News from the 2017-2018 Academic Year

Patrick O’Malley wins Sioux City’s Composer of the Year Award

January 31, 2018

Patrick O’Malley (MM ’15), a doctoral candidate in the USC Thornton Composition program, was recently selected as the Sioux City Symphony Orchestra’s Composer of the Year for 2018. He earned the title with Loneliness in a Beautiful Place, a string work that also won the 2017 ASCAP Morton Gould Young Composer Award. O’Malley will travel […]


Thornton at #2 on list of best schools for songwriters

January 30, 2018

College Magazine recently put USC Thornton in second place on its list of the “Top 10 Schools for Aspiring Songwriters.” The article praises Thornton’s Popular Music Songwriting minor, as well as the Music Industry program, and highlights the advantage of Thornton’s location in the heart of Los Angeles. The profile also applauds Thornton’s Songwriter’s Theatre, […]


Billy Childs and John Williams take awards at the 60th GRAMMYs

January 29, 2018

Two USC Thornton artists took home trophies at the 60th GRAMMY Awards on Sunday, January 28th. Composition alumnus and jazz pianist Billy Childs (’79), pictured at left, earned a GRAMMY for Best Jazz Instrumental Album for the bebop-inspired Rebirth (Mack Avenue Records), which was released to critical acclaim last year. And the venerable composer John […]


Albert Diaz appointed Associate Chair of Music at Walla Walla University

January 26, 2018

USC Thornton Classical Guitar alumnus Albert R. Diaz (BA ’10, MM ’12) has been appointed Associate Chair of the Music Department at Walla Walla University in Washington state. Diaz was a founding member of the Helios Guitar Quartet, which formed at USC in 2011. Currently a doctoral candidate in musicology at U.C. Los Angeles, Diaz’s […]


Alumnus Richard Bernstein celebrates 400th performance with Met Opera

January 25, 2018

On Saturday, January 27th, 2018, Richard Bernstein (’89) will reach a professional milestone with his 400th performance with the Metropolitan Opera in New York City in a production of Puccini’s Tosca. The operatic bass and alumnus of the USC Thornton Vocal Arts & Opera program debuted with the company in 1995 and has since performed […]


Joseph Pereira to premiere concerto with L.A. Phil

January 24, 2018

Joseph Pereira, Principal Timpanist of the Los Angeles Philharmonic and Director of Percussion Studies at USC Thornton, will play the dual role of composer and soloist when the orchestra premieres his Threshold concerto at Walt Disney Concert Hall on January 25th, 2018. Gustavo Dudamel will lead the ensemble in four performances of the Philharmonic-commissioned work, […]


Karina DePiano performs with Troye Sivan on SNL

January 23, 2018

When Karina DePiano (BM ’16) graduated from USC Thornton’s Popular Music program in 2016, she launched straight into a busy touring career as keyboardist and music director for artists such as Rita Ora, Daya, Miley Cyrus, and Troye Sivan. Last weekend, DePiano performed with Sivan on Saturday Night Live (see clip below). The show followed […]


Three USC Thornton cellists save the day at Walt Disney Concert Hall

January 22, 2018

On Friday, January 19th, three USC Thornton cellists took to the stage of Walt Disney Concert Hall for a daring musical rescue mission, of sorts. When Los Angeles Philharmonic soloist Robert deMaine was unable to perform the U.S. premiere of Bernd Alois Zimmermann’s daunting modernist Cello Concerto at the last minute, conductor Susanna Mälkki invited […]


Clarinetists earn prizes at the Vandoren Emerging Artist Competition

January 19, 2018

Two USC Thornton clarinet students recently took prizes in the 2018 Vandoren Emerging Artist Competition. Masters candidate Ryan Toher earned 1st Prize in Classical Clarinet. This month, Toher will also participate in the New York Philharmonic Global Academy Fellowship Program traveling to New York City for an intensive ten days of training, rehearsal, and performance […]


USC celebrates Diversity Week Jan. 22-26

January 18, 2018

From Monday, January 22nd to Friday the 26th, 2018, the USC community will come together for Diversity & Inclusion Awareness Week, presenting over 60 events, workshops, talks, and panels from “Understanding Allyship” to “Tips for Pronouncing Chinese Names.” USC Thornton faculty will take part in several events, including “And Still We Rise: Women of Color […]


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