Alumni News from the 2014-2015 Academic Year

Morten Lauridsen honored at “Shining Night Festival” in Toronto

October 29, 2014

USC Distinguished Professor of Composition and USC Thornton School of Music alumnus Morten Lauridsen was the subject of a recent day-long festival held at Yorkminster Park Baptist Church in Toronto, Canada. The Shining Night Festival, which took place on October 25, included a gala concert, a screening of the 2012 Lauridsen documentary Shining Night, and a one-on-one conversation with […]


Weicheng Zhao and Fang Gao to perform at Calgary Organ Festival and Symposium

October 28, 2014

Current USC Thornton doctoral candidate Weicheng Zhao (MM ’14, DMA ’16) is one of two organists to perform on the Young Artists’ Platform during the Calgary Organ Festival and Symposium.  His wife Fang Gao (GCRT, ’16), who is currently a student in the Early  Music program, will join him in a concert at the Cathedral Church of the Redeemer in […]


Leland Sun (BM ’86, MM ’91) to perform works by Ren-Liang Wong (MM, ’83) at Tianjin Conservatory of Music

October 27, 2014

Leland Sun (BM ’86, MM ’91) will perform in a retrospective of works by fellow USC Thornton alumnus Ren-Liang Wong (MM, ’83) at the Tianjin Conservatory of Music in Tianjin, China on November 12. This concert will feature works written following the composer’s immigration to the United States including Six Sketches (1983), which Sun premiered at USC, […]


Francine Nguyen-Savaria (GCRT, ’13) to perform at Calgary Organ Festival and Symposium

October 24, 2014

Francine Nguyen-Savaria (GCRT, ’13) is one of two organists selected to perform on the Young Artists’ Platform during the Calgary Organ Festival and Symposium in Canada. She will perform the complete works for organ by Brahms over two recitals: at the Cathedral Church of the Redeemer in Calgary on October 29, and at the Wyatt Recital […]


Bradley Sroka (PhD, ’14) participates in USC research on popular music

October 22, 2014

Bradley Sroka (PhD, ’14) led a team of USC Thornton graduate students in a project that analyzed the psychology of music and what makes a “hit song.” The researchers analyzed over a thousand No. 1 songs on Billboard magazine’s Hot 100 list between 1958 and 2012, in addition to the 1,451 songs that never climbed above No. […]


Tess Remy-Schumacher (MM ’89, DMA ’98) co-founds Center for Historical Performance at the University of Central Oklahoma

October 17, 2014

Tess Remy-Schumacher (MM ’89, DMA ’98) co-founded the first Center for Historical Performance at the University of Central Oklahoma with Dr. Ted Honea. Remy-Schumacher, who first attended USC Thornton as a Fulbright Scholar, completed her doctoral studies in Cello Performance under the supervision of celebrated USC Thornton faculty, the late Eleonore Schoenfeld. Remy-Schumacher currently serves as Professor […]


Karim Elmahmoudi (GCRT, ’07) to participate in the Dark Skies Festival in Arizona

October 13, 2014

“Orbit: A Symphonic Fantasy,” composed by SMPTV alumnus Karim Elmahmoudi (GCRT, ’07) will be performed by the Orchestra Northern Arizona on October 18 as part of the Dark Skies Festival. The orchestra will be conducted by former principal horn of the London Symphony Orchestra, David Cripps. As part of the festival, Elmahmoudi will conduct talks about music […]


USC Thornton alumna and Jazz Studies faculty Kathleen Grace’s “No Place to Fall” receives critical praise

October 3, 2014

Kathleen Grace, USC Thornton alumna and current Jazz Studies faculty, released her fourth studio album, No Place to Fall, to rave reviews. The San Francisco Chronicle wrote Grace creates a “hybrid of country, jazz and classic torch songs,” all the while constructing her own unique, fresh spin on classic sounds. A review from The Canadian Audiophile […]


Diane Wittry (BM ’83, MM ’85) appointed Artistic Director of Ridgewood Symphony

October 2, 2014

Diane Wittry (BM ’83, MM ’85) was appointed Artistic Director of the Ridgewood Symphony for the organization’s 75th Anniversary Season. The first concert of the season will take place on October 25 in Ridgewood, New Jersey. Diane is also Music Director and Conductor of the Allentown Symphony, and the Artistic Director for the International Cultural […]


Strings Department and Composition Department alumni awarded commission by Chamber Music America

October 1, 2014

The Argus Quartet — which consists of current and former USC Thornton students Clara Kim (DMA, ’15), Jason Issokson (MM, ’10), and Diana Wade (GCRT, ’13) — was awarded a commission by Chamber Music America, a national network for ensemble musicians. Awarded as a part of the organization’s Classical Commissioning program, the grant provides support for American classical […]


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