Winds and Percussion News

Navy Brass Ensemble premieres work by alumni, for alumni

February 8, 2018

The United States Naval Academy Band’s Brass Ensemble recently premiered a work by USC Thornton alumnus Giovanni Santos (MM ’07), written for and performed by fellow alumnus, trumpeter Matt Harriman (MM ’08). Voyages was performed on January 28th at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C., under the baton of Lieutenant Commander Diane Nichols. Also performing […]


Joseph Pereira to premiere concerto with L.A. Phil

January 24, 2018

Joseph Pereira, Principal Timpanist of the Los Angeles Philharmonic and Director of Percussion Studies at USC Thornton, will play the dual role of composer and soloist when the orchestra premieres his Threshold concerto at Walt Disney Concert Hall on January 25th, 2018. Gustavo Dudamel will lead the ensemble in four performances of the Philharmonic-commissioned work, […]


Clarinetists earn prizes at the Vandoren Emerging Artist Competition

January 19, 2018

Two USC Thornton clarinet students recently took prizes in the 2018 Vandoren Emerging Artist Competition. Masters candidate Ryan Toher earned 1st Prize in Classical Clarinet. This month, Toher will also participate in the New York Philharmonic Global Academy Fellowship Program traveling to New York City for an intensive ten days of training, rehearsal, and performance […]


Bassoonist Elizabeth Roberts earns position with Virginia Symphony

January 17, 2018

USC Thornton Winds & Percussion alumna Elizabeth Roberts (MM ’01, bassoon) recently won the position of Contrabassoon with the Norfolk-based Virginia Symphony Orchestra. Roberts has also served as Principal Bassoon and Director of Youth Education for the Charlottesville Symphony since 2001, where she teaches on the faculty of the University of Virginia.


Nicholas Davies and Seth Johnson win at Pasadena Showcase House competition

December 11, 2017

Two USC Thornton students have earned top prizes at the 32nd annual Pasadena Showcase House for the Arts (PSHA) Instrumental Competition, which took place Nov. 11th, 2017. Trumpet player and master’s student Seth Johnson took first prize in the Brass category. Johnson won a sub-section trumpet Position with the Sinfonia Gulf Coast Symphony last year. […]


This Saturday, Thornton celebrates new music from “Noon to Midnight” with the LA Phil

November 14, 2017

On Saturday, November 18th, the Los Angeles Philharmonic will welcome the city’s most adventurous music audiences to Walt Disney Concert Hall for a day-long celebration of contemporary composition, Noon to Midnight. In addition to performances by Steven Schick, Rage Thormbones, LA Signal Lab, Los Angeles Electric 8, wild Up, red fish blue fish, gnarwhallaby, SASSAS, […]


The Kinetic Winds to be featured in Mammoth Lakes concert

November 2, 2017

The Kinetic Winds quintet, which includes five USC Thornton students, will be the featured ensemble at the Eastern Sierra Symphony’s fall concert in Mammoth Lakes on Saturday, November 4th. Led by bassoonist and GCRT candidate Amber Wyman (MM ’16), the quintet includes clarinetist and master’s student Sergio Coelho (GCRT ’16), oboist and DMA candidate Chris […]


Jim Self releases new CD that includes a one-of-a-kind instrument, the fluba

October 10, 2017

USC Thornton Winds & Percussion faculty member Jim Self, a tuba player widely-known for his performances on over 1500 film soundtracks, has released a new album with guitarist John Chiodini. Floating in Winter includes several tracks featuring the fluba, a one-of-a-kind instrument that combines the tuba with qualities of the trumpet-like flugelhorn. The F-pitched fluba […]


Five Thornton musicians win principal positions with the American Youth Symphony

October 2, 2017

Five USC Thornton students and alumni have become principal chairs with the Los Angeles-based American Youth Symphony for the 2017-18 season. Student Tiffany Chung will serve as principal second violin, alongside principal oboe Laura Arganbright, and principal clarinet Sergio Coelho (GRCT ’16), while alumna Lieza Hansen (MM ’16) will serve as principal bassoon and Amy […]


Thomas Kolakowski wins Snare Drum Competition

September 20, 2017

Thomas Kolakowski, a USC Thornton master’s student in percussion, recently won the 10th Annual Modern Snare Drum Competition in Cleveland, Ohio. Kolakowski beat out a large field to win the competition, which takes place every year at the Cleveland Institute of Music and is sponsored by Pearl Drums. The organizers described it as “another inspiring […]


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