Choral & Sacred Music


Established by Charles C. Hirt in 1946, the Department of Choral and Sacred Music has long been an innovator and leader in the development of degree programs specifically designed for the choral conductor and religious affiliated musician. Graduates are given the opportunity to conduct choral groups of national prominence and hold positions as conductors and teachers throughout the world. The current faculty consists of talented specialists who lead regional choral and church ensembles, and also serve as clinicians and guest conductors around the world.

Departmental ensembles have achieved local, national and international recognition through performances with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Pacific Symphony, Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, and appearances at Divisional and National Conferences of the American Choral Directors Association (ACDA), the National Collegiate Choral Organization (NCCO), and the International Federation for Choral Music (IFCM). Recent tours have taken the ensembles to New Zealand, Australia, China, South Korea, Bulgaria, Spain, France, and this coming year to Poland, Lithuania, and Estonia.

Sing With Us!
Voice Placement information for USC Thornton Choirs is now online!

Choral News Spring 2018Choral News Spring 2018
Read the latest edition of our annual departmental newsletter.



event calendar

Upcoming events

  • Choral Conducting Masterclass with Ann Howard Jones

    Well-known choral conductor and pedagogue Ann Howard Jones presents a masterclass for choral conducting students.

    Alice and Eleonore Schoenfeld Symphonic Hall (AES)

  • Music@RushHour: Music of Poland

    Piano and choral students team with USC's Polish Music Center to perform music by Chopin, Louis Lewandowski, Ignatz Waghalter, Grzegorz Fitelberg, Moritz Moszkowski, and more — with special guests from Kraków, the Polish Chamber Music Society. Relax and skip the traffic with a free concert of music by USC Thornton students, followed by complimentary refreshments.

    Ramo Recital Hall (BMH)

  • Choral Literature Lecture with Ann Howard Jones

    Choral Luminary Ann Howard Jones presents a choral literature lecture on performing two works for chorus and orchestra, Verdi's Requiem and Beethoven's 9th Symphony. The lecture will take place in room 319 on the 3rd floor of the MUS building.

    Raubenheimer Music Faculty Building (MUS)

  • USC Chamber Singers and Concert Choir: Soundscapes II

    The USC Chamber Singers and Concert Choir present a varied program, featuring classics of the choral repertoire as well as new and innovative works. In preparation for an upcoming tour to Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, and Poland, the Chamber Singers will present works by Baltic composers Marian Borkowski, Peteris Vasks, Veljo Tormis, and others. The Concert Choir, gearing up for a performance at the Western Division ACDA conference March 14–17 in Pasadena, will perform works by Thomas Tomkins, Norman Dello Joio, Daniel Elder, Jules Massenet, and Thornton faculty member Morten Lauridsen.

    The Parish of St. Matthew

  • Pacific Southwest Intercollegiate Choral Association Festival Concert

    The USC Thornton Department of Choral and Sacred Music hosts the 89th Annual Pacific Southern Intercollegiate Choral Association (PSICA) Festival, featuring nearly 400 singers from ten PSICA member schools and world-renowned guest clinician, Dr. Z. Randall Stroope. Each choir performs a brief program showcasing their ensemble as the other ensembles cheer them on and Dr. Stroope provides constructive feedback. This concert is free and open to the public.

    Bovard Auditorium (ADM)

  • Choral Conducting Masterclass with Z. Randall Stroope

    World-renowned choral conductor and composer Z. Randall Stroope leads a masterclass with graduate choral conducting students.

    Alice and Eleonore Schoenfeld Symphonic Hall (AES)

  • Choral Literature Lecture with Z. Randall Stroope

    Z. Randall Stroope, director of choral and vocal studies at Oklahoma State University, presents a lecture in graduate choral literature on the music of Nadia and Lili Boulanger. The lecture will take place in room 319 on the 3rd floor of the MUS building.

    Raubenheimer Music Faculty Building (MUS)

  • USC Thornton Symphony and Choral Artists present Beethoven's 9th

    The USC Thornton Symphony and USC Thornton Choral Artists join forces to perform one of the great Classical masterworks, Ludwig van Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony. Completed in 1824, Beethoven’s final published symphony features the largest orchestra ever assembled by the composer and the now-iconic final movement, with a full chorus singing “Ode to Joy”—a fitting title for such a revelatory piece of music. Maestro Carl St.Clair, artistic leader of the USC Thornton Orchestra Program, will conduct the USC Thornton Symphony, the USC Thornton Chamber Singers, and the USC Thornton Concert Choir as they perform one of the most beloved symphonies ever written. Presented by USC Visions and Voices: the Arts & Humanities Initiative

    Bovard Auditorium (ADM)

  • Considering Matthew Shepard: A Chamber Music Performance

    Composer Craig Hella Johnson leads the USC Thornton Chamber Singers in his oratorio, Considering Matthew Shepard, the story of a young man who was beaten, tied to a fence, and left to die because he was gay. The 1998 murder of Wyoming college student Matthew Shepard brought international attention to hate-crimes perpetrated against the LGBTQ community. Shepard’s life and legacy are remembered in Considering Matthew Shepard, the new passion/oratorio by Craig Hella Johnson, one of today’s most influential choral composers. This exquisite and moving chamber work, performed by the USC Thornton Chamber Singers, soloists, and instrumentalists, reminds us that we must embrace differences and disrupt violence. The performance will be followed by a discussion with the composer and representatives of the USC Office of Religious Life and the LGBTQ community. Presented by USC Visions and Voices: The Arts and Humanities Initiative.

    Bovard Auditorium (ADM)

  • University Chorus: The Spirit Says Sing

    The University Chorus presents a multi-faith program featuring Schubert's Mass in G and Britten's Te Deum in C along with works by Louis Lewandowski, Dmytro Bortniansky, and the winners of the annual University Chorus composition contest.

    St. John's Episcopal Cathedral

  • Apollo Chorus & Oriana Choir: Vivace - Sing with Us!

    The Apollo Chorus and Oriana Choir join forces for a concert ranging from the glorious to the gleeful, including works by Connor Koppin and Zachary J. Moore, a premiere by Emma Lou Diemer, and Brahms' Alto Rhapsody, featuring student soprano Stephanie Jones as soloist.

    Newman Recital Hall (AHF)

  • The Pacific Symphony presents Beethoven's 9th

    The USC Thornton Choral Artists team with the Pacific Symphony, under the direction of Carl St. Clair, for an exciting performance of Beethoven’s immortal Ninth Symphony at the Soka Performing Arts Center in Orange County. Experience the thrill of Ludwig van Beethoven’s final symphonic work, culminating in his stirring and memorable setting of Schiller’s An die Freude.

    Soka Performance Arts Center

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    London Philharmonic Choir to perform Morten Lauridsen’s “O Magnum Mysterium”

    February 12, 2018

    On Monday, February 12th, the London Philharmonic Choir will perform “O Magnum Mysterium” by USC Thornton faculty member Morten Lauridsen (’66, MA’68, DMA’74) in a special concert at London’s Buckingham Palace. The concert, honoring Princess Alexandra, will feature performances by several ensembles to raise funds for families whose lives are… read more

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