Alumni News

Music Industry alum Golan named Songwriter of the Year

May 18, 2017

The 65th Annual BMI Pop Awards honored Music Industry alumnus Ross Golan (‘01) with the Songwriter of the Year award on Tuesday. Golan, one of two recipients of this year’s award, along with co-winner Justin Tranter, was recognized for his work on Ariana Grande’s “Dangerous Woman,” Andy Grammer’s “Good to Be Alive,” Flo Rida’s “My […]


Hear Now Music Festival features over 15 Thornton musicians

May 8, 2017

The seventh annual Hear Now Music Festival took place at the end of April, showcasing many of the most compelling artistic voices in Southern California new music, including a broad slate of USC Thornton students, faculty, and alumni. Pianist and alumnus Gernot Wolfgang (GCRT ’94, film scoring) serves as Associate Artistic Director of the festival, […]


Bassist Robin Kesselman performs with Houston Symphony Orchestra

May 3, 2017

USC Thornton alumnus Robin Kesselman (’12, double bass), principal bass of the Houston Symphony Orchestra, enjoyed his solo debut with the ensemble earlier this year. Kesselman performed Serge Koussevitzky’s Concerto for Double Bass on the January program, which featured contemporary music from the Americas and was led by conductor Andrés Orozco-Estrada. “Koussevitzky was an incredible […]


Alumna Erika Binsley to premiere commission at D.C. Horn Day

May 1, 2017

USC Thornton Winds & Percussion alumna Erika Binsley (BM ’12, Horn) will premiere Nick Norton’s Gone to the Other Shore on May 7th at D.C. Horn Day in Washington, D.C., where she is a featured artist. Binsley commissioned the strikingly-contemporary piece, which features “sounds from many of the world’s oceans” and includes electronic instrumentation, with […]


Donald Crockett, Thornton alumni featured at Caramoor

April 24, 2017

USC Thornton Composition chair Donald Crockett (MM ’76) recently visited the Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts in Katonah, New York, where the Argus Quartet is preparing his commissioned string quartet for its July premiere. Thornton alumni and faculty feature prominently throughout the Center’s spring and summer seasons. The Los Angeles-based Argus Quartet, which […]


Alumnus Gabriel DiMarco excels as composer and musician

April 21, 2017

USC Thornton Screen Scoring alumnus Gabriel DiMarco (GCRT ’14, scoring for motion pictures and television) won Best Score for the feature film, Children of the Mountain, at the 2016 Ghana Movie Awards in Accra, Ghana. Described as “moving” by Daniel Glenn of Film Forward, DiMarco’s score reinforces the emotional journey of an unmarried mother in […]


Classical Guitarist Michael Kudirka profiled for Adès collaboration

April 17, 2017

Internationally acclaimed guitarist and USC Thornton alumnus Michael Kudirka (’04, DMA, ’12) was the subject of a feature profile in the spring 2017 issue of Classical Guitar Magazine, exploring his collaboration with composer Thomas Adès. The duo worked together on a “guitar aria” for Adès’ surrealist opera, The Exterminating Angel, which is based on the […]


KuanFen Liu receives Ventura Mayor’s Arts Award

April 13, 2017

USC Thornton alumna KuanFen Liu (DMA ’10, choral music) has received the Ventura Mayor’s Arts Award in the category of Artist in the Community. This award honors established artists in any discipline who show artistic excellence and contribute to Ventura’s cultural vitality. Outside of working on year-round music programs for several school districts, Liu is […]


Clarinetist Micah Wright takes 2nd place in Backun International Competition

April 11, 2017

USC Thornton Winds & Percussion alumnus Micah Wright (DMA ’15, clarinet) received 2nd place in this year’s Backun International Clarinet Competition. The competition, which took place March 9-11 at Vanderbilt University’s Blair School of Music in Nashville, featured 16 participants from 8 different countries. Wright also recently received an honorable mention in the William C. […]


Pacific Symphony performance with Peter Boyer to be broadcast on PBS

April 10, 2017

Ellis Island: The Dream of America, a multimedia orchestral work by composer and USC Thornton alumnus Peter Boyer (GCRT ’96, SMPTV) was the centerpiece of the Pacific Symphony’s recent American Composers Festival from April 6-8. Conducted by music director and USC Thornton faculty member Carl St.Clair, the GRAMMY-nominated piece incorporates narration and projected imagery to […]


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