Popular Music News

Thornton students to participate in serendipitous Sofar Sounds concert

April 27, 2017

Four USC Thornton Popular Music students will perform on the evening of Sunday, April 30th as part of the Sofar Sounds performance series on the USC campus. The series aims to create buzz by presenting unannounced musical artists in secretive locations, which are revealed to audiences just before each event. Music Industry faculty member Loren […]

Popular Music chair Patrice Rushen speaks at Amherst College

April 18, 2017

USC Thornton Popular Music chair Patrice Rushen was recently invited to Amherst College in Massachusetts to speak about the importance of popular music in higher education. As part of the “New Perspectives in American Music” lecture series, Rushen detailed how Thornton’s Popular Music program has filled an under-served niche in musical curriculum. The discussion was […]

Pop alumna Maddie Ross profiled in “Billboard”

April 14, 2017

USC Thornton Popular Music alumna Maddie Ross (’14) is the focus of a feature profile in Billboard, which explores her innovative and entrepreneurial approach to music-making. Placing her recent single, “You’re Still My Sugar,” among “the best rock songs released this year,” the article survey’s Ross’s creative process, her podcast, coming out as queer, and […]

Popular Music alums, MUNA featured in heartwarming Vice video

April 6, 2017

The band MUNA, which was formed by Thornton Popular Music alumni Katie Gavin (BA ’15) and Josette Maskin (’16), along with Naomi McPherson, recently sat down to record a video for Vice’s Noisey series “Call Your Dad” — but things didn’t go exactly as planned. When band member Josette rang up her South African father […]

Vice Dean Chris Sampson remembers legendary guitarist Chuck Berry

March 28, 2017

USC Thornton Vice Dean of Contemporary Music, Chris Sampson, was recently quoted in a Los Angeles Wave article honoring the life of legendary guitarist Chuck Berry, who passed away earlier this month. Describing Berry as “a great rock poet” whose lyricism and stage presence brought a new interpretation to R&B music, Sampson explained that Berry’s […]

MUNA performs on Jimmy Kimmel Live

February 7, 2017

The band MUNA was featured on the February 6th episode of ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel Live, performing two songs from their latest album, “About U.” Formed by USC Thornton Popular Music alumni Katie Gavin (BA ’15) and Josette Maskin (’16), along with Naomi McPherson, the band caught the world’s attention with their 2016 single, “Loudspeaker.” MUNA […]

Popular Music alumna Rozzi Crane to perform at Hotel Cafe

January 31, 2017

USC Thornton Popular Music alumna Rozzi Crane will perform at Hotel Cafe’s Second Stage in Los Angeles as part of a spring residency. Crane, who was part of the Popular Music program’s inaugural class, is scheduled to perform February 2, March 2, April 6, and May 4. Best known for her single Psycho, which she […]

Popular Music alumna Malia Civetz sings National Anthem at the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl

January 27, 2017

USC Thornton Popular Music alumna Malia Civetz (BM ’16) recently sang the National Anthem at the 2017 NFLPA Collegiate Bowl. Earlier this year, Civetz performed Steve Hackman’s mash-up of rapper Drake’s music and Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 5, Tchaikovsky V. Drake with the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra. She will reprise Hackman’s piece on March 22 with the […]

USC Thornton faculty and musicians attending music education camp in Brazil

January 17, 2017

USC Thornton Dean Robert Cutietta is currently attending GLOMUS, a gathering of international music and arts education professionals in Natal, Brazil, along with several Thornton students and faculty. The biennial event, which is hosted by the Federal University of Rio Grande do Norte, aims to “create a forum for intercultural exchange in the fields of […]

Bassist Brian Robert Jones joins Gwen Stefani on the road

January 13, 2017

Bassist Brian Robert Jones (BM ’15), an alumnus of the USC Thornton Popular Music program, recently performed with singer Gwen Stefani at the Aria Resort and Casino in Las Vegas. The special engagement followed Stefani’s 28 city “This Is What The Truth Feels Like” tour, on which Jones performed from July through October of 2016. […]

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