Alumni News from the 2017-2018 Academic Year

Ryan Seacrest helps launch Popular Music alum Malia Civetz’ new single

October 30, 2017

Malia Civetz (BM ’16), an alumna of the USC Thornton Popular Music program, has released a new single, “Champagne Clouds,” which was debuted by Ryan Seacrest on KIIS FM locally and on Sirius XM and iHeart radio stations throughout the U.S. and Canada. The song was co-written with fellow Popular Music alumnus Nathan Fertig (BM […]


Marek Szpakiewicz appointed Director of String Studies at Azusa Pacific

October 27, 2017

Cellist and USC Thornton alumnus Marek Szpakiewicz (MM ’01, DMA ’08) has been appointed Director of String Studies at Azusa Pacific University’s School of Music. Szpakiewicz has been teaching cello and chamber music at APU since 2005 and has served as Director of Chamber Music since 2014. His students have won top prizes at numerous […]


Alum Ben Adelson makes Billboard’s “40 under 40” list of “Young Power Players”

October 25, 2017

USC Thornton Music Industry alumnus Ben Adelson (’09, Music Industry) recently made Billboard Magazine’s list of “40 under 40: Music’s Top Young Power Players Revealed.” Adelson, who is a Senior Vice President at Republic Records, led Cleveland-based blues-rockers Welshly Arms to generate 6.5 million U.S. streams of their single “Legendary,” and also nurtured singer-songwriter Noah […]


Argus Quartet wins prestigious Concert Artists Guild Victor Elmaleh Competition

October 24, 2017

The Argus Quartet recently won first prize in the annual Concert Artists Guild’s Victor Elmaleh Competition. The quartet includes USC Thornton alumni Clara Kim (DM ’15, violin) and Jason Issokan (MM ’10, violin), along with violist Dana Kelley and cellist Jo Whang. Along with co-winner, pianist Dominic Cheli, the quartet will receive a cash prize […]


Thornton alumni create the Los Angeles Film Conductor’s Intensive

October 18, 2017

USC Thornton alumni David Newman (MM ’82, Violin) and Angel Velez (MA ’14, Music Education) have teamed to create the Los Angeles Film Conductor’s Intensive (LAFCI), a conductor training program designed for media composers. LAFCI hosts regular workshops and seminars to train artists in the nuances of conducting for film, television, and video game recording […]


Andrew Brownell takes piano position at UT-Austin

October 17, 2017

Andrew Brownell (MM ’03, Keyboard Studies) recently took the position of Assistant Professor of Piano at the Butler School of Music at the University of Texas at Austin. Brownell tutored at the University of Cambridge for five years and taught at the Koninklijk Conservatorium in Antwerp. He has worked with orchestras such as the Hallé […]


Guild of Music Supervisors conference held at USC

October 16, 2017

Last week, The Guild of Music Supervisors held its 3rd annual “State of Music in Media” conference at USC’s Bovard Auditorium, convening a series of panels featuring some of the brightest talents in the field. The event was organized with help from USC Thornton Music Industry chair Paul Young, and included music supervisors and show […]


Alumnus Manny Sanoja self-publishes book

October 5, 2017

USC Thornton Vocal Arts alumnus Manny Sanoja (BA ’14) has published a book entitled Enlightening Awakening: A Practical Guide to Self Awareness, Hope and Healing. Sanoja’s life-long love of music performance, interrupted by the death of his father, eventually compelled him to pursue his vocal and operatic studies. He later left the music world to […]


Chicago Symphony premieres commission by Elizabeth Ogonek

October 4, 2017

The Chicago Symphony Orchestra recently premiered a commission by USC Thornton alumna Elizabeth Ogonek (MM ’12, Composition), who is serving a three-year term as composer-in-residence with the ensemble. Music director Riccardo Muti led the premiere of All These Lighted Things on September 28th, with performances to follow in Kansas City (Oct. 11) and Berkeley (Oct. […]


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 […]


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