Choral and Sacred Music News

Vicki Ray

Thornton artists feature prominently in concert honoring women composers, performers, directors

February 24, 2020

USC Thornton artists will feature prominently in the Los Robles Master Chorale’s upcoming collaborative concert, Women Speak, highlighting the work of women composers, performers and directors. The all-women chorus VOX Femina Los Angeles will join the Los Robles Master Chorale (LRMC) for the fist half of the evening’s program. Both choruses are led by USC […]


Morten Lauridsen

Morten Lauridsen and Grant Gershon discuss 25th anniversary of “O Magnem Mysterium” on KUSC

December 10, 2019

USC Thornton alum Grant Gershon (BM ’85) and Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Composition and Thornton alum Morten Lauridsen recently appeared on KUSC’s Arts Alive to discuss the Los Angeles Master Chorale’s 25th anniversary of Lauridsen’s “O Magnum Mysterium.” The Master Chorale premiered the iconic work, and will perform it on Sunday, Dec. 15 in celebration […]


Photo of Alexander Lloyd Blake

Alexander Lloyd Blake named one of 30 Professionals of the Year by Musical America

December 4, 2019

Choral & Sacred Music alum Alexander Lloyd Blake (DMA ’19) has been named as one of Musical America’s 30 Professionals of the Year. The annual report recognizes performing arts professionals who make significant contributions to the vitality of the performing arts world. Blake is recognized for his work as director of the choral group Tonality, […]


Photo of Ernest Harrison

Ernest Harrison named Music Director and Conductor of Gay Men’s Chorus of Los Angeles

November 14, 2019

Doctoral Candidate in Choral Conducting at USC Thornton Ernest Harrison has been named the Music Director and Conductor of the Gay Men’s Chorus of Los Angeles (GMCLA). Ernest will begin working with GMCLA in December to work on season concert plans, and will begin his full-time podium position beginning in January. His first main-season concert […]


Photo of two vocal ensembles

Thornton alumni lead ensembles to top awards in choral performance

September 25, 2019

Ethan Sperry (MM ’98, DMA ’00) and Jason Saunders (MM ’14) were both awarded The American Prize in Choral Performance for their ensembles this year. Sperry led the Oregon Repertory Singers to a win in the American Prize’s community chorus division. The Oregon Repertory Singers are a nonprofit organization that frequently presents regional premieres and […]


Yewon Lee appointed Music Director of San Diego Festival Chorus

August 15, 2019

Emerging conductor Yewon Lee will take the lead at the San Diego Festival Chorus as the newly appointed Music Director. Lee, a who is pursuing a Doctorate of Musical Arts in Choral Music at USC Thornton, has garnered recognition for her work with the Baldwin Wallace Opera Theater and the National Opera Center in New […]


Heesong Lee

Heesong Lee places second in international choral competition

July 17, 2019

Heeseong Lee, a doctoral candidate in USC Thornton’s Choral & Sacred Music program, recently placed second in the 2019 World Choral Conducting Competition. The native of South Korea stood out in a field that included contestants from 29 countries. In addition to a cash prize, Lee also received the opportunity to study with choral conducting […]


Lesley Leighton appointed Director of Choral Activities at CSUSB

June 25, 2019

USC Thornton alumna Lesley Leighton (MM ’91, DMA ’12) has been appointed the tenure-track position of Director of Choral Activities at the California State University San Bernardino’s Music Department. Leighton, who has premiered over 50 works since 2009, served as UCLA’s director of choruses from 2014-2016 and has regularly conducted the Los Angeles Master Chorale […]


Nick Strimple releases new composition as part of NCCO Choral Series

May 30, 2019

Nick Strimple, Professor of Choral and Sacred Music at USC Thornton, recently released his new Christmas-Sacred choral composition, “Verbum caro factum est,” for unaccompanied SATB as part of the National Collegiate Choral Organization (NCCO). Strimple wrote this Christmas motet, the Responsory to the eighth Lesson of Second Vespers on Christmas, in honor of the Reverand […]


Tram Sparks

Tram Sparks publishes article in Choral Scholar

May 17, 2019

Tram Sparks, a Choral and Sacred Music faculty member at USC Thornton, published an article in the Spring 2019 issue of Choral Scholar: The Online Journal of the National Collegiate Choral Organization. The article, “The Choral Conductor as Bard in Motion,” argues that expressive choral conducting is based on a “historical, philosophical, and artistic understanding […]


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