Popular Music News

Violinists Wynton Grant, Nick Kennerly, and Julian McClanahan join Rostam on tour

November 10, 2017

Three USC Thornton violinists — Popular Music seniors Julian McClanahan and Nick Kennerly and GCRT candidate Wynton Grant – are attracting notice as a tightly-knit strings backing trio for pop artists. Having recently opened for HAIM at a sold-out show at Los Angeles’ Greek Theatre, the trio is currently on a two-week European tour with […]


Billboard names USC Thornton a top music business school

November 1, 2017

Billboard Magazine recently named USC Thornton one of the “15 Best Music Business Schools in 2017,” citing the school’s five new professional master’s degree programs, which are focused on Arts Leadership, Community Music, Contemporary Teaching Practice, Screen Scoring, and the Music Industry. The article quotes alumnus and guitarist-trumpeter Erik Miron (’09), whose band, the Vignes […]


Ryan Seacrest helps launch Popular Music alum Malia Civetz’ new single

October 30, 2017

Malia Civetz (BM ’16), an alumna of the USC Thornton Popular Music program, has released a new single, “Champagne Clouds,” which was debuted by Ryan Seacrest on KIIS FM locally and on Sirius XM and iHeart radio stations throughout the U.S. and Canada. The song was co-written with fellow Popular Music alumnus Nathan Fertig (BM […]


Scary Pockets covers Alicia Keys’ “If I Ain’t Got You”

October 13, 2017

close Scary Pockets is a Los Angeles funk band that features four USC Thornton alumni. Vocalist Kenton Chen (’10, Popular Music), guitarist Ryan Lerman (’09, Studio/Jazz Guitar), drummer Ben Rose (a Dornsife grad who majored in Jazz Studies for one year), bassist Sam Wilkes (’13, Popular Music), and keyboardist Jack Conte recently recorded a cover […]


Student Karli Webster makes a strong debut on The Voice

October 4, 2017

close USC Thornton junior Karli Webster has officially joined Team Miley on NBC’s The Voice. During her blind audition on the October 3rd episode of the hit singing show, Karli received nods from Adam Levine and Miley Cyrus, eventually choosing to work with Cyrus. The 20-year-old Music Industry major, originally from Santa Clarita, California, has […]


Andriana Balic named to list of “Female Music Professors that Inspire Us”

September 7, 2017

College Magazine recently included Adriana Balic on its list of “10 Female Music Professors that Inspire Us.” Balic, who is known for her performance work with pop superstar P!nk, teaches songwriting in USC Thornton’s Popular Music Program. Balic has previously performed with artists, including Sheila E, Il Divo, Brenda Russell, Peabo Bryson, Norman Brown, Everett […]


Applications are now open for the LA Phil’s Hack Music LA

August 29, 2017

Applications are now open for Hack Music LA, a two-day event (October 7 & 8) that will bring together 75 of the country’s most creative makers to develop tools and experiences to expand music for all. The innovative, music-inspired hackathon is hosted by the LA Phil in partnership with the USC Thornton School of Music […]


Sophomore Madeliene Mayi releases new EP – with help from Music Industry students

May 5, 2017

Sophomore Popular Music student Madeleine Meyer — known professionally as Madeleine Mayi — is riding on a wave of success. Her first single, “You Want More,” earned 16,000 plays in less than three weeks, to the praise of Indie Shuffle and Ear to the Ground. On Friday, May 5th, Mayi released “Strawberry Hair,” the last […]


Thornton students to participate in serendipitous Sofar Sounds concert

April 27, 2017

Four USC Thornton Popular Music students will perform on the evening of Sunday, April 30th as part of the Sofar Sounds performance series on the USC campus. The series aims to create buzz by presenting unannounced musical artists in secretive locations, which are revealed to audiences just before each event. Music Industry faculty member Loren […]


Popular Music chair Patrice Rushen speaks at Amherst College

April 18, 2017

USC Thornton Popular Music chair Patrice Rushen was recently invited to Amherst College in Massachusetts to speak about the importance of popular music in higher education. As part of the “New Perspectives in American Music” lecture series, Rushen detailed how Thornton’s Popular Music program has filled an under-served niche in musical curriculum. The discussion was […]


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