Choral and Sacred Music News

William Dehning, long-time USC Thornton Choral chair, 1942-2017

June 26, 2017

Choral conductor and USC Thornton alumnus William Dehning (MA ’67, DMA ’71, choral), who led the department of Choral & Sacred Music as chair from 1992 to 2007, passed away on June 23, 2017. A native of Minnesota, Dehning studied with Ingolf Dahl, Walter Ducloux, Charles C. Hirt, Halsey Stevens and James Vail at USC […]


Doctoral student Scott Rieker leads Torrance Civic Chorale

April 20, 2017

Scott Rieker, a DMA candidate in the USC Thornton Choral & Sacred Music program, was recently named Artistic Director of the Torrance Civic Chorale. The fourth Artistic Director in the ensemble’s 56-year history, Rieker looks forward to “finding new levels of artistic, beautiful, healthy singing that will appeal to the wonderfully diverse population of 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 […]


DMA candidate Rina Ritivoiu produces album of Christian music in Navajo language

April 12, 2017

Rina Ritivoiu, a doctoral candidate in the USC Thornton Choral & Sacred Music program, has produced the first album of Christian children’s music in the Navajo language. Ritivoiu arranged 10 Christian songs in the language and worked with a chorus of Navajo children to record the songs in Flagstaff, Arizona, over a period of two […]


Alumnus named Conducting Fellow for Long Beach Symphony

March 29, 2017

USC Thornton Choral & Sacred Music alumnus Daniel Gee (MM ’15, Choral Music) was recently appointed Conducting Fellow for the Long Beach Symphony. Gee will work closely with exceptional conductors and musicians, including incoming music director Eckart Preu, to learn the inner workings of a professional orchestra. A cellist, educator, and composer, Gee recently premiered […]


Jo-Michael Scheibe authors “Teaching Music through Performance in Choir”

March 23, 2017

USC Thornton Choral & Sacred Music chair Jo-Michael Scheibe (DMA ’85) is the editor and author of the 4th volume of GIA Publications’ Teaching Music Through Performance in Choir. In it, Scheibe discusses the importance of consonants in choral music and the shaping of healthy, vibrant tones. The volume, which was recently released at the […]


Choral Music alumna combines music and neuroscience to treat Parkinson’s

March 22, 2017

USC Thornton Choral & Sacred Music alumna Bronte Ficek (’15, Choral Music) explores the effects of group singing on patients with Parkinson’s Disease in her work as a clinical neuroscience researcher at The Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore. As part of her research, Ficek acts as assistant and accompanist for the Parkisonics, a choir for […]


Choral alumnus David Means leads South Texas choir

March 20, 2017

USC Thornton Choral & Sacred Music alumnus David Means (DMA ’97, choral music) is the founder of the Valley Choral Artists, South Texas’s first semi-professional chamber choir. He formed the ensemble in 2013 after he was appointed Director of Choral Studies at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley. Following a highly successful 2015 performance […]


Thornton Choral & Sacred Music program strongly represented at ACDA conference

March 15, 2017

Irene Apanovitch, a doctoral candidate in the USC Thornton Choral & Sacred Music program, recently took the podium as a semi-finalist at the American Choral Directors Association (ACDA) Graduate Choral Conducting Competition. One of only eight conductors selected for this honor, Apanovitch currently serves as the Teaching Assistant and lead conductor for Thornton’s Oriana Women’s […]


The National Children’s Chorus forms partnership with USC Thornton School of Music

February 17, 2017

USC Thornton has announced a new partnership with the National Children’s Chorus (NCC), America’s leading treble choral ensemble. The new educational initiative, designed to further train select young conductors in Thornton’s Choral & Sacred Music program, will provide graduate students with two positions annually on the NCC’s artistic staff. USC Thornton DMA candidate Alexander Lloyd […]


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