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Portrait of Gerald Clayton

Gerald Clayton scores new documentary about Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

January 27, 2021

GRAMMY Award-nominated composer, pianist and USC Thornton alum Gerald Clayton (BM ‘07) wrote the score for “MLK/FBI,” a newly released award-winning documentary directed by Sam Pollard that uncovers the extent of the FBI’s targeted surveillance and harassment of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Sub Pop described Clayton’s composition of the documentary’s theme as “a gorgeous, […]


Chris O'Brien holding a trumpet

Chris O’Brien wins position with U.S. Navy Band

January 25, 2021

Chris O’Brien (GCRT ’20), a trumpeter and alum of USC Thornton’s Winds & Percussion program, has won a position with the U.S. Navy Band. He is one of many Thornton alumni to join the prestigious band. O’Brien is also a co-founder and current member of Two Button Brass, a Los Angeles-based brass quintet founded by […]


Portrait of Dale Trumbore

Dale Trumbore shares virtual chorus experience in The Voice of OC

January 21, 2021

Dale Trumbore (MM ‘11), an alum of USC Thornton’s Composition program, was featured in The Voice of OC in an article about how the Orange County Women’s Chorus adapted its programming to offer unique online events. Trumbore was commissioned to compose a new piece, “What We Hand Over,” for the chorus’s holiday event, and shares […]


Peter Boyer pictured smiling

Peter Boyer composes music for presidential inauguration

January 20, 2021

Composer and USC Thornton alum Peter Boyer (GCRT ’96) received the honor of composing a new piece for the festivities surrounding the Jan. 20 inauguration of President Joe Biden. Boyer was featured in the Los Angeles Times in a story about the significance of the commission. Titled “Fanfare for Tomorrow,” the piece was commissioned to […]


Alan Pasqua sitting at a piano

Alan Pasqua talks career and creative partnerships in San Diego Union Tribune

January 19, 2021

Alan Pasqua, a faculty member in the Jazz Studies program, was recently featured in a San Diego Union-Tribune article about his career, recent album release, and longtime creative partnership with fellow faculty member Peter Erskine. Within the piece, Pasqua speaks about his experiences over the years working with artists like Bob Dylan, Eddie Money and […]


Midori Goto holding violin

Midori named a Kennedy Center Honoree for 2021

January 15, 2021

Celebrated violinist Midori, who served on the USC Thornton faculty for 14 years until 2018 and is currently a Judge Widney Professor of Music at USC, was named a Kennedy Center Honoree for 2021. This year’s award, which celebrates a lifetime of artistic achievement, also includes Debbie Allen, Joan Baez, Garth Brooks, and Dick Van […]


Members of the Yellowjackets pose against a yellow backdrop

DownBeat magazine interviews Yellowjackets about latest album, Jackets XL

January 14, 2021

DownBeat magazine recently interviewed the members of the legendary jazz group Yellowjackets, which includes USC Thornton faculty members Russell Ferrante, Willl Kennedy and Bob Mintzer. The group spoke about their latest album, Jackets XL, which DownBeat calls “vibrant” and “robust.” Throughout the interview, the group speaks about the creation of some of the album’s tracks […]


Portrait of Jerry Blackstone in suit and tie

Jerry Blackstone is artistic director of new documentary series about choral singing

January 13, 2021

Dr. Jerry Blackstone (DMA ‘86), GRAMMY Award-winner, USC Thornton alumnus, and former Artist in Residence with Thornton’s Choral & Sacred Music program, is the Artistic Director of the upcoming documentary series about choral singing in the U.S., “Choral Singing in America: Nurturing the Human Soul.” The series is being developed in response to the COVID-19 […]


Dean Robert Cutietta

Memo from the Dean: Updates on the Spring 2021 Semester

January 12, 2021

Dear Students of the Thornton School, Happy New Year! I hope you had a restful holiday break after what was an unprecedented semester. From our move to an entirely online model of education in August to the nine nights of performances in the Fall 2020 Festival, it was a semester that showcased the resiliency of […]


Judith Farmer portrait

Judith Farmer releases new album of chamber music for bassoon

January 12, 2021

Winds & Percussion faculty member Judith Farmer has released a new album of chamber music for bassoon, Judith Farmer Plays Favorites. The album includes performances by Strings faculty member Andrew Shulman and alum Vicki Ray (DMA ’88), as well as a recording of a piece by alum composer Gernot Wolfgang (GCRT ’94). The album is […]


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