Alumni News from the 2015-2016 Academic Year

Keenan Reesor takes teaching position with Southern Virginia University

April 28, 2016

Pianist and USC Thornton Musicology PhD candidate Keenan Reesor (MM ’10, piano performance) has accepted a tenure track position as Assistant Professor of Music at Southern Virginia University, where he will begin teaching music history and piano in the fall. Reesor is a laureate of the Wideman and Virginia Waring International Piano Competitions and a […]


Houston Symphony premieres concerto by late composer, alumnus James Horner

April 25, 2016

The work of the late film composer and USC Thornton alumnus James Horner (BM ’74, composition) was honored by the Houston Symphony earlier this month. The Symphony, under conductor Michael Francis, presented the premiere of Horner’s last completed concert work, which was performed by the orchestra and four French horn soloists, two of whom were […]


Paul Young chats with APM’s “Marketplace”

April 22, 2016

Paul Young, director of the USC Thornton Music Industry Minors Program, was interviewed for American Public Media’s nationally-syndicated radio show, Marketplace, in a discussion about the long-term financial viability of the music publishing industry. Young explained that ownership of song copyrights can help keep publishers afloat in the midst of an overall music industry downturn. […]


Remembering Brian Asawa

April 20, 2016

Brian Asawa, a celebrated countertenor and non-degreed alumnus, died on April 18. He was 49. Asawa’s international career was studded with “firsts” — he was the first countertenor to be named Grand Prize Winner of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, win Seattle Opera’s Artist of the Year Award, earn the Adler Fellowship at the […]


Alumna Tamar Davis competes on NBC’s “The Voice”

April 12, 2016

USC Thornton alumna Tamar Davis (BS ’02, music industry), known professionally as Támar, is one of the contestants remaining on the hit NBC show The Voice. As part of a team of artists mentored by pop music star Christina Aguilera, Davis competes each week in group and solo performances. A recent performance—a duet of “Lady […]


Christopher Gravis named Director of Choral Activities at CSULA

April 11, 2016

Christopher Gravis, a doctoral candidate in the USC Thornton Choral & Sacred Music program, has been named the Director of Choral Activities at California State University Los Angeles (CSULA). Gravis has gained an international reputation as a leading conductor of choral and orchestral works, recently debuting with the San Diego Symphony and leading week-long residencies […]


Alumna Danielle Gillman creates apps for parents of children with special needs

April 1, 2016

USC Thornton Music Industry alumna Danielle Gillman (BM ’01) has developed an app for the parents of children with special needs, which grew out of her experiences raising her own daughter, who is autistic. Gillman and her husband, Ben Chutz, created Birdhouse for Autism as a way to track the complexities of caring for a […]


Music Industry alumna Olivia Mitchell to premiere short film at Tribeca

March 31, 2016

USC Thornton alumna Olivia Mitchell (BS ’14, music industry) will premiere her short film, Girl Band, at the Tribeca Film Festival in April. Mitchell co-directed, co-wrote and co-produced the film with fellow USC alumni Kerry Furrh (BA ’14, film and television production) and Cailin Lowry (BA ’14, film and television production). She also created original […]


Film composer, alum, Bear McCreary featured on NPR

March 30, 2016

USC Thornton alumnus Bear McCreary (BM ’02) was interviewed recently on NPR’s All Things Considered about his success as a film and television composer. His first major studio film score came this year for J.J. Abrams’ thriller 10 Cloverfield Lane, which opened March 11. McCreary started out scoring for the sci-fi series Battlestar Galactica and […]


Kaleidoscope Chamber Orchestra profiled in the L.A. Times

March 24, 2016

The Kaleidoscope Chamber Orchestra, a conductorless ensemble founded by clarinetist and USC Thornton Arts Leadership student Benjamin Mitchell with alumnus Michael Kaufman (DMA ’14, MM ’12, cello), was profiled in the Los Angeles Times in advance of its February 28th performance at Glendale City Church. The ensemble will conclude its season on April 9th and […]


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