Alumni News from the 2020-2021 Academic Year

Outdoor photo of Jensen McRae

Jensen McRae interviewed by The Wall Street Journal

May 11, 2021

Popular Music alum Jensen McRae (BM ’19) was featured in a Wall Street Journal article about vaccine-themed songs for her single, “Immune”. The song is about “two friends who hook up in their car while waiting in the long line at the Dodger Stadium vaccination site and spiral out about what the future holds.” McRae originally […]


Portrait of Nina Shekhar

Nina Shekhar selected to be Young Concert Artist’s Composer-in-Residence for 2021

May 6, 2021

Thornton alum Nina Shekhar (MM ’20, Composition) has been selected to be the Young Concert Artist’s Composer-in-Residence for 2021. The residency includes a 3-year management contract and a substantial financial package for three commissions. Shekhar is currently pursuing her Ph.D. at Princeton University and also serves as a Composer Teaching Artist Fellow for the Los Angeles […]


Portrait of Remi Wolf

Remi Wolf selected for Fender Next Class of 2021

May 5, 2021

USC Thornton alum Remi Wolf (BM ’18) was selected amongst 25 rising artists as part of the Fender Next Class of 2021. The program is designed to elevate rising musicians that are pushing guitar forward in music and culture. Each artist will receive Fender guitars and amps, as well as marketing support from the company. […]


Renée Elise Goldsberry to star in television comedy “Girls5Eva”

March 25, 2021

Jazz Studies alumna and Tony Award winner Renée Elise Goldsberry (MM ’97) will star in the upcoming Peacock musical comedy “Girls5Eva.” The series, which is being executive produced by Tina Fey, Robert Carlock and Meredith Scardino, follows a former one-hit-wonder girl group from the ’90s who reunite only to find that each member is in […]


Michael Tilson Thomas and Los Angeles Philharmonic win at 2021 GRAMMY Awards

March 14, 2021

The 63rd annual GRAMMY Awards, held virtually on Sunday, March 14, brought wins for faculty and alumni at USC Thornton. Celebrated conductor Michael Tilson Thomas, a Thornton alum and Judge Widney Professor at USC, won for Best Orchestral Performance for the San Francisco Symphony’s “Copland: Symphony No. 3.” And the many alumni and faculty who […]


Morten Lauridsen in black and white

Morten Lauridsen named to Oscar Hammerstein Museum and Theatre Education Center advisory board

March 10, 2021

Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Composition and Thornton alumnus Morten Lauridsen has been named as one of the Honorary Advisory Board Members of the Oscar Hammerstein Museum and Theatre Education Center and will serve as a core member of the Honorary Board of Directors. Lauridsen is one of four prominent figures named to the new Board. […]


Side by side images of Celeste Butler and Raivyn Hearne

Celeste Butler and Raivyn Hearne compete on American Idol

March 9, 2021

Two artists from USC Thornton’s Popular Music program will compete on American Idol this season. Alum Celeste Butler (BM ‘19) and current student Raivyn Hearne both received the coveted golden ticket and will appear on the show’s 19th season, airing now. Butler was recently featured in a Daily Trojan article about her appearance on the […]


Gretchen Parlato in a gown holding a white flower

Gretchen Parlato releases new album, Flor

March 5, 2021

USC Thornton alum and jazz vocalist Gretchen Parlato (GCRT ’03) released a new album on March 5, titled Flor. The album features several special guests, including fellow Thornton alum, pianist Gerald Clayton (BM ‘07). Parlato was interviewed by DownBeat Magazine about her journey from her 2014 album, Live In NYC, which earned her a GRAMMY […]


Alumni duo Karmina releases new album

March 4, 2021

Karmina, a pop duo featuring Music Industry program alumni Kelly Adams (BM ‘05) and sister Kamille Rudisill (BM ’05), recently released a new album produced by film composer John Powell called Queens of Heart. The duo says the four-part cinematic pop album is a tribute to women, paying homage “to powerful women who have elevated […]


Photo of Ludwig Göransson on white backdrop

Ludwig Göransson discusses “Tenet” score in Variety

March 1, 2021

Ludwig Göransson (GCRT ‘08), an alum of the USC Thornton Screen Scoring program, was interviewed by Variety about his score for Christopher Nolan’s recent film, “Tenet.” In the article, Göransson discusses the details of his collaboration with Nolan, including how he was challenged to experiment with different sounds for the film’s otherworldly score. “So many […]


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