News


Photo of piano keys

Thornton alumni nominated in Hollywood Music in Media Awards

January 17, 2023

USC Thornton composition program alumni Michael Abels (BM ‘84) and Ludwig Göransson (GCRT ‘08) were nominated for the music in visual media category for the 13th Annual Hollywood Music in Media Awards, announced Nov. 3. Abels received a nomination in the horror film category for his work on “Nope”. Göransson received a feature film nomination… Continue reading Thornton alumni nominated in Hollywood Music in Media Awards


Formal portrait of Ron McCurdy against light green backdrop

Ron McCurdy inducted into University of Kansas Hall of Achievement

January 12, 2023

USC Thornton assistant dean of diversity, equity and inclusion and professor of jazz studies Ron McCurdy was inducted into the University of Kansas Nicholas Gerran, Sr. Hall of Achievement on Oct. 29. As part of the 50th anniversary of KU’s jazz program that featured performances by students and alumni, McCurdy was one of the four… Continue reading Ron McCurdy inducted into University of Kansas Hall of Achievement


Photo portrait of Siwen Xi

Thornton doctoral student Siwen Xi featured in Annenberg Media about interdisciplinary yoga class

January 11, 2023

USC Thornton doctoral student Siwen Xi teaches a free yoga class in USC’s Fisher Museum of Art. Xi used the Louise Bourgeois exhibit, mental health advocate and surrealist artist, to inspire her class. “I used the words on the wall as inspiration and encouragement. It’s important for me to blend with the environment,” Xi said… Continue reading Thornton doctoral student Siwen Xi featured in Annenberg Media about interdisciplinary yoga class


Photo of Heesong Lee in concert attire conducting a choir.

Heeseong Lee placed second in Fosco Corti International Competition for Choral Conductor

January 10, 2023

USC Thornton choral & sacred music program doctoral candidate and instrumental conducting and organ minor Heeseong Lee placed second at the Fosco Corti International Competition for Choral Conductor in Turin, Italy. The international competition, organized by the European Choral Association, took place from Oct. 21-23. A total of 18 finalists from 12 countries were admitted… Continue reading Heeseong Lee placed second in Fosco Corti International Competition for Choral Conductor


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Lenny Hayes selected as a 2022-2023 Piano Spheres Emerging Artist

January 9, 2023

USC Thornton keyboard studies doctoral candidate Lenny Hayes has been selected as Emerging Artist for the 2022-2023 Piano Spheres Artist Series. Hayes, under the mentorship of Dr. William Chapman Nyaho, will present piano works by composers of the African Diaspora. This program will also include a commissioned work by a living composer. The classical pianist’s… Continue reading Lenny Hayes selected as a 2022-2023 Piano Spheres Emerging Artist


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Alexander Lloyd Blake named Copland House Residency Award Recipient

December 16, 2022

USC Thornton choral & sacred music alumnus Alexander Lloyd Blake (DMA ‘19) received one of six residency awards at the 2022 Copland House Residency Awards. The announcement was made on Oct. 23. The Copland House Residency is a charter program of Aaron Copland’s National Historic Landmark home. 180 composers applied from 33 states, the District… Continue reading Alexander Lloyd Blake named Copland House Residency Award Recipient


Formal portrait of Ron McCurdy against light green backdrop

Ron McCurdy inducted into University of Kansas Hall of Achievement

December 14, 2022

USC Thornton assistant dean of diversity, equity and inclusion and professor of jazz studies Ron McCurdy was inducted into the University of Kansas Nicholas Gerran, Sr. Hall of Achievement on Oct. 29. As part of the 50th anniversary of KU’s jazz program that featured performances by students and alumni, McCurdy was one of the four… Continue reading Ron McCurdy inducted into University of Kansas Hall of Achievement


Photo of composer George Shaw.

George Shaw composed Dreamworks’ “Abominable and the Invisible City”

December 12, 2022

USC Thornton composition program alumnus George Shaw (BM ‘04) composed the score for DreamWorks animated series Abominable and the Invisible City, the follow-up from the 2019 feature film. The score of the animated series, which was released on Oct. 5, incorporates Chinese culture with solo violin, clarinet and saxophone instrumentals. “In order to bring Chinese… Continue reading George Shaw composed Dreamworks’ “Abominable and the Invisible City”


Black and white photo of composer Juan Pablo Contreras standing in front of a piano indoors.

LACO premieres new commission by Juan Pablo Contreras

December 9, 2022

The Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra (LACO) will present the world premiere of a work by Latin GRAMMY-nominated composer and USC Thornton alumnus Juan Pablo Contreras (DMA ‘21). “Lucha Libre!” will be performed on December 11 at 8 p.m. at Ambassador Auditorium in Pasadena. “Lucha Libre!” is a LACO sound Investment commission that pays tribute to… Continue reading LACO premieres new commission by Juan Pablo Contreras


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Oliviana Marie awarded in 2022 Marvin Hamlisch International Music Awards

December 7, 2022

USC Thornton composition program student Oliviana Marie was both an award-winner and nominee at the Marvin Hamlisch International Music Awards. The announcement was made on Oct 18. Only 5 nominees are selected per division out of the top 25 submissions. Hamlisch was nominated in the emerging jazz composition category, and she won in the emerging… Continue reading Oliviana Marie awarded in 2022 Marvin Hamlisch International Music Awards