Dick Goodwin

It would be difficult to determine which of Dr. Goodwin’s contributions to the arts community should be emphasized. He is a composer, arranger, a performer (in many genres), studio producer, conductor and leader of both classical and jazz groups, and he is a distinguished teacher.

Current Activities

There are always several things in the hopper.

Dick is orchestrating a show for singer/songwriter Billy Jonas.
He is also writing a piece for classical guitar and double bass, tentatively titled “Song & Dance Man,” commissioned by bassist Craig Butterfield for an upcoming tour and recording.

“Para Entonces” (three Spanish songs) was recorded by mezzo Helen Tintes-Schuermann (who commissioned the piece) with Winifred Goodwin (piano) and William Terwilliger (violin) has been released on MSR Classics.

His arrangements and compositions for the Goodwinds (a quartet with Cynthia Hopkins and Robyn Leadbitter, flutes/John Bittle, clarinet/Colleen Marcou, cello) were featured in a recent concert at the Sumter, SC Opera House.

He wrote and produced the theme and incidental music for SCETV program, “Take On The South.”

The Goodwinds are available for private and public performances. They are especially prized for weddings and gentle music for cocktail parties.

He wrote and produced the theme and incidental music for the SCETV program, Take on the South.



Elizabeth O’Neill Verner Award, 2001 recipient, individual artist (South Carolina’s highest award in the arts)

1992 USC Educational Foundation Research Award in Humanities and Social Sciences

Kappa Kappa Psi 1991 recipient of the National Distinguished Service to Music Medal for Instrumental Music Education

• Numerous special performance awards from ASCAP


His compositions, in every style, jazz band to opera, jingle to film score have been heard across the country, and abroad. Dr. Goodwin was chosen to represent South Carolina in the Bicentennial concert series at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, DC, for which he composed a work to commemorate the Saint Cecilia Society, established in Charleston in 1726. He has a long list of works for various artists and groups including his wife, pianist Winifred Goodwin, flutist Constance Lane, percussionists James Hall and Jimmy Tiller, trombonist Brad Edwards, clarinetist Doug Graham, the Percussive Two, the Upton Trio, The Charleston Chamber Players and the Carolina Chamber Players, and has written and/or arranged many pieces for the South Carolina Philharmonic Orchestra, including the Palmetto Symphony. William W. Starr in The State said of this composition: "The piece…received an enthusiastic response on its premiere and hardly anything less committed this time around. It is a score that merits the attention…it is an accessible, characterful piece (which) exploits (the composer’s) skill at constructing instrumental colors and sonorities, and for all its obvious programmatic content — the four movements are labeled after elements of the Palmetto state – it emerges as a light but never frivolous work…" 

Dr. Goodwin is one of three orchestral composers to be featured in a program sponsored by the Low Country Arts Society (Charleston, SC). His Paraph for Clarinet and Orchestra has been recorded on the MCC label by Richard Stoltzman with the Warsaw (Poland) Philharmonic under the direction of Jerzy Swoboda. Former Dean of the USC School of Music, Dorothy Payne wrote: "…the extraordinary number and quality of your compositions and arrangements continue to represent the highest possible level of creativity and skill." Goodwin’s works for wind and percussion ensembles include his Symphony 1991 (commissioned by a consortium of over twenty university bands), Stephen Foster Fantasy (commissioned by Eastern Kentucky Univ., Joe Allison, band director), a number of pieces for the Camden Community Concert Band, the Spring Valley High School Band and dozens of other organizations. Johnnie Vinson, Conductor of the Auburn University Wind Ensemble said of Symphony 1991: "…great piece! Let me urge you to continue to write for bands." Another conductor, Paula A. Crider, professor at the University of Texas reported: "Thank you for composing such a wonderful work…I am especially grateful that you chose such a diaphanous texture for the majority of the piece—a most refreshing treatment!"

