alumni section image

Alumni

Alumni Accomplishments

The USC Thornton School of Music is proud to share the accomplishments of our outstanding alumni. These achievements represent only a small sampling of the great work our alumni are doing around the world.

The list below includes accomplishments submitted since December 2020. To submit your own accomplishments, please complete our handy web submission form.

Classical Performance & Composition

Irene Apanovitch-leites DMA ’19, Choral Music
1/11/21 – Choral alums Scott Rieker and Irene Apanovitch-leites co-wrote a Choral Journal article titled, “COVID and the Choral Educator: Preparedness, Perceptions, Attitudes, and a Way Forward.” The purpose of the study was to provide a snapshot of choral educators’ attitudes and perceptions at this moment in history, reveal the extent to which music educators feel their current training can serve them in a post-COVID teaching environment, and inform future professional development and teacher training programs on what is needed to prepared educators to adapt, should another pandemic occur.

Jerry Blackstone DMA ’86, Choral Music
1/13/21 – Choral alum Dr. Jerry Blackstone is the Artistic Director of a new film about choral singing in the U.S, titled Choral Singing in America: Nurturing the Human Soul – and is a reaction to the pandemic.

Marilyn Horne, Vocal Arts
1/5/21 – Marilyn Horne was recently announced as one of the Recording Academy’s 2021 Lifetime Achievement Award honorees. Horne is widely celebrated as one of the world’s most renowned opera singers. Her decades-spanning career has earned her four GRAMMY Awards and 15 nominations, as well as a 1992 National Medal of Arts and numerous other honors.

Thomas Kotcheff, MM ’12, DMA ’19, Composition
12/7/20 – Thomas spoke with The New York Times about his newest album release, the first commercial recording of Frederic Rzewski’s Songs of Insurrection, which received glowing remarks from the composer himself. Kotcheff describes his personal highlights from the recording and the significant role improvisation takes in the work.

Ryan Lindveit ‘16, Composition
1/11/21 – Time to Kill Productions debuted their new series titled Honor Guard on Amazon Prime Video. The new four-part, Sam Elliot-narrated docu-series was scored by composer and Thornton alumnus, Ryan Lindveit. Lindveit was USC’s Salutatorian and a Thornton Outstanding Graduate in 2016. The original score, also released as a soundtrack album, is available on Spotify, Apple Music, and other streaming platforms.

Scott Rieker DMA ’19, Choral Music
1/11/21 – Choral alums Scott Rieker and Irene Apanovitch-leites co-wrote a Choral Journal article titled, “COVID and the Choral Educator: Preparedness, Perceptions, Attitudes, and a Way Forward.” The purpose of the study was to provide a snapshot of choral educators’ attitudes and perceptions at this moment in history, reveal the extent to which music educators feel their current training can serve them in a post-COVID teaching environment, and inform future professional development and teacher training programs on what is needed to prepared educators to adapt, should another pandemic occur.

Carlos Rafael Rivera MM ’04, DMA ’10, Composition
12/8/20 – Carlos Rafael Rivera spoke in depth with American Songwriter about his work on the hit Netflix series, The Queen’s Gambit. He describes his challenges and successes of screen scoring the chess matches and the dynamic main character, calling it his “greatest education of his life.”

Elise Solberg ’18, Piano
12/9/20 – Elise recently performed with Grammy nominees Chloe x Halle for NPR’s Tiny Desk concert. The performance was part of the Tiny Desk home concert series, allowing artists to continue to perform during COVID-19. She has performed with Chloe x Halle for the MTV Music Awards, the Late Late Show, Spotify Grammy Party for Best New Artist Nominees, and Pepsi’s Unmute Your Voice.

Dale Trumbore MM ’11, Composition
1/21/21 – Composer Dale Trumbore was featured in The Voice of OC in an article about how the Orange County Women’s Chorus adapted its programming to offer unique online events. Trumbore was commissioned to compose a new piece, “What We Hand Over,” for the chorus’s holiday event, and shares how she created the composition specially to suit members’ different remote recording styles and circumstances.

Austin Wintory ’07, Composition
12/13/20 – Austin wrote a blog for PlayStation in which he shares a behind-the-scenes look at the making of his score for the game “The Pathless.” The score fuses multiple musical traditions from around the world in what Wintory calls a “global jam band.”

Contemporary Music

Peter Boyer GCRT ’96, Screen Scoring
1/20/21 – Composer Peter Boyer received the honor of composing a new piece for the festivities surrounding the Jan. 20 inauguration of President Joe Biden. Boyer was featured in the Los Angeles Times in a story about the significance of the commission.

Jason Goldman MM ’02, Jazz Studies
12/10/2020 – Jason was recently featured in the cover story of JAZZed Magazine, sharing his music career, teaching at USC, and his own recent releases. He advises his students to “be versatile with what you’re able to do,” while learning the instrument, how to write music, and run music engineering software on the computer.

Jensen McRae ’19, Popular Music
1/4/21 – In KCRW’s roundup of some of the best music of 2020, Jensen McRae’s 2020 release, “Wolves,” was named among the top 15 songs most loved by the station’s DJs. “Wolves” is one of a few songs McRae has released ahead of her first full length album, expected to release later this year.

Lee Ritenour, Studio Guitar
12/3/20 – GRAMMY Award-winning Lee Ritenour released his first ever full-length solo guitar album Dreamcatcher. In an interview with GratefulWeb, Ritenour says “It was inspiring and it was meant to happen this year, in these times.”

Henry Solomon ’18, Jazz Studies
1/15/21 – Henry Solomon played on the “Women in Music Pt. III” album by HAIM, which is nominated for the Grammy Album of the Year. He played saxophone on two of the songs on the album and was with the band on CBS this Morning in November. He is also preparing to record with them for the Grammy’s in March.

Jermaine Stegall GCRT ’04, Screen Scoring
12/16/20 – Jermaine was interviewed in a special segment of “The Star Wars Show” about the composer’s work on “Our Star Wars Stories,” a digital series about the devoted fans of Star Wars.

Dale Trumbore MM ’11, Composition
1/21/21 – Composer Dale Trumbore was featured in The Voice of OC in an article about how the Orange County Women’s Chorus adapted its programming to offer unique online events. Trumbore was commissioned to compose a new piece, “What We Hand Over,” for the chorus’s holiday event, and shares how she created the composition specially to suit members’ different remote recording styles and circumstances.

Remi Wolf ’18, Popular Music
12/15/20 – Pop artist Remi Wolf has been named one of Vevo DSCVR’s 2021 Artists to Watch. The list highlights emerging artists poised for breakthroughs in the coming year, and has previously named artists such as Sam Smith and Billie Eilish.

Research and Scholarly Studies

Jacob Vogel MM ’11, Music Education
12/16/20 – Jacob Vogel has been named the next director of the USC Trojan Marching Band, one of the most recognized and honored bands in collegiate sports.