Popular Music News from the 2014-2015 Academic Year

Contemporary Music professors quoted about the challenges of new streaming music services

June 12, 2015

Two USC Thornton Contemporary Music faculty members were quoted by the Los Angeles Times recently about the introduction of new music streaming services by Apple and Jay-Z. Mark Goldstein of the Music Industry program discussed the financial risks inherent in Apple’s new digital music platform. “This is great theater,” Goldstein said. “I don’t know what’s […]


SoCal VoCals a cappella group wins fourth international championship in New York City

May 6, 2015

The premiere USC a cappella group, SoCal VoCals, recently won first place at the 2015 International Championship of Collegiate A Cappella, or the I.C.C.A., in New York City. This was the fourth time that the group has taken the title, following wins in 2008, 2010 and 2012. The SoCal VoCals’ 2015 I.C.C.A. triumph was documented […]


Artist-in-residence Young Guru profiled by Wall Street Journal

May 5, 2015

USC Thornton artist-in-residence Gimel “Young Guru” Keaton was profiled in a Wall Street Journal article about his technical contributions to hip hop music. The Grammy Award-nominated engineer, DJ and producer, best known for his collaborations with rapper Jay-Z, has also worked artists such as Eminem, Notorious BIG, Beyonce, Mariah Carey and Rihanna. Young Guru has […]


Kiven opens for indie band Sad Robot on recent tour

April 20, 2015

The rock band Kiven, which features several USC Thornton alumni, recently completed a series of performances opening for the indie rock group Sad Robot. Kiven is comprised of alumni Daniel Schnair (BA ’11), Tyler Demorest (BS ’11), Jake Reed (MM ’10, DMA ’13) and USC alumnus Matt Cohen (BS ’11). The band released its debut […]


Ron McCurdy composes jazz soundtrack for new stage play

April 16, 2015

Music composed by USC Thornton Jazz Studies professor Ron McCurdy served as a backdrop for Dreaming of Harlem Under a Southern Sky, a new play by Gabrielle Pina that premiered at USC’s Bovard Auditorium on March 28th. The play, which tells the story of three women from New Orleans who travel to Harlem during the […]


Popular Music alum Rozzi Crane featured in Today Show appearance

April 16, 2015

Vocalist and Popular Music alumna Rozzi Crane was featured as a musical guest on the Today Show, accompanied on guitar by alumnus Brandon Bae (BA ’12, Studio/Jazz Guitar). Crane is the first artist signed to the record label of Maroon 5 lead vocalist Adam Levine and will tour with the band this summer. She will […]


Students join band for late night TV performances

April 15, 2015

USC Thornton students Dan Fox (BM ’15), Jeremy Trezona and Greg Johnson (MM ’12, DMA) performed on two late night TV shows recently with the band Saint Motel. They appeared on the March 24th episode of Jimmy Kimmel Live and the April 7th episode of The Late Late Show with James Corden. A clip of […]


Melissa Manchester featured in New York Times review

April 14, 2015

USC Thornton Popular Music professor and Grammy Award-winning vocalist Melissa Manchester was featured in a New York Times review of her recent performance at Manhattan’s 54 Below nightclub. Her twentieth album, You Gotta Love the Life, was released in February and features guest performances by artists such as Dionne Warwick, Stevie Wonder and Al Jarreau. […]


Alum A.J. Novak performs on the Tonight Show

April 13, 2015

USC Thornton alum A.J. Novak (’14, popular music) performed with the band Who is Fancy? on the April 7th episode of the Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon. The mysterious singer of the hit song “Goodbye” was revealed on the show, during which Novak can be seen drumming behind Jake “Fancy” Hagood. Novak has toured extensively […]


Student jazz quartet featured at short film screening

April 8, 2015

A quartet of USC Thornton students performed a concert of live jazz in conjunction with a screening of the USC alumni-produced short film, David’s Reverie. Paul Cornish (BM ’17, keyboard), Henry Solomon (BM ’17, saxophone), Stephen Davis (BM ’17, trumpet) and Celeste Butler (BM ’17, popular music) complimented the screening with interpretations of jazz standards, […]


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