News from the 2017-2018 Academic Year

Alumnus Michael Abels earns praise for “Get Out” Soundtrack

December 14, 2017

Composer and USC Thornton alumnus Michael Abels (’84, Composition) is the subject of a recent Los Angeles Times profile for his scoring work for Jordan Peele’s hit 2017 thriller, Get Out. Peele discovered the composer, who is best known for his gospel and orchestral compositions, through a Youtube clip of Abel’s Urban Legends concerto for […]


Applications now open for the Los Angeles Orchestra Fellowship

December 13, 2017

close The USC Thornton School of Music, Inner City Youth Orchestra of Los Angeles (ICYOLA) and Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra (LACO) have teamed up to launch a post-graduate fellowship program for musicians from underrepresented communities on the verge of launching careers in orchestral performance. The West Coast’s first comprehensive orchestral fellowship program for top-tier string […]


Works by Composition alumni performed by Minnesota Orchestra

December 13, 2017

Last month, the Minnesota Orchestra performed works by two USC Thornton Composition alumni under the baton of Osmo Vänskä. Saad Haddad (BM ’14) and Peter Shin (MM ’17) were both participants in the 2017-18 Minnesota Orchestra Composer Institute, a five day workshop featuring rehearsals and seminars, culminating in a public performance. The orchestra performed Haddad’s […]


Jenny Wong debuts as associate conductor of the Los Angeles Master Chorale

December 12, 2017

Jenny Wong (MM ’13, choral), a DMA candidate in the USC Thornton Choral & Sacred Music program, made her public debut as associate conductor of the Los Angeles Master Chorale on December 10th, leading the ensemble in J.S. Bach’s six motets at Walt Disney Concert Hall. Wong notably conducted the program from memory, adding cellos […]


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. […]


Lauridsen’s “O Magnum Mysterium” featured in advent calendar

December 7, 2017

O Magnum Mysterium, a beloved choral work by composer and USC Thornton faculty member Morten Lauridsen (’66, MA’68, DMA’74), has been selected as one of 24 works featured in the ORA ensemble’s digital advent calendar. The Los Angeles Master Chorale commissioned Lauridsen’s piece in 1994, which helped to launch the acclaimed composer’s international career. ORA […]


Dean Robert Cutietta speaks at Shanghai Conservatory anniversary

December 6, 2017

Robert Cutietta, Dean of USC Thornton, traveled to Shanghai last week where he gave one of the keynote speeches at the 90th anniversary celebration of the Shanghai Conservatory of Music. Representatives of music institutions from around the world were present including the Conservatoire de Paris, Royal Conservatory of The Hague, and Juilliard. Founded in 1927, […]


Lina Bahn offers auditioning advice on The Violin Channel

December 6, 2017

The Violin Channel recently turned to USC Thornton Strings faculty member Lina Bahn for its “Ask the Pros” series on the topic of auditioning for music schools. In addition to offering advice about preparation, Bahn pointed to the shortcomings of the audition process as opportunities to grow and develop as a musician. Her tips for […]


Jeff Brabec and Todd Brabec contribute to “USC Entertainment Law Spotlight”

December 5, 2017

Jeff Brabec and Todd Brabec, faculty members in the USC Thornton Music Industry program, recently contributed to the inaugural issue of the USC Gould School of Law’s journal, USC Entertainment Law Spotlight (some pages redacted). The industry veterans authored “Music Royalties 101,” exploring the various licensing structures available to artists in TV, motion pictures, video […]


Divya Maus and Daniel Weidlein release holiday single

December 4, 2017

Popular Music alumna Divya Maus (BA ’14) and saxophonist/producer Daniel Weidlein (BM ’12, Jazz Studies) have released a holiday single entitled “Baby You Know What I Need,” now available on Apple Music and Spotify. The two met while students at Thornton and have frequently collaborated together at Weidlein’s studio, The B(e)at Cave.


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