Winds and Percussion News from the 2018-2019 Academic Year

David Riccobono wins Principal Percussion position with the Long Beach Symphony

June 27, 2019

USC Thornton alumni performed spectacularly well at the recent Long Beach Symphony audition. David Riccobono (MM ’19) won the Principal Percussion position while Jeff Grant (GCRT ’14) placed second. Riccobono, who received his Bachelor’s degree from UCLA in 2017, studied with Los Angeles Philharmonic percussionists and USC Thornton faculty members Joseph Pereira and James Babor […]

USC Percussion Group

USC Percussion Group noted in LA Times

June 19, 2019

The USC Percussion Group performed “Fear-Release” by Ellen Reid at the third-annual LA Phil’s Noon to Midnight event. The LA Times mentioned the performance in their review of the event, saying it was “captivating in its gentle rustling.” Also mentioned was Thornton alumna and faculty member Sara Gibson’s performance with HOCKET and percussionist Michael Basak’s […]

USC musicians to perform at LA Phil’s Noon to Midnight event

May 31, 2019

On Saturday, June 1 the LA Phil celebrates new music with their third-annual Noon to Midnight event, a twelve-hour marathon featuring many of California’s finest ensembles in pop-up performances around Walt Disney Concert Hall. The day-long lineup features several ensembles that feature USC Thornton musicians, including USC Thornton Percussion Group, HOCKET, Sakura Cello Quintet, Calder […]

India Anderson selected as first female drum major of Trojan Marching Band

April 29, 2019

USC Thornton undergraduate India Anderson was selected as the 2019-2020 drum major of the USC Trojan Marching Band. For the first time in its over 100-year history, the Spirit of Troy will be led by a woman. “I think it’s just great to have the leader of the band be a woman,” Anderson told Annenberg […]


José Gonzalez Granero premieres composition

April 22, 2019

USC Thornton alumnus José Gonzalez Granero (GRCT ’09) premiered his composition “Gion Overture” with the Emporia Symphony Orchestra last week. Granero, who is the Principal Clarinetist for the San Francisco Opera Orchestra, wrote the piece based on the historical neighborhood of Gion in Kyoto, Japan.

Jim Self

Jim Self featured on cover of AFM International Musician magazine

April 4, 2019

USC Thornton Winds and Percussion faculty member Jim Self was featured on the cover of the International American Federation of Musicians magazine’s March issue. The cover article discusses Self’s prolific success as an international soloist, chamber musician, orchestral tubist, studio musician, composer, and a life-long educator. Self also discusses his journey as a solo performing […]


Gernot Wolfgang collaborates with Thornton faculty and alumni on new album

March 27, 2019

USC Thornton alumnus Gernot Wolfgang (’94) just announced his new chamber music album Vienna and the West on Albany Records. The album, which was recorded over four days in May 2018, features Thornton faculty members Judith Farmer, Ben Hong and Andrew Shulman, as well as Thornton alumni Nic Gerpe (DMA ’12), Edgar Lopez (MM’ 15, […]

Hooten and Williams

Thomas Hooten releases album celebrating John Williams

March 8, 2019

Thomas Hooten, a USC Thornton faculty member and the Principal Trumpet of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, has released the album, Hooten Plays Williams. Comprised of two pieces by the award-winning composer John Williams, Concerto for Trumpet and Orchestra and Born on the Fourth of July, the album was funded through a successful Kickstarter campaign that […]

Max Opferkuch

Max Opferkuch wins Pasadena Showcase Instrumental Competition

February 7, 2019

Clarinetist Max Opferkuch, an undergraduate at USC Thornton and the principal clarinetist in the student-run USC Concerto Chamber Orchestra, won the Grand Prize of the 33rd Pasadena Showcase Instrumental Competition. As part of his prize, he received $6000 to support his studies. The showcase for string, woodwind and brass music students from Southern California aged […]

Judith Farmer

Judith Farmer performs at Meg Quigley Vivaldi Competition and Bassoon Symposium

January 28, 2019

Judith Farmer, USC Thornton faculty member in bassoon, performed with alumnus Nick Gerpe (DMA ‘12) at the 2019 Meg Quigley Vivaldi Competition and Bassoon Symposium (MQVC), held at the Colburn School from January 11-13. MQVC is a three-day event that includes master classes, presentations, performances, and a competition for female bassoonists. Farmer, a 2016 GRAMMY […]

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