Alumni News

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säje awarded grand prize in John Lennon songwriting contest

July 26, 2021

Female vocal supergroup säje, which features Jazz Studies faculty member Sara Gazarek, was recently awarded the grand prize in The John Lennon Songwriting Contest. Their track “Wisteria” was the winner in the Folk category for Session II.


Group photo of Tonality outside Eastwood Scoring Stage at Warner Bros. Studios - Burbank, CA

Thornton alums sing on the soundtrack to “Space Jam: A New Legacy”

July 21, 2021

Tonality, the celebrated Los Angeles-based vocal ensemble founded by Choral & Sacred Music alum Alexander Lloyd Blake (DMA ‘19), can be heard in the motion picture soundtrack for the Warner Bros. film “Space Jam: A New Legacy.” Several Thornton alums added their voices to the chorus, including Adam Faruqi (BM ’16), David Morales (MM ’20) […]


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Austin Wintory wins Game Audio Network Guild Award

July 19, 2021

Austin Wintory (BM ‘07), an alum of the Composition program, recently won the award for Best Music for an Indie Game at the 19th annual Game Audio Network Guild Awards (G.A.N.G. Awards) for his score of the game “The Pathless.” Wintory was also nominated in several other categories including Best Main Theme, Best Original Song, […]


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New work by Alexander Mansour premiered by Alabama Symphony Orchestra

July 15, 2021

The Alabama Symphony Orchestra presented the world premiere of “SPARK” in June by composer Alexander Mansour (MM ’21), an alum of the Composition program.


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USC Thornton faculty and alumni nominated for 2021 Emmy Awards

July 13, 2021

USC Thornton faculty and alumni were nominated for the 73rd Emmy Awards, announced on Tuesday, July 13th. Alum Michael Abels (BM ‘84) received double nominations for his work on HBO’s Allen v. Farrow including Outstanding Music Composition For A Documentary Series Or Special (Original Dramatic Score), and Outstanding Original Main Title Theme Music), as did […]


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Nicolas Benavides, Angelica Brooks, and Elizabeth Palmer selected for Cleveland Institute of Music’s Future of Music Faculty Fellowship

June 30, 2021

USC Thornton doctoral candidates Nicolas Benavides and Angelica Brooks, as well as alum Elizabeth Palmer have been selected for the Cleveland Institute of Music’s Future of Music Faculty Fellowship.


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Scott Rieker Named Semi-Finalist in American Prize for Composition

June 14, 2021

Dr. Scott Rieker’s (DMA, ‘19), Director of Choral Music & Music Education, was named a semi-finalist in the American Prize for Composition, in the Choral Music division for his setting of five poems by former US Poet Laurate, Ted Kooser, entitled “Ted Kooser Suite.”


William Kanengiser and Scott Tennant perform at the Albany Symphony season finale

June 10, 2021

USC Thornton faculty members William Kanengiser and Scott Tenant perform a weekend of solo and duo works for classical guitar as part of the Albany Symphony’s season finale.


Portrait of Etienne Gara holding a violin

Etienne Gara named Soraya’s next Artist in Residence

June 1, 2021

Violinist and USC Thornton alum Etienne Gara has been named Soraya’s next Artist in Residence. To kick off the two-year residency, The Soraya will present MusiKaravan, a series of short films to begin airing on May 6th, that follow Gara and fellow Delirium Musicum member YuEun Kim (GCRT ‘15, AD ‘17) on a pandemic road trip across California as they safely spread music and joy. One new episode will be released every Thursday throughout the summer on The Soraya’s and MusiKaravan’s social media channels.


Musicians perform on a rooftop at sunset

USC Thornton alums featured in new video by Olivia Rodrigo

May 27, 2021

The latest music video from chart-topping artist Olivia Rodrigo was a family affair for the USC Thornton School of Music’s Popular Music program. A live performance of Rodrigo’s new single, “favorite crime,” for Vevo LIFT features alumni Liv Slingerland ’15 on guitar as well as three backing singers from Thornton: alums Tehillah Alphonso ’20 and […]


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