Winds and Percussion News from the 2015-2016 Academic Year

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 […]


Alumnus Matthew Howard named principal percussionist for LA Phil

June 6, 2016

USC Thornton alumnus Matthew Howard (BM ’12) has been named principal percussionist of the Los Angeles Philharmonic (LA Phil). After completing his undergraduate degree at Thornton under director of Percussion Studies Joseph Pereira and James Babor, Howard went on to earn his master’s degree from the New England Conservatory. Most recently, Howard was a percussionist […]


Oboist Allan Vogel retires from the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra

May 26, 2016

Oboist Allan Vogel, a member of the USC Thornton Winds & Percussion faculty, has retired as principal oboe with the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra (LACO) after 44 years with the ensemble. Called “an aristocrat of his instrument, an oboe virtuoso with few equals,” by the Los Angeles Times, Vogel joined LACO in 1972 and was […]


James Babor featured as a soloist with the LA Phil in London

April 6, 2016

Los Angeles Philharmonic (LA Phil) percussionist James Babor, also a member of the USC Thornton Winds & Percussion faculty, was recently featured as a soloist with the LA Phil during the orchestra’s 2016 international tour. On March 23rd at the Barbican performance venue in London, conductor Gustavo Dudamel led the orchestra in Oliver Messaien’s monumental, […]


Freshman flutist Jonathan Sussman featured in San Diego concerts

February 18, 2016

Flutist Jonathan Sussman, a freshman of the USC Thornton Winds & Percussion department, recently performed alongside the Tifereth Israel Community Orchestra in two San Diego concerts. The program, entitled “A Strictly Classical Concert,” featured Beethoven’s Symphony No. 8 and Mozart’s Sinfonia Concertante for violin, viola, and orchestra. Part of the Fallbrook Music Society’s series of […]


Thornton Tuba Quartet invited to perform at international gathering

February 4, 2016

The USC Thornton Bass Tuba Quartet has been invited to compete at the International Tuba Euphonium Conference from May 30 to June 4 this summer. Made up of DMA candidate Brandon Davis (MM ’13), Masters students James Similuk (’15) and Kyle Richter, and junior Cameron Holt, the ensemble will join hundreds of fellow tuba players at the conference, […]


MusicalAmerica names Yehuda Gilad one of its Professionals of the Year

December 18, 2015

Clarinetist and conductor Yehuda Gilad, a member of the USC Thornton Winds and Percussion faculty, has been named one of MusicalAmerica’s Professionals of the Year. In a brief website profile, MusicalAmerica lauded Gilad’s teaching reputation as “second to none” and acknowledged the accomplishments of his former students, many of whom now occupy important positions with […]


The L.A. Times and L.A. Phil celebrate clarinetist Michele Zukovsky

December 18, 2015

Michele Zukovsky, a member of the USC Thornton Winds and Percussion faculty, will retire from her position as principal clarinetist with the Los Angeles Philharmonic after 54 years with the orchestra. The Los Angeles Times celebrated Zukovsky’s incredible career with a special profile, affectionately noting that she joined the orchestra at 18 – apparently, she […]


Clarinet alumni take orchestral positions

December 8, 2015

Two clarinet alumni of USC Thornton Winds and Percussion faculty member Yehuda Gilad have secured positions with American orchestras. Brad Whitfield (MM ’11) recently won the Assistant Principal Clarinet chair with the Alabama Symphony Orchestra, under maestro Christopher Confessore. Sergei Vassiliev (GCRT ’09), who recently became Principal Clarinet for the Colorado Springs Philharmonic, was the […]


Tuba student Brandon Davis receives Tommy Johnson Scholarship

October 5, 2015

Tuba player Brandon Davis (MM ’13), currently a doctoral candidate in the USC Thornton Winds & Percussion program, has received the 2015-16 Tommy Johnson Tuba Scholarship, which is awarded annually to an outstanding graduating student. Davis, a native of Washington State, also studies conducting and composition at Thornton. The scholarship honors the legacy of Tommy […]


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