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World Class Piano Festival Returns to SC

Joseph Rackers and Marina Lomazov
Mike Switzer

For the past 16 years, our state’s flagship university has hosted a piano festival that brings in world class musicians who not only perform but assist with master classes for those interested in a career as a pianist.  This year the festival is also inaugurating a new modern music series at the renovated Columbia Museum of Art and will feature an entrepreneurial venture in the form of a mobile concert hall designed to bring music to unusual locations and underserved communities.

Mike Switzer interviews Joseph Rackers and Marina Lomazov, professors of piano at the University of South Carolina School of Music and co-directors for the 2019 Southeastern Piano Festival coming to Columbia June 16-23.

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After almost 20 years, Mike Switzer retired from Wells Fargo Securities in 2001 as Senior Vice President/Investment Officer and Certified Portfolio Manager. In 1999, he and his wife, Maggie, purchased and operated for eight years the Baskin Robbins ice cream store on Forest Drive in Columbia. They grew the store from a bottom-tier operation in the Baskin Robbins franchise system to one in the top 5% nationwide within three years, tripling sales along the way. While operating the ice cream store, Mike and Maggie received patents for a portable ice cream sink and fold-down sneezeguard they invented and in 2002 started Magnolia Carts, an ice cream cart manufacturing company, which they sold in 2013.