USC Thornton Leadership

Contributions to leadership exist at all levels at the USC Thornton School of Music, stewarding our university culture, community, and programs.

Photo of Jason King wearing a green blazer.

Jason King

Dean, USC Thornton School of Music

Jason King, renowned musician, journalist and scholar, will begin his tenure as Dean at the USC Thornton School of Music on July 1, 2023. King earned his PhD in performance studies from NYU, though his musical interests and accomplishments span many genres. He currently serves as chair of the Clive Davis Institute of Recorded Music at Tisch School of the Arts.

Image of man with glasses smiling.

Josh Kun

Interim Dean, USC Thornton School of Music

Josh Kun, the interim dean at the USC Thornton School of Music, is a Professor and Chair in Cross-Cultural Communication at the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism.An award-winning cultural historian, critic and curator, Kun is a 2016 MacArthur fellow and an expert on the intersection of arts, culture and politics, with an emphasis on music. 

Senior Leadership

Managing the institutional needs of USC Thornton.

Evan Calbi

Director, Communications

Jeffrey de Caen

Associate Dean, Operations

Joanna Demers

Associate Dean, Faculty Affairs

A. Phoenix Delgado

Associate Dean, Advancement

Rotem Gilbert

Vice Dean, Classical Performance & Composition Division

Cristian Grases

Vice Dean, Classical Performance & Composition Division

Brian Head

Associate Dean, Academic Affairs

Sean Holt

Vice Dean, Contemporary Music Division

Susan M. Lopez

Associate Dean, Administration & Finance

Ronald C. McCurdy

Assistant Dean of the Justice, Equity, Diversity & Inclusion Committee

Phillip M. Placenti

Associate Dean, Admission & Student Affairs

image of a woman in a business suit.

Caption: Susan M. Lopez, Senior Leadership

Leadership Teams

Councils, teams, & committees contribute to the vitality of USC Thornton.

  •    FACULTY   
  •    STAFF   
  •    STUDENT   
  •    J.E.D.I.  

Faculty Council

Tim Kobza, Chair

The USC Thornton School of Music’s Faculty Council is the official elected body that advocates for and represents the interests of the faculty and provides advice to the Dean, Associate and Vice Deans in matters that directly affect the faculty and programs of the Thornton School.

Caption: Tram Sparks, Faculty Council

Image of woman holding a baton.
Faculty Roster [22-23]

William Coppola

Tim Kobza, Chair

David Moore

Sean Nye, Co-Chair

Karen Parks

Tram Sparks


Staff Council

Brittany Jimenez, Chair

The Thornton Staff Council (TSC) is the elected body that represents the collective interest of the Thornton staff, and serves to advise the administration of the USC Thornton School of Music in matters that impact the quality of work-life of Thornton staff.

Caption: Britany Jimenez, Staff Council

Image of woman holding a bassoon.
Staff Roster [22-23]

Brittany Jimenez, Chair

Jonathan Rios, Vice Chair

Viet Bui, Secretary

Michelle Simonsen, Treasurer

Val Vanderwest, Member-at-Large


Student Council

Justin Gilmore-Gersham, Chair

The Thornton Student Council (TSC) exists to amplify and advocate for the student experience at the School of Music by encouraging freedom of scholarship; student rights; promote a unified, cohesive student body; and to maintain forums to discuss student views and rights.

Caption: TSC Members at orientation.

Photo of smiling students outdoors on the campus of a university.
TSC Officers [22-23]

Justin Gilmore-Gersham, Chair

Angelica Brooks, Vice Chair

Koji Sakano, Officer of Records

Olivia Wendland, Officer of Public Affairs

Jordan DeTiege, Undergraduate At-Large Representative

Lenny Hayes, Graduate At-Large Representative


Justice, Equity, Diversity & Inclusion Committee

Ron McCurdy, J.E.D.I. Committee Assistant Dean 

With the collective input of our faculty, students & administration, the J.E.D.I. committee develops strategies and measures progress in key change areas such as curriculum; recruitment & retention for both students and faculty; & the climate for BIPOC members at Thornton.

Caption: Seth Parker Woods, J.E.D.I. Committee

Photo of Seth Parker Woods smiling indoors.
J.E.D.I. Roster [22-23]

Ron McCurdy

Andy Abad 

Jeffrey Allen 

Lina Bahn 

Nicolas Lell Benavides

Angelica Brooks

Viet Bui

Christian Chico 

William Coppola

Jeanine Cowen 

Justin Gilmore-Gresham

Susan Helfter

Sean Holt 

Lyndia Johnson 

Will Kennedy

Larry J. Livingston 

Kevin Lyman 

Cindy Montes

Yesenia Nava

Koji Sakano

Aarón Serfaty 

Tram Sparks 

Scott Spencer

Rachel Tan

Matthew Weaver

Mark Weiser

Seth Parker Woods 


Health & Wellness Committee

Bill Kanengiser, Chair

The Thornton Musician’s Health and Wellness Committee, which comprises faculty members from varied disciplines including medicine and health care, has identified several wellness priorities for current Thornton students: hearing protection; vocal health; injury prevention and recovery; and mental health.

Caption: Vocal wellness check-up.

Health & Wellness Roster [22-23]

Bill Kanengiser, Chair

Phillip Placenti, Ex-officio

Charles Gutierrez

Lynn Helding

Yura Lee

Bob Mintzer

Antoinette Perry

Stephen Pierce

Richard Smith

Steve Trovato

Richard Wolf

Aimee Diaz (USC Physical Therapy)

Jacquelyn Dylla (USC Physical Therapy) Danielle Gautt (USC Student Counseling & Mental Health)

Karen Johnson (USC Audiology)

Pamela Mikkelsen (USC Physical Therapy)

John Parsons (USC Audiology)

Janice Rocker (USC Occupational Therapy)