Composition

Composition

Overview

The composers on the USC Thornton faculty are outstanding members of the international musical community, with major commissions, awards, recordings and residencies among the faculty’s many accolades. Composition students, among the finest in the country, regularly win national awards and commissions, including: ASCAP and BMI awards, New York Symphony Orchestra First Music commissions, Aspen fellowships, American Composers Orchestra and Minnesota Orchestra reading sessions, among many others.

The Composition department emphasizes performance opportunities for student composers. Student works are premiered at Contemporary Music Ensemble concerts, student recitals, and at the annual New Music for Orchestra concert – an event which has premiered over 200 USC Thornton student orchestral works. The USC Thornton choruses, Wind Ensemble, Percussion Ensemble and chamber music program provide composition students with significant reading and performance opportunities.

Our department’s curriculum offers thorough training in composition, musicianship, theory, analysis, orchestration and counterpoint. Electives in electronic and computer music are also available. Students who successfully complete our BM degree are guaranteed acceptance into the graduate certificate program in Scoring for Motion Pictures and Television.

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Spotlights

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Upcoming events

  • Thornton Edge

    Donald Crockett leads the Thornton Edge new music ensemble in a program of contemporary works by distinguished British and American composers. The performance will feature Sean Friar's Short Winds, Harrison Birtwistle's Carmen arcadiae mechanicae perpetuum, Breakfast Rhythms I and II by Joan Tower, and Timo Andres' Trade Winds.

    Newman Recital Hall (AHF)

  • USC Thornton Symphony: New Music for Orchestra

    Donald Crockett, chair of the Composition program, leads the USC Thornton Symphony in this annual concert featuring original works by student composers. Over the past 25 years, the New Music for Orchestra (NMO) event has premiered more than 125 compositions, often leading to professional commissions and international recognition.

    Bovard Auditorium (ADM)

  • Thornton Edge

    The Thornton Edge new music ensemble presents a major work by Julian Anderson, Van Gogh Blue, and a world premiere by USC Thornton student Daniel Temkin.

    Newman Recital Hall (AHF)

  • Composition Showcase

    The Composition department presents two concerts featuring new solo, chamber and vocal works by student composers. The celebrated program has included Pulitzer Prize finalists and major award winners among its recent alumni. The first program will take place at 3:00 PM and the second at 7:00 PM

    Newman Recital Hall (AHF)

  • Composition Showcase

    The Composition department presents two concerts featuring new solo, chamber and vocal works by student composers. The celebrated program has included Pulitzer Prize finalists and major award winners among its recent alumni. The first program will take place at 3:00 PM and the second at 7:00 PM

    Newman Recital Hall (AHF)


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    News

    JuliaNewmann_240

    Alumna Julia Newmann’s “Bones Orchestral Suite” performed live

    September 28, 2016

    A work by Composition alumna Julia Newmann (BM ’03) was recently performed by a 55-piece orchestra as part of “The Women Who Score: Soundtracks Live.” A collaboration between Grand Performances and The Alliance for Women Film Composers, the event was a celebration of 21 film, television, and videogame scores by… read more

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