Popular Music News

MUNA performs on Jimmy Kimmel Live

February 7, 2017

The band MUNA was featured on the February 6th episode of ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel Live, performing two songs from their latest album, “About U.” Formed by USC Thornton Popular Music alumni Katie Gavin (BA ’15) and Josette Maskin (’16), along with Naomi McPherson, the band caught the world’s attention with their 2016 single, “Loudspeaker.” MUNA […]


Popular Music alumna Rozzi Crane to perform at Hotel Cafe

January 31, 2017

USC Thornton Popular Music alumna Rozzi Crane will perform at Hotel Cafe’s Second Stage in Los Angeles as part of a spring residency. Crane, who was part of the Popular Music program’s inaugural class, is scheduled to perform February 2, March 2, April 6, and May 4. Best known for her single Psycho, which she […]


Popular Music alumna Malia Civetz sings National Anthem at the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl

January 27, 2017

USC Thornton Popular Music alumna Malia Civetz (BM ’16) recently sang the National Anthem at the 2017 NFLPA Collegiate Bowl. Earlier this year, Civetz performed Steve Hackman’s mash-up of rapper Drake’s music and Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 5, Tchaikovsky V. Drake with the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra. She will reprise Hackman’s piece on March 22 with the […]


USC Thornton faculty and musicians attending music education camp in Brazil

January 17, 2017

USC Thornton Dean Robert Cutietta is currently attending GLOMUS, a gathering of international music and arts education professionals in Natal, Brazil, along with several Thornton students and faculty. The biennial event, which is hosted by the Federal University of Rio Grande do Norte, aims to “create a forum for intercultural exchange in the fields of […]


Bassist Brian Robert Jones joins Gwen Stefani on the road

January 13, 2017

Bassist Brian Robert Jones (BM ’15), an alumnus of the USC Thornton Popular Music program, recently performed with singer Gwen Stefani at the Aria Resort and Casino in Las Vegas. The special engagement followed Stefani’s 28 city “This Is What The Truth Feels Like” tour, on which Jones performed from July through October of 2016. […]


Greg Phillinganes brings all-star band to campus to perform with students

October 31, 2016

On Friday, Oct. 21, noted musical director Greg Phillinganes brought an all-star band to campus for a special Popular Music Forum featuring musicians from the bands of Michael Jackson, The Tonight Show, and more. After running the band through examples of musical genres, from Rihanna’s “Work” to Bob Marley’s “I Shot the Sheriff” and Willie […]


Patrice Rushen featured in Billboard Top 5 single

October 25, 2016

Patrice Rushen, chair of USC Thornton’s Popular Music program, is featured as keyboardist and vocalist on the new single, “As You Are,” which made Billboard‘s list of “Top 5 Hot Singles.” The track, by vocalist Lori Jenaire and producer/arranger “Ready” Freddie Washington, is a remake of Pharoah Sanders’ 1978 R&B classic and features drummer James […]


Popular Music alumnus thrives in the Coachella Valley music scene

October 24, 2016

After performing at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts festival in April, alumnus Will Sturgeon’s band, brightener, won the Tachevah Music Showcase in May. Sturgeon (BM ‘12) is a graduate of the USC Thornton program in Popular Music. In addition to performing, Sturgeon works with Coachella Valley youth as the Assistant Music Director for the […]


Student Lani Renaldo opens for Halsey at the Shrine

September 30, 2016

This past summer, USC Thornton Music Industry student Lani Renaldo performed as the opening act for the singer Halsey at The Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles. Renaldo and Halsey first met through through the web video series Samsung Level Music Lab in February. After writing for Halsey, Renaldo was asked to open for the artist […]


Thornton takes center stage in new USC NCAA spot

September 12, 2016

Last week, the University of Southern California debuted its new 2016 institutional TV spot to national audiences during the NCAA football game between the USC Trojans and the University of Alabama. The 30-second spot, which will air throughout the athletic season, highlights the arts USC and features a number of USC Thornton student musicians. close […]


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