Goodwin has written hundreds of arrangements for the Carolina Marching Band and other groups across the country and has composed and arranged several school songs including Heathwood Hall, Hand Middle School and A.C. Moore (Columbia). Many of the pieces that we associate with the University of South Carolina (the Alma Mater, the Fight Song, "Go Carolina", "2001", etc.) were composed and/or arranged by Goodwin. His music has been published by Hal Leonard, Southern Music, Seesaw Press, and Belwin (Columbia Pictures) and he often composes for special functions, including the Governor’s Carol Lighting Ceremony and the University’s Christmas program at the Carolina Coliseum, and a theme song for the University’s Bicentennial Campaign. President John M. Palms said: "We continue to rely upon your talent to help us present the University in its best light, and you continue to rise to the occasion…what a pleasure you are to work with…" And about the music for the Darla Moore School of Business dedication he wrote: "I am grateful for the special time and effort you continue to give Carolina…Your talents bring a wonderful touch of class…"

He has also written extensively for choral groups: the US Coast Guard Chorus, the USC Concert Choir, the Palmetto Mastersingers and many church groups including commissions by Eastminster Presbyterian and Washington Street Methodist churchs in Columbia and Lexington Methodist church. Marguerite McCormick, Director of The Children’s Chorus of San Antonio wrote about the piece (The Blue Bonnet Girl) that they had commissioned: "What a delightful work!…The text setting is wonderful…Thank you for providing us with a fresh and unique setting of this lovely legend."

Dr. Goodwin is well known for his work with theaters. He wrote and served as musical director for over a dozen musical revues at Town Theatre, scored two "Karla at the Koger" shows (featuring a full studio orchestra conducted by Donald Portnoy), and contributed themes, incidental music and songs for several plays produced by USC, Trustus, and the SC Shakespeare Company. He wrote a revue style show with several soloists and studio orchestra complete with backup singers to open the Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center. Goodwin and USC playwright-in-residence John MacNicholas wrote a family show that was presented at USC, reworked and produced again at Town Theatre as The Christmas Fix. (The latter version included a role for a weatherman that was performed by local favorite, Joe Pinner.) Another musical, The Wrestling Princess, based on a story by Judy Cobalis with lyrics by E.W. Wells, was commissioned by Smith College. Dr. Goodwin played and directed the music for a USC production of The Fantasticks that was featured at an international drama festival in Moscow (USSR) in 1990. He has written jazz pieces for his own group (including an album in 1979), the University of Texas Jazz Ensemble (where he taught for ten years), the USC Left Bank Band, a full-length musical revue for the Spoleto, St. Augustine, and Azalea (Wilmington, NC) Festivals. The latter program also featured Dionne Warwick. His compositions for film have included a number of scores about South Carolina: Brookgreen Gardens, promotions for various counties and for Charleston and Columbia, and documentaries about "The Tidelands" and "When Rice Was King" to name a few. He composed the incidental music for SCTV’s nationally syndicated "Nature Scene". Charles Loomis of the University of Wisconsin wrote of that music (for classical guitar): "In my opinion your music puts you up there with Tarrega, Sor and Carulli." Dr. Goodwin serves as the producer and often as performer in the studio and has numerous other credits including industrial shows, documentary films, pageants, music for advertising and albums for artists in all styles, classical to bluegrass. Paul H. Grossman, Jr., Executive Director of the Orangeburg County Development Commission wrote: "…thank you for producing a great ‘jingle.’ We are delighted with the score and various arrangements you devised. That you were able to turn these out on such short notice is a testimony to your creativity…". Goodwin was brought in to produce and perform on a CD for songwriter/singer/pianist Tim Buie in Stavanger, Norway. He arranged and produced background tracks for multi-talented playwright and lyricist, Larry Holofcener’s I Don’t Live Here Anymore, a musical play set 50 years ago at what is now the Savannah River Plant. The show toured a number of SC cities in 2000. Goodwin has scored two shows for Grammy award winners Cathy & Marcy with symphony orchestra, and in 2005 he completed a piece entitled Sea Island Sketches for the Beaufort (SC) Orchestra, Fred Devyatkin, conductor.


While his principal creative activity is composing, he is perhaps most visible as a performing musician. He has played trumpet, keyboards, string bass, and sung with orchestras (SC Philharmonic, etc.), chamber ensembles, church productions, and for such performers as Natalie Cole, Bob Hope, Johnny Mathis, Billy Taylor, Teddy Wilson, Peter Yarrow, Rich Little, Henry Mancini, Isaac Hayes, Gregory Hines, Jerry Mulligan, Dizzy Gillespie, Marian McPartland, Warren Covington (the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra), Toni Tennille, Jimmy Durante, Carol Burnett, and even the Ringling Brothers Circus. He often contracts musicians for special events, including the USC Conductors Institute Orchestra. He has been featured at jazz festivals and with the Carolina Jazz Society. Different issues of The Cat’s Meow (SC Jazz Society newsletter) have stated: "Dick does so many things so well, maybe we ought to ask him to run for Congress.", and "…Goodwin will lead…and you can expect to see and hear his multi-talents in full form.", and "…he is one of the most talented and versatile musicians…His musical repertoire and playing styles seem limitless. He has a very cordial personality…not always associated with talented artists.", and "he has the competence and disposition to motivate a group…to a higher achievement level.", and "Dick is one of the stalwarts building the reputation of the music department at USC." A reviewer for The Packet (Hilton Head, SC) said of Goodwin’s playing, "…rich warm tone…shone as a soloist…his sensitive ensemble playing knit the group together…" The Dick Goodwin Quintet has made fifteen foreign tours of Latin America and Haiti (for the US State Department), a twelve concert tourism promotion series in Germany, and numerous appearances on community concert series in the South and Midwest, and on Educational Radio and Television. The Quintet and the Dick Goodwin Big Band have been featured with the SC Philharmonic and Florence Symphonies and his groups have provided music for many major social events in the Southeast including inaugural concerts and balls. The following are excerpts from reviews of the Dick Goodwin Quintet and the Dick Goodwin Big Band:

