Alumni News

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 […]


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 […]


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 […]


Marilyn Horne wearing green, smiling to the camera

Marilyn Horne to receive Recording Academy’s Lifetime Achievement Award

January 5, 2021

USC Thornton alumna Marilyn Horne was recently announced as one of the Recording Academy’s 2021 Lifetime Achievement Award honorees. Horne is widely celebrated as one of the world’s most renowned opera singers. Her decades-spanning career has earned her four GRAMMY Awards and 15 nominations, as well as a 1992 National Medal of Arts and numerous […]


Jensen McRae in white jacket photographed against red backdrop

Jensen McRae’s “Wolves” named one of KCRW’s Best of 2020

January 4, 2021

In KCRW’s roundup of some of the best music of 2020, Popular Music alum Jensen McRae’s (BM ’19) 2020 release, “Wolves,” was named among the top 15 songs most loved by the station’s DJs. “Wolves” is one of a few songs McRae has released ahead of her first full length album, expected to release later […]


Jermaine Stegall featured on The Star Wars Show

December 16, 2020

Screen Scoring alum Jermaine Stegall (GCRT ’04) was interviewed in a special segment of “The Star Wars Show” about the composer’s work on “Our Star Wars Stories,” a digital series about the devoted fans of Star Wars. Stegall’s connection to the Star Wars universe began when he attended a composing lab at Skywalker Ranch, which […]


Austin Wintory conducting a recording session

Austin Wintory PlayStation blog explores the making of “The Pathless”

December 13, 2020

USC Thornton Composition alum Austin Wintory (BM ‘07) wrote a blog for PlayStation in which he shares a behind-the-scenes look at the making of his score for the game “The Pathless.” The score fuses multiple musical traditions from around the world in what Wintory calls a “global jam band.” “The resulting scope was significantly beyond […]


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