists and audiences beyond the expected reach of traditional choral presentations.


Dr. Quackenbush has served as the music director at several churches and organizations, and currently serves Shandon Presbyterian Church, and as artistic director and conductor of the Greater Columbia Sing-along Messiah. She conducted the Columbia Choral Society for Spoleto in Charleston and the Charleston Symphony Orchestra in Columbia.


Dr. Quackenbush is the founder and artistic director of the Sandlapper Singers, a 30-voice professional choral ensemble. Now in its 16th year, the group presents an annual season in Columbia and travels throughout the state. In 2006, the National Endowment for the Arts awarded the group a grant to perform in underserved and poor areas of the state. Its newly formed “Young Sandlapper Singers” provides music instruction for 8 to 11 year-olds.


Dr. Quackenbush retired from Columbia College in 2009 after 34 years of service, teaching voice, conducting the choir and chairing the Department of Music. Dr. Quackenbush has dedicated her career to educating talented musicians and building appreciative audiences for today and for the future of choral singing.