Dr. Richard Conant, bass-baritone and conductor, has traveled the world for various stage appearances. He has appeared in numerous oratorio, symphonic, and operatic performances. During the summer of 2006 he performed as the bass soloist in performances of the Mozart Requiem in Austria. In Spring 2000, Dr. Conant sang in Cuba and later at an International Choral Festival at the Black Sea in Bulgaria (where he performed again in 2001 and 2002. He performed again in Bulgaria in 2004, following a concert tour through Italy. In July of 1992, Conant was the baritone soloist for 13 concerts in Spain. For these concerts he performed with the radio and television orchestra of Moscow and various choral groups for a tour organized by Mid-America Productions of NYC. Earlier he was the featured soloist at a national convention in Chicago. In January of 1991, Conant toured as a soloist in Spain, returning to S.C. in time to be the featured soloist at the inauguration of Governor Carroll Campbell. In May of 1991 he made his Carnegie Hall debut as the baritone soloist in Beethoven’s 9th Symphony. Dr. Conant subsequently sang on a concert tour featuring the “9th,” in Czechoslovakia, Vienna, and East Germany. While in Czechoslovakia (and during a subsequent visit) he recorded the baritone solos for the “9th” for a compact disc recording which was released worldwide in June of 1992. In 1988, Conant and concert pianist, Raymond Dudley, toured the People’s Republic of China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Tokyo and Hawaii giving concerts, master classes, and interviews.
As a Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Music at the University of South Carolina he is recognized for his rendition of the National Anthem which he performs at many political, civic, athletic, and University events. In 1987 Dr. Conant was invited to sing for Pope John Paul II during the latter’s visit to South Carolina. Professor Conant has entertained numerous celebrities and dignitaries, including Presidents Ronald Reagan, Richard Nixon and Vice President Dan Quayle as well as several prime ministers, ambassadors, governors, senators and generals. In 1990 Dr. Conant sang and conducted during President George Bush’s visit to S.C. He has also performed for many celebrities such as Bill Cosby, Danny Kaye, Walter Cronkite, Art Linkletter, and Pearl Bailey. At his Koger Center retirement show in 2002, he was presented with the Governor’s Order of the Palmetto, the State’s highest civilian award. In June of 2006, he traveled to Vienna & Salzburg, Austria, as the bass soloist in Mozart’s Requiem.
In addition to his performances, Dr. Conant judges choral competitions, presents workshops, and conducts in various locations which include: Florida, New Orleans, Washington, Atlanta, New York, St. Louis, in the Bahamas, and on cruise ships.
Dr. Conant is the founder of USC’s pop singing-dancing troupe, CAROLINA ALIVE. Under his direction, this exciting group performed in Greece, Egypt, Romania, Mexico and world Expo ’88 in Australia. CAROLINA ALIVE has also performed on cruise ships enroute to the Bahamas, at Disneyworld, in Nashville and numerous other areas in the United States.
Degrees earned by Dr. Conant are from UCLA, University of Maryland, and the University of Texas. In the past he sang professionally with Robert Shaw, the Roger Wagner Chorale, and the U.S. Army Chorus. As a public service, he did volunteer police work as a State Constable for over 35 years, and continues as a volunteer for Red Cross disaster work (Disaster Action Team responding to fires, principal Government Liaison to the State Emergency Operations Center. representative to counter-terrorism meetings, etc.). In March of 2008 he completed a week-long Homeland Security Course at the National Emergency Training Institute in Emmitsburg, Maryland; a Hurricane /Emergency Management Workshop in Myrtle Beach, SC; and an Anti-Terrorism Training Session sponsored by the U.S. Attorney’s Office of SC. He is also Past President of the FBI Columbia Division Citizens Academy Alumni Association and a member of the Board of Governors of the Capital City Club in Columbia. Most recently, in January 2019 he sang the National Anthem for Governor Henry McMaster at his Inauguration.