Senior Leadership

The Thornton School celebrates the art of making and learning about music. We have world class programs in everything from the music of early times to the most cutting edge music of today. Our programs in music industry, jazz, film and television scoring and recording arts reflect the unique artistic landscape of Los Angeles. Our orchestral, wind and vocal programs are considered among the best in the country. At the core of this excellence are the faculty, students and staff of the School.

Grand piano at Newman Recital Hall

USC Thornton Senior Leadership

Jeffrey de Caen, associate dean for operations

Joanna Demers, associate dean for faculty affairs

A. Phoenix Delgado, associate dean for advancement

Rotem Gilbert, vice dean of division of research and scholarly studies

Cristian Grases, vice dean of division of classical performance and composition

Brian Head, associate dean of academic affairs

Sean Holt, vice dean of division of contemporary music

Susan M. Lopez, associate dean for administration and finance

Ronald C. McCurdy, assistant dean of the justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion committee

Phillip M. Placenti, associate dean for admission and student affairs

Dean’s List


From USC’s Academic Standards web page: “Any undergraduate student who earns a grade point average of 3.5 or higher on 12 units or more of letter-graded course work in any one semester is placed on the Dean’s List for that semester.”

Celebrating Dean Cutietta


Learn more about Dean Robert Cutietta’s 20 years of inspired service at USC Thornton.