Camilo Gonzalez-Sol

Majors: Composition; Philosophy

Graduation year: 2021

Hometown: Takoma Park, MD

USC Organizations: Thornton Community Engagement Program (mentor), USC Housing Customer Service Center Worker (on campus job), Music Theory Tutor (on campus job)

Hashtag to describe yourself: #tasteful

Describe your favorite USC Thornton experience so far.

The composer-choreographer collaboration with the Kaufman School of Dance has been one of the highlights of my experience at Thornton. As a composition student, I had the opportunity to compose a piece for student choreographers, which totally made me rethink my process and taught me so many new ways to be creative. It is a perfect example of how USC fosters interdisciplinary work and collaboration– students in the School of Cinematic Arts and in the Thornton Strings Department joined our project to create a truly multimedia presentation. The final product was something I never could have created on my own, and the project really pushed me outside of my comfort zone while also being super fun and fulfilling.

What was your favorite USC GE class?

ASTR-200: Life in the Universe!

What is your favorite thing about being in Los Angeles?

All of the live concerts that are always happening! As a composition student, it is such a resource to hear contemporary music live, especially since so many of these concerts are free for students. Some weeks, there are performances happening almost every day, which is a great way to get to know the city and connect with people in the contemporary music community.

What is something you wish you knew when you were applying to college?

Applying to college is really a match-making process. I remember feeling so much pressure to “seem good enough”, when in reality, you share a goal with colleges to find a good fit for both parties. Be honest and genuine in your application, and the colleges that share your values and vision will notice you!

Where is your favorite place on campus?

The Ramo Lawn!

What is your favorite thing about being a student at USC Thornton?

I love the flexibility that Thornton gives to its students. Every student brings such a unique set of talents and interests, and the school is very supportive of everyone’s individualized learning experience. There are so many opportunities to get involved in music beyond your major– through ensembles, non-major lessons, elective classes, or clubs– as well as academic interests outside of music. The students at Thornton are passionate about so many different things, and that diversity is one of my favorite parts of this community.

Why did you choose USC Thornton?

I was looking for a musical community that was curious about the world around them, willing to innovate and question tradition, and deeply dedicated to studying music. My experience at Thornton has given me so many opportunities to fulfill these needs: I can study composition with world-renowned faculty while working towards a second major in philosophy and maintaining various extracurricular interests. All of this happens in the context of a diverse student community that is eager to discuss difficult questions about the changing field of music. It really feels like people are thinking about the future of our field and preparing to lead it in the twenty-first century.