Winds and Percussion News from the 2017-2018 Academic Year

Nicholas Davies and Seth Johnson win at Pasadena Showcase House competition

December 11, 2017

Two USC Thornton students have earned top prizes at the 32nd annual Pasadena Showcase House for the Arts (PSHA) Instrumental Competition, which took place Nov. 11th, 2017. Trumpet player and master’s student Seth Johnson took first prize in the Brass category. Johnson won a sub-section trumpet Position with the Sinfonia Gulf Coast Symphony last year. […]


This Saturday, Thornton celebrates new music from “Noon to Midnight” with the LA Phil

November 14, 2017

On Saturday, November 18th, the Los Angeles Philharmonic will welcome the city’s most adventurous music audiences to Walt Disney Concert Hall for a day-long celebration of contemporary composition, Noon to Midnight. In addition to performances by Steven Schick, Rage Thormbones, LA Signal Lab, Los Angeles Electric 8, wild Up, red fish blue fish, gnarwhallaby, SASSAS, […]


The Kinetic Winds to be featured in Mammoth Lakes concert

November 2, 2017

The Kinetic Winds quintet, which includes five USC Thornton students, will be the featured ensemble at the Eastern Sierra Symphony’s fall concert in Mammoth Lakes on Saturday, November 4th. Led by bassoonist and GCRT candidate Amber Wyman (MM ’16), the quintet includes clarinetist and master’s student Sergio Coelho (GCRT ’16), oboist and DMA candidate Chris […]


Jim Self releases new CD that includes a one-of-a-kind instrument, the fluba

October 10, 2017

USC Thornton Winds & Percussion faculty member Jim Self, a tuba player widely-known for his performances on over 1500 film soundtracks, has released a new album with guitarist John Chiodini. Floating in Winter includes several tracks featuring the fluba, a one-of-a-kind instrument that combines the tuba with qualities of the trumpet-like flugelhorn. The F-pitched fluba […]


Five Thornton musicians win principal positions with the American Youth Symphony

October 2, 2017

Five USC Thornton students and alumni have become principal chairs with the Los Angeles-based American Youth Symphony for the 2017-18 season. Student Tiffany Chung will serve as principal second violin, alongside principal oboe Laura Arganbright, and principal clarinet Sergio Coelho (GRCT ’16), while alumna Lieza Hansen (MM ’16) will serve as principal bassoon and Amy […]


Thomas Kolakowski wins Snare Drum Competition

September 20, 2017

Thomas Kolakowski, a USC Thornton master’s student in percussion, recently won the 10th Annual Modern Snare Drum Competition in Cleveland, Ohio. Kolakowski beat out a large field to win the competition, which takes place every year at the Cleveland Institute of Music and is sponsored by Pearl Drums. The organizers described it as “another inspiring […]


Percussionist Michael Daley joins the New World Symphony

September 13, 2017

Michael Daley (GRCT ’17), an alumnus of the USC Thornton Winds & Percussion program, recently took a percussion position with the New World Symphony. The Miami-based ensemble, which is led by Artistic Director and alumnus Michael Tilson Thomas (BM ’67, MM ’76), prepares highly-gifted graduates of distinguished music programs for leadership roles in orchestras and […]


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 […]


Clarinetist Ryan Toher to be NY Philharmonic Global Academy Fellow

August 25, 2017

USC Thornton clarinetist Ryan Toher, a second-year master’s student of Yehuda Gilad, has been selected to participate in the New York Philharmonic Global Academy Fellowship Program this January. One of several full-scholarship musicians selected by the Music Academy of the West, Toher will travel to New York City for an intensive ten days of training […]


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