Alumni News

Donald Crockett, Thornton alumni featured at Caramoor

April 24, 2017

USC Thornton Composition chair Donald Crockett (MM ’76) recently visited the Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts in Katonah, New York, where the Argus Quartet is preparing his commissioned string quartet for its July premiere. Thornton alumni and faculty feature prominently throughout the Center’s spring and summer seasons. The Los Angeles-based Argus Quartet, which […]


Alumnus Gabriel DiMarco excels as composer and musician

April 21, 2017

USC Thornton Screen Scoring alumnus Gabriel DiMarco (GCRT ’14, scoring for motion pictures and television) won Best Score for the feature film, Children of the Mountain, at the 2016 Ghana Movie Awards in Accra, Ghana. Described as “moving” by Daniel Glenn of Film Forward, DiMarco’s score reinforces the emotional journey of an unmarried mother in […]


Classical Guitarist Michael Kudirka profiled for Adès collaboration

April 17, 2017

Internationally acclaimed guitarist and USC Thornton alumnus Michael Kudirka (’04, DMA, ’12) was the subject of a feature profile in the spring 2017 issue of Classical Guitar Magazine, exploring his collaboration with composer Thomas Adès. The duo worked together on a “guitar aria” for Adès’ surrealist opera, The Exterminating Angel, which is based on the […]


KuanFen Liu receives Ventura Mayor’s Arts Award

April 13, 2017

USC Thornton alumna KuanFen Liu (DMA ’10, choral music) has received the Ventura Mayor’s Arts Award in the category of Artist in the Community. This award honors established artists in any discipline who show artistic excellence and contribute to Ventura’s cultural vitality. Outside of working on year-round music programs for several school districts, Liu is […]


Clarinetist Micah Wright takes 2nd place in Backun International Competition

April 11, 2017

USC Thornton Winds & Percussion alumnus Micah Wright (DMA ’15, clarinet) received 2nd place in this year’s Backun International Clarinet Competition. The competition, which took place March 9-11 at Vanderbilt University’s Blair School of Music in Nashville, featured 16 participants from 8 different countries. Wright also recently received an honorable mention in the William C. […]


Pacific Symphony performance with Peter Boyer to be broadcast on PBS

April 10, 2017

Ellis Island: The Dream of America, a multimedia orchestral work by composer and USC Thornton alumnus Peter Boyer (GCRT ’96, SMPTV) was the centerpiece of the Pacific Symphony’s recent American Composers Festival from April 6-8. Conducted by music director and USC Thornton faculty member Carl St.Clair, the GRAMMY-nominated piece incorporates narration and projected imagery to […]


Popular Music alums, MUNA featured in heartwarming Vice video

April 6, 2017

The band MUNA, which was formed by Thornton Popular Music alumni Katie Gavin (BA ’15) and Josette Maskin (’16), along with Naomi McPherson, recently sat down to record a video for Vice’s Noisey series “Call Your Dad” — but things didn’t go exactly as planned. When band member Josette rang up her South African father […]


Gail Samuel serving as LA Phil’s Acting President

April 5, 2017

The Los Angeles Times reports that USC Thornton Board of Councilors member and alumnus Gail Samuel (BA ’89, psychology & music, MBA ’02) has been appointed as Acting President of the Los Angeles Philharmonic Association, in addition to her duties as Chief Executive Officer for the Los Angeles Philharmonic (LA Phil). Samuel serves as an […]


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 […]


News archive