Alumni News

Choral Music alumna combines music and neuroscience to treat Parkinson’s

March 22, 2017

USC Thornton Choral & Sacred Music alumna Bronte Ficek (’15, Choral Music) explores the effects of group singing on patients with Parkinson’s Disease in her work as a clinical neuroscience researcher at The Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore. As part of her research, Ficek acts as assistant and accompanist for the Parkisonics, a choir for […]


Choral alumnus David Means leads South Texas choir

March 20, 2017

USC Thornton Choral & Sacred Music alumnus David Means (DMA ’97, choral music) is the founder of the Valley Choral Artists, South Texas’s first semi-professional chamber choir. He formed the ensemble in 2013 after he was appointed Director of Choral Studies at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley. Following a highly successful 2015 performance […]


Strong USC Thornton showing in LA Phil’s 2017-18 season

March 17, 2017

The Los Angeles Philharmonic (LA Phil) recently announced its 2017-18 concert season, which includes featured performances by numerous USC Thornton faculty and alumni. In December, the Calder Quartet, which includes Thornton alumni Benjamin Jacobson (BM’01, MM’07, violin), Andrew Bulbrook (BM ’02, violin), Jonathan Moerschel (BM ’01, MM ’03, viola) and Eric Byers (BM ’03, cello), […]


Grant Gershon to conduct Hoffmann at LA Opera

March 16, 2017

USC Thornton alumnus and Board of Councilors member Grant Gershon (’85, piano) will conduct LA Opera’s production of The Tales of Hoffmann on April 6th. Gershon, Resident Conductor and a long-time Chorus Master of the company, will step in for LA Opera’s General Director Plácido Domingo, who will be conducting the remainder of the production’s […]


Thornton Choral & Sacred Music program strongly represented at ACDA conference

March 15, 2017

Irene Apanovitch, a doctoral candidate in the USC Thornton Choral & Sacred Music program, recently took the podium as a semi-finalist at the American Choral Directors Association (ACDA) Graduate Choral Conducting Competition. One of only eight conductors selected for this honor, Apanovitch currently serves as the Teaching Assistant and lead conductor for Thornton’s Oriana Women’s […]


Cynthia Phelps presents all-French trio program

March 14, 2017

Violist and USC Thornton alumna Cynthia Phelps recently performed with the Les Amies Trio for the San Antonio Chamber Music Society’s 74th season. The Trio, which included harpist Nancy Allen and flutist Carol Wincec, presented an all-French program, including Jacques Ibert’s Deux Interludes suivi de Carillon and Arnold Bax’s Elegiac Trio, as well as works […]


Bassist Owen Levine joins Colorado Symphony

March 13, 2017

USC Thornton Strings alumnus Owen Levine (MM ‘09) recently won a section bass position with the Colorado Symphony. Levine previously performed as a Fellow with the New World Symphony.


Alumna guitarist Eva Beneke to perform with the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra

March 9, 2017

USC Thornton Classical Guitar alumna Eva Beneke (DMA ’12) will perform with the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra on Saturday, March 11th. The concert will include the U.S. premiere of Sarah Kirkland Snider’s Unremembered, an “hour-long, 13-part song cycle inspired by poems and illustrations by Nathaniel Bellows.” Beneke is currently the artistic director for Lowertown Classics, […]


Alumnus Ray Zepeda presents a Milton Babbitt tribute concert

February 17, 2017

Saxophonist Ray Zepeda (MM ’98, Jazz Studies), founder and artistic director of the Bakersfield New Music Collective, recently organized a tribute concert for the serial composer, Milton Babbitt. The free event, entitled “Re-Imagining Milton Babbitt: A Centennial Celebration for an Exceptional American,” took place at The Mark in downtown Bakersfield and featured seminal pieces by […]


Alumni arrange and score for Paramount’s “XXX: Return of Xander Cage”

February 15, 2017

USC Thornton Screen Scoring alumni Robert Lydecker (BM ’08, film scoring, GCRT ‘09, SMPTV), Kenny Wood (GCRT ‘09, SMPTV) and Harrison Lee (GCRT ’12, SMPTV) worked on the score for Paramount’s new film XXX: Return of Xander Cage, which was released this past January. Wood and Lee served as arrangers on the project, while Lydecker […]


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