Alumni News from the 2014-2015 Academic Year

Gail Samuel appointed Executive Director of Los Angeles Philharmonic

March 12, 2015

USC Thornton graduate and Board of Councilors member Gail Samuel (BA ’89, psychology & music, MBA ’02) has been promoted to the position of Executive Director with the Los Angeles Philharmonic Association. She will serve as acting president and chief executive while current president and CEO Deborah Borda is on sabbatical in the fall. Samuel […]


Thornton alumni perform on Grammy winning Partch album

March 12, 2015

USC Thornton alumni Alison Bjorkedal (MM ’05, DMA ’08, harp) and Nick Terry (DMA ’11, percussion) performed on the Partch ensemble’s Grammy award-winning album, Plectra & Percussion Dances. In addition to performing with Partch, Bjorkedal teaches harp and is a member of Southwest Chamber Music, Golden State Pops Orchestra and MUSE/IQUE. Terry performs with the […]


Courtney Wise releases album with group Duo Bohème

January 20, 2015

USC Thornton alumna Courtney Wise (BM ’10) recently released an album titled Senza Misura with her flute and guitar group, Duo Bohème. Wise founded the group with guitarist Lyle Sheffler, and they specialize in Spanish, Latin, and Bohemian flute and guitar music. Wise, who studied with USC Thornton faculty Gary Woodward, is a proponent of […]


Roger Myers elected a fellow of the Royal Society of Arts in London

January 20, 2015

Thornton alum Roger Myers (BM ’90, MM ’92), a professor of viola at the University of Texas at Austin, was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts in London in November of 2014. The Royal Society of arts describes itself as a worldwide community of achievers from a wide array of backgrounds and […]


Calder Quartet to perform with Bear McCreary (BM ’02), Melanie Henley Heyn (BM, ’04)

November 7, 2014

The Broad Stage’s ensemble-in-residence, the Calder Quartet – originally formed at USC Thornton by alumni Benjamin Jacobson (BM ’01, MM ’07), Andrew Bulbrook (BM, ’02), Jonathan Moerschel (BM ’01, MM ’03), and Eric Byers (BM, ’03) – will be joined by fellow alumni Emmy Award-winning composer Bear McCreary (BM ’02) and soprano Melanie Henley Heyn (BM, ’04) for two […]


Troy Quinn (DMA ’13) named featured conductor for Juneau Symphony’s Guest Conductor Concert Series

November 7, 2014

USC Thornton Choral and Sacred Music Program alumnus Troy Quinn (DMA ’13) was named the first featured conductor in the Juneau Symphony’s 2014-15 Guest Conductor Concert Series beginning this November. Lauded for his “energetic and riveting yet sensitive conducting,” Quinn’s program will feature the rare heard William Walton Suite from the 1944 Laurence Olivier film, Henry […]


William Kanengiser

USC Thornton Classical Guitar faculty William Kanengiser, Brian Head featured in educational video

November 4, 2014

USC Thornton Classical Guitar faculty and alumnus William Kanengiser was recently featured in an educational video for Classical Guitar Tone Production. Brian Head, chair of the Classical Guitar Program, provides the narration for the video. The tutorial, titled “Learning with Legends,” focuses on the various ways musicians can create “a good tone” when playing classical guitar. […]


Grant Fonda (GCRT, ’13) selected to participate in ASCAP TV & Film Scoring Workshop

November 3, 2014

Scoring for Motion Pictures and Television alumnus Grant Fonda (GCRT, ’13) was one of the 12 internationally selected applicants to participate in the ASCAP TV & Film Scoring Workshop with EMMY Award-winning composer, Richard Bellis. Fonda also composed the score for the film My Dear Americans, which won first place in the 2014 PBS Online Film […]


Kristy Morrell

USC Thornton Wind and Percussion faculty Kristy Morrell publishes first instructional guide

November 3, 2014

Current USC Thornton Wind and Percussion faculty Kristy Morrell (MM ’94, DMA ’97) recently published Musician, Heal Thyself, A Self-Help Guide for Hornists. The book contains a multitude of resources for hornists, including: an assemblage of drills and exercises; strategies for efficient practice and problem solving; injury prevention and musical wellness; audition preparation; and how to manage performance anxiety. Morrell’s […]


Sophisticated Lady Jazz Quartet, featuring Jazz Studies alumni, release debut album

October 30, 2014

Sophisticated Lady Jazz Quartet – which features USC Thornton alumni Andrew Boyle (BM ’12, MM ’14), Misha Adair Bigos (MM, ’14), JJ Kirkpatrick (MM, ’14), and Gary Wicks (MM, ’13) – released their debut album in September 2014 via Yarlung Records. The self-titled album was recorded on campus at USC’s Brain and Creativity Institute in Camilleri Hall and was praised by The […]


News archive