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, Dean of the USC Thornton School of Music, is a multi-talented Canadian-American scholar, journalist, author, musician, performer, producer, songwriter, radio and video host and event curator. King earned his PhD in performance studies from New York University, and formerly served as chair of the Clive Davis Institute of Recorded Music at Tisch School of the Arts.

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, Scholarly & Research 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

Leadership Teams

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

  •   STAFF    
  •   FACULTY   
  •    STUDENT    
  •    J.E.D.I.    
  •    HEALTH & WELLNESS    
Jonathan Rios smiling in a blazer outdoors on the USC campus lawn.

Caption: Jonathan Rios, Staff Council

Staff Roster 2023-24

Jonathan Rios, Chair 

Viet Bui, Secretary

Michelle Simonsen, Treasurer

Jen Watman, Member-at-Large

Staff Council

Jonathan Rios, Chair

The Thornton Staff Council 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.


Faculty Council

Sean Nye, 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: Karen Parks, Faculty Council

Faculty Roster 2023-24

Juan-Pablo Contreras

Will Coppola

Will Kennedy

Brian Malouf

Candice D. Mattio

Sean Nye (Chair)

Karen Parks

Photo of smiling college students standing outside the campus of a university.

Caption: TSC Members on campus.

TSC Officers 2023-24

Amy Millesen, Chair

Lynne Snyder, Vice Chair

Eric Tinkerhess, Officer of Records 

Rosie Ding, Officer of Public Affairs

William Chiang, Treasurer

Elaine Kong, Graduate At-Large Representative

Margo Neuberger, Undergraduate At-Large Representative

Student Council

Amy Millesen, 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.


Justice, Equity, Diversity & Inclusion

Ron McCurdy, Professor of Jazz Studies and Assistant Dean of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

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. 

Two students outdoors at Unity Day demonstrating the USC

Caption: Unity Day hosted by J.E.D.I.

J.E.D.I. Roster 2023-24

Ron McCurdy

Lina Bahn 

Nicolas Lell Benavides

Angelica Brooks

Viet Bui

Christian Chico 

William Coppola 

Jeanine Cowen 

Jeffrey de Caen

Sean Holt 

Lyndia Johnson 

Larry J. Livingston 

Kevin Lyman 

Gene Pak

Lynne Snyder

Tram Sparks 

Scott Spencer

Matthew Weaver

Mark Weiser 

Seth Parker Woods

Lobby of USC Engemann Student Health Center

Caption: Student Health Center

Health & Wellness Roster 2023-24

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) 

Danielle Gautt (USC Student Counseling & Mental Health)

Karen Johnson (USC Audiology)

Pamela Mikkelsen (USC Physical Therapy)

Health & Wellness

William 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; & mental health.