Author Archive


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Leigh Wilson wins principal percussion position with Spokane Symphony

May 22, 2024

USC Thornton Winds & Percussion graduate Leigh Wilson (GCRT ‘24) won the principal percussion position with the Spokane Symphony. He will begin his new appointment in the fall of 2024. Wilson began percussion at age 13, studying under John Tanzer of the Portland Symphony. As a Thornton student, he studied under Director of Percussion Studies… Continue reading Leigh Wilson wins principal percussion position with Spokane Symphony


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Composer Anuj Bhutani collaborates with Khemia Ensemble on new work

May 21, 2024

Composer and USC Thornton master’s student Anuj Bhutani will collaborate with the Khemia Ensemble on a new work, funded by Chamber Music America’s Classical Commissioning grant program. Still in the early stages of the project, the ensemble has been “meeting with Anuj one-on-one to use experimentation and guided improvisation to create source materials for electronic… Continue reading Composer Anuj Bhutani collaborates with Khemia Ensemble on new work


Photo of pianist Gerald Clayton looking up into the light while sitting indoors.

Gerald Clayton

May 17, 2024

A quintessential artist and role model for the next generation of jazz musicians, Gerald Clayton will share his extraordinary talents with USC Thornton students as a 2024-2025 Artist-in-Residence in Jazz. Six-time Grammy-nominated pianist, composer and band leader Gerald Clayton earned recent Recording Academy recognition for Happening: Live at the Village Vanguard, his debut release on Blue… Continue reading Gerald Clayton


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Composer Nina Shekhar to present world premiere of “Glitter Monster” with LACO

May 15, 2024

Composer and USC Thornton alumna Nina Shekhar (MM ’20) will present the world premiere of a Sound Investment commissioned piece, Glitter Monster, with the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra for their final concert of the 2023-24 season. Conducted by Jaime Martín, the program will also feature Gabriela Montero’s rendition of Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 24 in… Continue reading Composer Nina Shekhar to present world premiere of “Glitter Monster” with LACO


performer Remi Wolf

Remi Wolf announces new studio album “Big Ideas”

May 15, 2024

Remi Wolf (‘18), a USC Thornton Popular Music program alumna, will release her second studio album Big Ideas on July 12 via Island Records. The alt-pop artist recently debuted her first single off the album called “Cinderella.” “‘Cinderella’ is a lyrical collage of the ups and downs and mood swings and transient lifestyle I was… Continue reading Remi Wolf announces new studio album “Big Ideas”


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Kevin Lax and Robert Lydecker co-composed score for “Orion and the Dark”

May 8, 2024

USC Thornton Screen Scoring alumni Kevin Lax (‘08, GCRT ‘09) and Robert Lydecker (‘08, GCRT ‘09) composed the score to the DreamWorks animated film, Orion and the Dark. Streaming on Netflix, the film is based on a children’s book about a boy who faces his fears for the first time with the help of a… Continue reading Kevin Lax and Robert Lydecker co-composed score for “Orion and the Dark”


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Clarinetist alumni win orchestra positions with New York Philharmonic and Los Angeles Philharmonic

May 6, 2024

USC Thornton Winds & Percussion alumni Benjamin Adler (MM ‘14) and Taylor Eiffert (MM ’18) begun new orchestra positions in the 2023-24 season. The alumni studied under Thornton faculty member Yehuda Gilad. Adler won the associate principal clarinet position with the New York Philharmonic. He previously held positions with the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra and St.… Continue reading Clarinetist alumni win orchestra positions with New York Philharmonic and Los Angeles Philharmonic


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Bernadene Blaha and Kevin Fitz-Gerald perform piano duet for Chamber Music Palisades

May 3, 2024

On April 24, USC Thornton Keyboard Studies faculty members Bernadene Blaha and Kevin Fitz-Gerald performed a piano duet for the Chamber Music Palisades‘ final concert of their 27th season. Hosted by KUSC’s Alan Chapman, the concert featured musicians from the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, Los Angeles Opera, San Diego Symphony and Santa… Continue reading Bernadene Blaha and Kevin Fitz-Gerald perform piano duet for Chamber Music Palisades


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Alyssa Mercedes Mena publishes solo flute piece, “Hasta La Raíz”

May 1, 2024

USC Thornton Winds & Percussion department alumna Alyssa Mercedes Mena (MM ‘21) published a solo flute piece “Hasta La Raíz,” which had its world premiere at the 2022 National Flute Convention. Translated as “Down to the Roots,” the piece gives a glimpse into the composer’s life through Cuban-inspired dance rhythms and melodic passages. Mena studied… Continue reading Alyssa Mercedes Mena publishes solo flute piece, “Hasta La Raíz”


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Music Industry alumna Isa Klar featured in Trojan Family Magazine

April 29, 2024

USC Thornton Music Industry alumna Isa Klar (‘23) was featured in Trojan Family Magazine about her hip-hop marketing career at one of the genre’s most acclaimed record labels, Top Dawg Entertainment (TDE). The story follows her trajectory from an intern and Thornton student to a full-time marketing staff member at TDE. As an intern, Klar… Continue reading Music Industry alumna Isa Klar featured in Trojan Family Magazine