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Beaufort Academy welcomes Varner as music director

  • Photo courtesy of Beaufort Academy Vic Varner will lead Beaufort Academy’s new vocal music and guitar program.

Beaufort Academy will have a new vocal music and guitar program next school year.

The private school recently welcomed Vic Varner as director of the program at the lower, middle and upper school levels.

Varner has a undergrad degree in music education from Charleston Southern University and a master’s from Winthrop University. He studied jazz arranging under renowned artist Phil Mattson at Southwest College in Creston, Iowa.

Varner developed a “solfege” approach for teaching sight reading that has been adopted by numerous music educators in South Carolina. He retired from 30 years of high school music education in 2011.

His school choirs have performed at Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center and have been nationally ranked in competitions from Orlando to Toronto.

Since retirement. Varner has been teaching music courses at the University of South Carolina Beaufort and continuing his more than 40 years in church music at First Presbyterian Church of Beaufort.

A singer and guitarist, Varner also works as a performer and recording artist at venues throughout the Southeast.

“The biggest thrill for me is to see the light bulb click over a student’s head the moment he or she understands musical intervals,” he said. “Simply put… I am a music educator and I love it.”

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