"Total silence in a nightclub is truly unheard of yet that is what happened during the performance by Dick Goodwin’s Big Band…unbelievable!" (Pat Berman, The State)

"The bouquet of the year should go to … Dick Goodwin." (Dottie Ashley, The State)

"Professional musicians of the highest caliber" – Venezuela

"Show biz spirit, consummate stage presence, and a superb mix of exciting jazz" – El Salvador

"Smash, Socko, Boffo and several other superlatives" – Guatemala

"…thunderous applause invariably accompanied by audiences’ shouting for more." – Peru

"A true highlight in recent cultural activities" – Equador

"The young audience was bewitched from the moment they picked up their instruments." El Colombiano (Medellin)

"A jazz explosion!" – SC Arts Commission’s Stage South Program

"…superb technique and fine wit." Columbia Record (SC)

"All superlatives are small when you view this quintet in person… BRAVO DICK" El Tiempo, Honduras

"…versatile and thoroughly entertaining…Goodwin played a blazing trumpet solo…" The Augusta Chronicle

A review in the Charleston Post and Courier was headlined "Dick Goodwin Big Band hit perfect note…" The Dick Goodwin Big Band is featured annually with the Palmetto Mastersingers and has performed with the South Carolina Philharmonic Orchestra. Dr. Goodwin served as conductor of the University of South Carolina Orchestra (1975-1982), the South Carolina Chamber Orchestra (1979), interim conductor for the SC Philharmonic for the 1981-82 season, the USC Left Bank Band (1979), Carolina Kicks Band (1980-1987), the US Coast Guard Band (Cape May, NJ) 1958 to 1962, the University of Texas Experimental Jazz Ensemble (1965-1973), plus clinic bands and orchestras and various groups for concerts of new music and at other special events. Goodwin has been a featured soloist with the USC Concert Choir and USC Left Band Band including a tour to England and France doing Duke Ellington’s Sacred Concerts, with Rod Biensen’s and Steve Griggs’ traditional jazz groups, the Hilton Head Jazz Society (that also featured famed trombonist, Carl Fontana), and at the Three Rivers Festival. He also performs regularly with the USC Faculty Brass Quintet. President John Palms (USC) said that, "Your talents in conducting the USC Conductors Institute Orchestra added a special beauty and grace…". Tommy Stepp, Secretary of the USC Board of Trustees, was also complimentary: "With you at the helm I can relax on that front. Our guests were thrilled with the subtleties…" Don Boyd, former trombone soloist with Harry James’ and Les Brown’s bands said, "I will hold you and your musicianship in the highest esteem!" A CD entitled "Studio Time" by the Dick Goodwin Quintet features standards plus originals by Goodwin and members of the group. He also arranged, produced and performed on two CDs for ballroom dancing (American Opus) that have been distributed across the US and abroad.


