Composition News

Photo of Laura Karpman outdoors

Michael Abels and Laura Karpman quoted in Variety

September 7, 2020

Composition alum Michael Abels (BM ’84) and Screen Scoring faculty member Laura Karpman were recently quoted in a Variety article about the increase in the diversity of the Emmy Awards’ music categories. Abels and Karpman are both award-winning composers and founders of organizations that work to support underrepresented composers in film and television. Abels, who […]


Grant Gershon photoraphed against blank backdrop

Grant Gershon shares advice for virtual choirs

August 24, 2020

In a recent KCET article, USC Thornton alum Grant Gershon (BM ‘85), artistic director of the Los Angeles Master Chorale (LAMC), shares advice and lessons learned while conducting choirs virtually during the pandemic. Choir directors like Gershon have transitioned to edited ensemble performances, with choir members recording their parts individually from home. The solution requires […]


Billy Childs discusses upcoming album in JazzTimes interview

August 10, 2020

USC Thornton alum and GRAMMY Award-nominated artist Billy Childs (BM ’79) is set to release a new album on Aug. 28, and reflects on its influences in a recent JazzTimes interview. Childs reminisces on the artists and projects that have inspired his music, such as his time playing at World Stage, a historic art and […]


Juan Pablo Contreras holding notepad and pencil

Juan Pablo Contreras appears on Trilloquy podcast with Garrett McQueen

July 30, 2020

Juan Pablo Contreras, Latin GRAMMY-nominated composer and a doctoral student in the Composition program, is a guest on the latest episode of Trilloquy, a podcast hosted by USC Thornton alum Garrett McQueen (MM ’12). On Trilloquy, McQueen hosts conversations about challenging the status quo and addressing inequities in classical music. In his interview with McQueen, […]


Compilation of three images showing three composers portraits

Thornton alumni to appear in Comic-Con@Home online game show

July 24, 2020

Sunday, July 26, three USC Thornton alumni will appear on a panel event for this year’s online-only Comic-Con, Comic-Con@Home. The live online event is a game show-style panel called Composer Squares Game Show, in the style of Hollywood Squares, and will feature alumni composers Jongnic Bontemps (GCRT ’12), Christopher Lennertz (BM ’95), and Giona Ostinelli […]


Juhi Bansal pictured outdoors

Students to perform work by Juhi Bansal in LA Opera educational program

July 23, 2020

Los Angeles area students will learn and perform an opera by Composition alum Juhi Bansal (BM ’06, MM ’08, DMA ’12) in the upcoming season of LA Opera’s Secondary In-School Opera program. The remote workshops are an opportunity for students to sharpen their theatrical skills with a contemporary work. Bansal’s opera, “Enchantress of Numbers,” explores […]


Michael Abels

Michael Abels and Ludwig Göransson featured in LA Times

July 22, 2020

USC Thornton alumni and award-winning composers Michael Abels (BM ’84) and Ludwig Göransson (GCRT ‘08) were recently featured in an LA Times article looking ahead to the 2020 Emmy Awards and the standout composers for television who may be poised for top honors. Abels is highlighted for his score for the HBO series “Bad Education,” […]


Patrice Rushen

Patrice Rushen and Thornton alumni invited into the Academy

July 7, 2020

Patrice Rushen, chair of the Popular Music program at USC Thornton, along with three Thornton alumni—Chanda Dancy (GCRT ’04), Roger Neill (BM ’86), and Jermaine Stegall (GCRT ’04)—have been invited into the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Rushen’s classic song “Forget Me Nots” was sampled for Will Smith’s “Men in Black,” from the […]


Varqa Buehrer

Thornton Alumni receive ASCAP 2020 Screen Music Awards

July 1, 2020

Multiple alumni of USC Thornton received awards and nominations for the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) 2020 Screen Music Awards, honoring the accomplishments of composers for film, television and video games from 2019. Bear McCreary (BM ’02) and Gordy Haab (GCRT ’02) received top honors in the Composers’ Choice categories. McCreary was […]


Frank Ticheli

Choirs from around the world perform Frank Ticheli’s “Earth Song” in global project

June 22, 2020

In a call to unity during difficult times, a collective of 21 choirs from around the world premiered a performance of “Earth Song,” by Composition faculty member Frank Ticheli, a piece that has resonated with many artists since the pandemic began. The ensemble of 167 singers came together virtually for the “Sing Around The gloBe” […]


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