A Message from Dean Cutietta to the Alumni of USC Thornton

April 23, 2020

Dear USC Thornton Alumni,

We are entering our second month of remote education, and updates continue as both the university and the Thornton School adjust to ever-changing circumstances. Like everyone, I have been dismayed at times as a result of so much uncertainty, but also heartened by our community’s response.

On Monday, March 23, we began a new era. Our entire educational mission moved online. Students, faculty and staff faced new limitations placed on their interactions, lectures and lessons, rehearsals and performances. This is a disruption to our educational mission that is unprecedented. It’s true not only for USC Thornton, but for music schools and conservatories across the world, and for the profession of music in general.

The impact of this pandemic will have far-reaching consequences, and it is you, our alumni, who have felt it most immediately in lost income and work. These are uncertain times and will remain so for some time, but we want you to know that we are aware of the hardships many of you are feeling.

Despite the physical distance between us, I continue to feel such a strong sense of community within the Thornton School. Faculty have adopted new solutions for online coursework with exceptional initiative, students have shown resiliency and determination in these new circumstances, and staff have worked tirelessly to support the school.

And alumni have reacted to our isolation with performances and updates we’ve followed online on personal social media accounts and as part of our online series Live! From Somewhere. It has brought no small amount of joy to see how many musicians across the school, from faculty to students to alumni, have responded to our current circumstances with such creativity. The show must go on, and it will.

Until we feel it is safe for everyone to return and the university opens the USC campus, all of our buildings will remain closed and all staff and faculty will continue to work remotely. If we can be of any assistance to you, I encourage you to reach out via email.

I would like to leave you with this final thought: In moments of great change, it is artists who step forward and offer a glimpse of our possibilities. This is a time to be considerate, creative, and compassionate — with ourselves and with each other.

Thank you,

Robert Cutietta
Dean, USC Thornton School of Music