Author Archive


Photo of Seth Parker Woods performing with an illustration of a GRAMMY Award.

Multiple USC Thornton Grads and Faculty Nominated for 2023 GRAMMY Awards

November 15, 2022

Alumni and faculty from the Jazz Studies program lead a lengthy list of USC Thornton nominees.


Josh Kun named interim dean of the USC Thornton School of Music

July 13, 2022

The award-winning music historian, critic and curator will temporarily lead the school.


Formal portrait of Billy Childs dressed in black

Billy Childs premieres violin concerto at Grant Park Music Festival

July 12, 2022

​​GRAMMY Award-winning artist and Thornton alumnus Billy Childs (’79) premieres his Violin Concerto No. 2 at the Grant Park Music Festival in Chicago on July 15-16. The piece will be performed by the festival’s Project Inclusions String Quartet and features acclaimed violinist Rachel Barton Pine as a soloist. Grant Park Music Festival co-commissioned the composition,… Continue reading Billy Childs premieres violin concerto at Grant Park Music Festival


Grant Gershon photoraphed against blank backdrop

Grant Gershon’s 20th season with the LA Master Chorale celebrated by the LA Times

June 20, 2022

USC Thornton alumnus Grant Gershon (’85) recently celebrated his 20th season as the artistic director of the Los Angeles Master Chorale. The Los Angeles Times recognized this milestone with a story that explored how Gershon has transformed the LA Master Chorale into one of the country’s most adventurous and boundary-pushing choirs. Associate artistic director and… Continue reading Grant Gershon’s 20th season with the LA Master Chorale celebrated by the LA Times


Photo of Christopher Richardson

Thornton students and alumni win at Virginia Waring International Piano Competition

May 18, 2022

Several USC Thornton students and alumni won awards in the 2022 Virginia Waring International Piano Competition. Christopher Richardson, a master’s student in the Thornton Keyboard Studies program, won second place in the concerto division. Keyboard studies DMA candidate Andrew Boyle and USC Thornton alumnus Benjamin Hopkins (BM ’12, GC ’14, MM ’16) also won solo… Continue reading Thornton students and alumni win at Virginia Waring International Piano Competition


Photo of Kate Crellin

Kate Crellin publishes debut choral compositions

May 11, 2022

Kate Crellin (’19), an alumna of the USC Thornton Department of Choral & Sacred Music, recently published her debut choral compositions with Heritage Music Press. The debut pieces include “Day of Fire and Sun,” “Give Me Your Stars to Hold” and “Home-Thoughts, From Abroad.” Crellin currently serves as the choir director for the GRAMMY Award-winning… Continue reading Kate Crellin publishes debut choral compositions


Jensen McRae holding hands to her face, standing in front of a greenery covered wall

Jensen McRae releases debut album “Are You Happy Now?”

May 9, 2022

USC Thornton Popular Music program alumna and singer-songwriter Jensen McRae (’19) released her debut album, Are You Happy Now?, on March 22 with Human Re Sources Records. The project features her widely acclaimed hit “Immune” and four other tracks from her EP Who Hurt You? McRae is currently on tour with Amos Lee, and she… Continue reading Jensen McRae releases debut album “Are You Happy Now?”


Cover Art of Michael Neufeld Music

Thornton Jazz Studies Department students named winners at DownBeat’s 45th Annual Student Music Awards

May 6, 2022

Several USC Thornton Jazz Studies Department students won awards in DownBeat’s 45th annual Student Music Awards. These awards will be published in the June edition of DownBeat Magazine. The Michael Neufeld Quintet, led by USC Thornton faculty member Michael Stever, won in the category of asynchronous small jazz combo for undergraduate college outstanding performance. Trombonist,… Continue reading Thornton Jazz Studies Department students named winners at DownBeat’s 45th Annual Student Music Awards


Photo of Giovanni Santos

Giovanni Santos (MM ’07) has new work premiered by Pacific Symphony Youth Wind Ensemble

May 5, 2022

This month, the Pacific Symphony Youth Wind Ensemble will premiere Thornton alum Giovanni Santos’ (MM ‘07) new saxophone concerto, “I Dream Awake,” with soloist and fellow alumnus Andrew Harrison. Santos currently serves as the director of wind and percussion studies at La Sierra University, where he directs the University Wind Ensemble, Chamber Winds and Big… Continue reading Giovanni Santos (MM ’07) has new work premiered by Pacific Symphony Youth Wind Ensemble


Gabriel Martins with cello

Gabriel Martins joins Opus 3 Artists roster

May 4, 2022

USC Thornton Strings Department alum Gabriel Martins (’19) has signed to independent artist management firm Opus 3 Artists. Martins is an acclaimed cellist who has been recognized for his artistry in many competitions including the 2020 Sphinx Competition, the David Popper International Cello Competition and the International Tchaikovsky Competition for Young Musicians. Earlier this year,… Continue reading Gabriel Martins joins Opus 3 Artists roster