Dr. Goodwin taught composition and music theory and directed the jazz program (that he initiated) at the University of Texas for nine years before moving to the USC School of Music in 1973 to serve as coordinator of composition, theory, and history. For several years he also conducted the USC Symphony. In 2000 he was named South Carolina Distinguished Professor Emeritus. He was the recipient of the prestigious USC Educational Foundation Award for Research in Humanities and Social Sciences in 1992 and was given the 1991 Kappa Kappa Psi National Distinguished Service to Music Medal for Instrumental Music Education. He has received several ASCAP (American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers) Awards in Composition. He is a creative and dedicated pedagogue whose former students hold prestigious teaching positions in South Carolina and across the country. (He served as major professor for about forty doctoral students.) Dean Payne (USC School of Music) wrote: "Your teaching is widely acclaimed, the students frequently cite your genuine concern for their personal and professional well-being. It would be difficult to identify another colleague who has given more to the School of Music, the community, and the profession." Dr. Ben Boone (composer and teacher at California State University, Fresno) thanked Goodwin for his "great example, encouragement, kindness, helpfulness, great advice, (and) understanding…" Another former student, Dr. Larry Kent appreciated "the help, advice, guidance and support as I tried to get my opera on the boards. In this and all of my work since coming to USC, your expertise and ability to sense where to push, where to pull, where to leave me to my own devices — made the big difference…I really appreciate the time and effort you give so freely." His other activities in the education field include public school concerts and clinics with his Quintet, lectures on various topics including careers in music (many times at the Fine Arts High School in Greenville), and directing the All State High School Jazz Ensemble. Several times he judged and worked with students at the State Superintendent’s Celebration of Arts and he has adjudicated artist, composition and song writing contests. Joey Ruddle, composition chairman for the South Carolina Music Teachers Association said, "The critiques were so thorough and positive. I know (the students) appreciate the encouragement…You have our highest respect as a composer, teacher, musician…but most of all as a super guy with a great sense of humor who humbly gives to others." He was the guest speaker for the Choral Division at the South Carolina Music Teachers Association’s 1998 meeting. Goodwin worked with students at Blythewood and Hand Middle Schools and Chapin Elementary to compose their own school songs which he then arranged so that they could be performed by the student body and all of the performing groups. He has been a faculty member of the prestigious Kerrville (Texas) Songwriters School since 1984. Professional singer-songwriter, Del Suggs said, "I’m truly grateful that you were a part of the Songwriting School. You actually presented concepts in music theory that made perfect sense to me–an untrained musician. That is remarkable." After a lecture/demonstration for a University honors class on "American Writers in the Paris of the 1920s," the teacher, Distinguished Professor of English/Associate Provost Don Greiner wrote: "The session was so good, so informative, so entertaining that I shrink from attempting to reach such a high level of excellence the rest of the semester…You have given the students an experience they will not forget." Goodwin directed the Composer portion of the USC Conductor’s Institute for a number of years. Stephen Suber, a faculty member at Southeastern Louisiana University wrote: "I enjoyed getting to know you (and to hear some of your music, which I liked very much)…a lot of hard work and organization went into the program…It was extremely rewarding…" Dr. Goodwin volunteers much of his time and talents for events and causes in the community. He has served as a board member for the Main Street Jazz Festival, the 1993 Governor’s Celebration of South Carolina, the State Museum’s Salute to Dizzy Gillespie and their Celebrations of Blues and Jazz, and is currently on the Palmetto Mastersingers Board of Directors. Goodwin did monthly CD reviews for Art Scene (SC Educational Radio) and Thorne Compton, Associate Director of the USC Institute for Southern Studies, wrote about Goodwin’s participation in the recent "Imagination and the Shadow of Slavery" conference: "Much of the enormous success of this program must go to you…" Goodwin’s music and commentary has been heard on Texas Public Radio, and he recently contributed a segment for a tribute to Harold Arlen. Master musician Doug Graham said, "It was a wonderful lesson for me and anyone else who happened to hear it. The "Over the Rainbow" segment brought tears to my eyes. You should do more of these. Can’t imagine a better tribute to a song writing genius. I think it takes a genius to do it. Thanks." Veteran performer/composer/educator Max Lyon wrote: "Great job dissecting those wonderful Arlen tunes. I was captivated." Trumpeter/educator Dean Canty commented, "Quite insightful, well explained, played and sung. Good talent is hard to hide. I am sending it to some musician friends who should thoroughly enjoy." The following was posted on the Alec Wilder Mailing List by Craig Jolley: "Dick Goodwin has just the right touch intelligently walking us through a couple of Arlen tunes without losing us in minutia.", and in an email from percussionist/conductor Garry Ash, "This is what I have come to expect from the genius we know as Dick Goodwin – you make everything you do look and sound so darned easy!"


The fact that so many diverse individuals and organizations have called upon the musical expertise of Gordon (Dick) Goodwin (composer, arranger, producer, performer, conductor, educator) attests to the quality of his work. He is an innovative leader and much of the music that we take for granted in the State has been shaped by his talent, insight, hard work and dedication. It is remarkable that one individual has been able to contribute so much and in so many different ways to the arts scene in South Carolina.