Alumni News from the 2015-2016 Academic Year

Organ student Weicheng Zhao takes AGO competition prizes

June 27, 2016

Weicheng Zhao (MM ’14), a doctoral candidate in the USC Thornton Organ Studies department, recently won both 3rd Place and the Audience Prize at the American Guild of Organists (AGO) National Young Artists Competition in Organ Performance (NYACOP). Zhao studies with Thornton faculty members Ladd Thomas and Cherry Rhodes. The NYACOP competition, which took place […]


Thornton alumni receive orchestral and academic appointments

June 22, 2016

Four talented USC Thornton alumni have recently been selected for distinguished orchestral and academic positions throughout the region. Joe Morris (’12, clarinet) won principal clarinet in the Pacific Symphony, where he will performer under the direction of Carl St.Clair, who also serves as Artistic Leader and Principal Conductor of the USC Thornton Orchestras. The Las […]


Alumna Renée Elise Goldsberry wins Tony for “Hamilton”

June 13, 2016

Renée Elise Goldsberry (MM ’97, jazz studies), singer, actress, and USC Thornton alumna, won a Tony Award for her performance as Angelica Schuyler Church in the Broadway musical, Hamilton. At the Sunday, June 12th award ceremony at New York City’s Beacon Theatre, Goldsberry delivered an emotional speech, thanking her supportive family and her fellow cast-members. […]


Trumpeter Ambrose Akinmusire on his Miles Davis film collaboration with Don Cheadle

June 10, 2016

For years, Oscar nominee Don Cheadle has been struggling to bring his biopic of legendary musician Miles Davis, Miles Ahead, which premiered in April, to the silver screen. As Cheadle strove to capture Davis’ “unorthodox journey,” he enlisted the help of trumpeter, USC Thornton alumnus, and former Jazz Studies faculty member, Ambrose Akinmusire (MM ’07, […]


“The New Yorker” reflects on the Piatigorsky International Cello Festival

June 1, 2016

Alex Ross, music critic for the New Yorker, has published a review of the Piatigorsky International Cello Festival in the magazine’s June 6/13 issue. Surveying the Festival’s programming in the context of both repertory and style, Ross highlighted soloists Yo-Yo Ma, Mischa Maisky, Sol Gabetta, Zuill Bailey, David Geringas, Thomas Demenga, Jean-Guihen Queyras, Colin Carr, […]


Matthew Mason to premiere composition at San Antonio competition

May 6, 2016

Matthew Mason, a non-degreed alumnus of the USC Thornton Keyboard Studies program, was commissioned to compose a work for the San Antonio International Piano Competition, which will take place this June. Each of the five competition finalists will perform Mason’s commissioned piano work, the world premiere of which will take place at the quadrennial event. […]


Jenny Wong named assistant conductor of the Los Angeles Master Chorale

May 5, 2016

Jenny Wong (MM ’13, choral), a DMA candidate in the USC Thornton Choral & Sacred Music program, has been named assistant conductor of the Los Angeles Master Chorale (LAMC). She has previously served as a conducting fellow for the Oregon Bach Festival, Baltimore Chamber Orchestra, Norfolk Chamber Music Festival, the Distinguished Concerts International New York, […]


Alumna Renée Elise Goldsberry receives Tony nomination for featured role in “Hamilton”

May 4, 2016

Singer, actress, and USC Thornton alumna Renée Elise Goldsberry (MM ’97, jazz studies) has been nominated for a Tony Award for her performance as Angelica Schuyler Church in the hit Broadway musical, Hamilton. The production, which is nominated for a record 16 Tony Awards, has received rapturous acclaim from critics and audiences, alike. Goldsberry has […]


Alumnus Richard Bernstein receives Metropolitan Opera Service Award

May 3, 2016

Each year, the Metropolitan Opera convenes an event to honor those individuals who have reached milestones in their careers with the venerable New York City institution. Operatic bass and USC Thornton alumnus Richard Bernstein (’89, Vocal Arts) has completed his 20th year as a solo artist with company and was recognized at the Met Service […]


University of Pittsburgh to build museum honoring Marilyn Horne

April 28, 2016

The University of Pittsburgh’s Board of Trustees has approved the creation of a museum and exhibit center honoring opera legend and USC Thornton alumna Marilyn Horne. The mezzo-soprano was a recipient of the 1992 National Medal of Arts and the 1995 Kennedy Center Honors. She has also won four GRAMMY Awards for Best Opera Recording. […]


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