A Letter from Dean Cutietta

March 13, 2020

Dear Students, Faculty, and Staff of USC Thornton,

If you had told me a week ago I’d be writing to you with so many updates of our school’s cancellations, I would not have believed it. Like you, I have been shocked and dismayed by the news, but also heartened by our community’s response.

Faculty have quickly adopted new solutions for online coursework, students have begun to seek the creative solutions in these new circumstances, and staff have worked tirelessly to support the school in these uncertain days.

I’ve been so incredibly proud of your response.

And now I must share some heart-breaking news: We have decided to cancel all remaining ensemble performances for the Spring 2020 semester, both on and off campus.

I know many students have questions about scheduled degree recitals. We are currently in discussions on solutions for these requirements in the absence of public performances and will update you soon.

This is a disruption to our educational mission that is unprecedented, and I think I can speak for the entirety of the Thornton School when I say that we feel such deep regret for the students and faculty who have worked so hard only to have performances canceled in response to this global pandemic.

And that’s something I want to emphasize: This is a global crisis affecting millions the world over. We are not in this alone.

We will move forward and find solutions in these new circumstances. The details will be forthcoming. I will be meeting with school leadership and faculty to continue conversations.

The Provost has announced that all classes will be held online until Monday, April 13. Students are expected to vacate on-campus housing on March 14 until April 13 unless they are unable to leave USC Housing. We currently plan to resume in-person classes on Tuesday, April 14.

Click here to read the March 13th Memo from the Provost.

All Thornton offices will be closed to the public starting Monday, March 16. Staff will be working remotely and available as close to regular operating hours as possible. We encourage you to communicate via email and we will be as responsive as we can be.

While there are no cases of COVID-19 at USC, the University is being proactive in its efforts to encourage social distancing as a means of preventing the spread of illness.

Know that more announcements, more changes, and more disruptions are likely still coming. Where is the consistency in so much upheaval? I think we’ll find it by continuing to look out for one another. That is what makes our school and our extended community so strong.


Robert Cutietta
Dean, USC Thornton School of Music