Alumni News

William E. Rutherford memorial to be held January 27

January 18, 2018

William E. Rutherford (1929-2017) was an esteemed and renowned scholar, writer, and professor of Linguistics at USC for thirty years. He was also a musician and performed early music on the harpsichord and organ. In the 1960s, he formed the Musica Pacifica ensemble with Shirley Marcus, Ruth Adams, Morris Newman, and others, and the group […]


Bassoonist Elizabeth Roberts earns position with Virginia Symphony

January 17, 2018

USC Thornton Winds & Percussion alumna Elizabeth Roberts (MM ’01, bassoon) recently won the position of Contrabassoon with the Norfolk-based Virginia Symphony Orchestra. Roberts has also served as Principal Bassoon and Director of Youth Education for the Charlottesville Symphony since 2001, where she teaches on the faculty of the University of Virginia.


“Trojan Family Magazine” explores the cutting-edge work of Thornton music educators

January 10, 2018

Trojan Family Magazine recently put a spotlight on arts education in Los Angeles, as championed by a number of USC educators, including USC Thornton faculty and alumni. The article, “The Trojans Bringing Arts Education Back to Kids and Schools,” points to Peter Webster, Thornton’s Scholar-in-Residence and Vice Dean of Division of Scholarly & Professional Studies, […]


Street Symphony project, featuring USC Thornton artists, profiled in “The New Yorker”

January 9, 2018

“One act of love, I know for sure, is listening,” said homeless singer Brian Palmer in The New Yorker magazine’s recent profile of the groundbreaking Street Symphony, which brings Handel’s “Messiah” to the Midnight Mission in Los Angeles’ Skid Row each holiday season. The article, by Alex Ross, explores the extraordinary outreach work of the […]


Jenny Wong reviewed in Scene and Heard International

January 8, 2018

Music writer Douglas Dutton recently reviewed the Los Angeles Master Chorale’s December 10th performance at Walt Disney Concert Hall for the website Seen and Heard International. The concert marked the debut of USC Thornton Choral & Sacred Music DMA candidate Jenny Wong (MM ’13, choral) in the role of associate conductor, leading the ensemble in […]


MUNA garners critical praise

December 21, 2017

2017 was a banner year for the band MUNA, which was formed by USC Thornton Popular Music alumni Katie Gavin (BA ’15) and Josette Maskin (’16), along with Naomi McPherson (BA ’15). In addition to dropping their debut album, About U, the band was invited to open for Harry Styles on the British singer’s North […]


Alumnus Michael Abels earns praise for “Get Out” Soundtrack

December 14, 2017

Composer and USC Thornton alumnus Michael Abels (’84, Composition) is the subject of a recent Los Angeles Times profile for his scoring work for Jordan Peele’s hit 2017 thriller, Get Out. Peele discovered the composer, who is best known for his gospel and orchestral compositions, through a Youtube clip of Abel’s Urban Legends concerto for […]


Works by Composition alumni performed by Minnesota Orchestra

December 13, 2017

Last month, the Minnesota Orchestra performed works by two USC Thornton Composition alumni under the baton of Osmo Vänskä. Saad Haddad (BM ’14) and Peter Shin (MM ’17) were both participants in the 2017-18 Minnesota Orchestra Composer Institute, a five day workshop featuring rehearsals and seminars, culminating in a public performance. The orchestra performed Haddad’s […]


Jenny Wong debuts as associate conductor of the Los Angeles Master Chorale

December 12, 2017

Jenny Wong (MM ’13, choral), a DMA candidate in the USC Thornton Choral & Sacred Music program, made her public debut as associate conductor of the Los Angeles Master Chorale on December 10th, leading the ensemble in J.S. Bach’s six motets at Walt Disney Concert Hall. Wong notably conducted the program from memory, adding cellos […]


Divya Maus and Daniel Weidlein release holiday single

December 4, 2017

Popular Music alumna Divya Maus (BA ’14) and saxophonist/producer Daniel Weidlein (BM ’12, Jazz Studies) have released a holiday single entitled “Baby You Know What I Need,” now available on Apple Music and Spotify. The two met while students at Thornton and have frequently collaborated together at Weidlein’s studio, The B(e)at Cave.


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