Alumni News

Formal portrait of Michael Tilson Thomas

Michael Tilson Thomas featured on PBS

February 28, 2021

Michael Tilson Thomas, a celebrated conductor, USC Thornton alum and current Judge Widney Professor of Music at USC, was recently featured in a video special on PBS about mentoring during the pandemic and working with the next generation of musicians. The special was a part of PBS NewsHour’s arts and culture series “CANVAS.” “All the […]


Gina Luciani holding flute with headphones on

Gina Luciani featured in Avid campaign

February 26, 2021

Gina Luciani (MM ‘13), a USC Thornton alum and flutist, was recently featured in a campaign for Avid, a company that supplies the tools and technology for creators and media enterprises to thrive in the digital media era. Luciani was featured in a video spotlight for Avid’s new “I Am Avid” initiative highlighting artists and […]


Portrait of Gail Samuel

Gail Samuel appointed President and CEO of Boston Symphony Orchestra

February 23, 2021

USC Thornton alum and Board of Councilors member Gail Samuel has been appointed as the next Eunice and Julian Cohen President and CEO of the Boston Symphony Orchestra (BSO). She will serve as BSO’s first woman president in the organization’s 140-year history. Currently, Samuel serves as the President of the Hollywood Bowl and Chief Operating […]


Photo of Alexander Lloyd Blake

Alexander Lloyd Blake featured in The New York Times

February 16, 2021

Choral & Sacred Music alum Alexander Lloyd Blake (DMA ‘19), was recently featured in an article in The New York Times discussing Tonality, the Los Angeles-based choral ensemble he founded. The article highlights seven music organizations like Tonality that have been working toward racial equity in the classical music industry. The article shares what inspired […]


Jensen McRae holding hands to her face, standing in front of a greenery covered wall

Jensen McRae named to #YouTubeBlack Voices Class of 2021

February 4, 2021

Singer-songwriter and Popular Music alum Jensen McRae (BM ‘19) has been named as one of the 21 artists in YouTube Music’s #YouTubeBlack Voices Class of 2021. Each artist in the program will receive seed funding to develop their YouTube channels as well as support from YouTube through training, workshops, and networking opportunities. The program is […]


Side by side images of Scott Rieker and Irene Apanovitch

Irene Apanovitch-Leites and Scott Rieker publish study in Choral Journal

February 2, 2021

Choral & Sacred Music alumni Irene Apanovitch-Leites (DMA ’19) and Scott Rieker (DMA ’19) co-authored an article in the February issue of Choral Journal, which focuses on vocal pedagogy. Apanovitch-Leites and Rieker’s article, titled “COVID and the Choral Educator: Preparedness, Perceptions, Attitudes, and a Way Forward,” is a study that details the impact of COVID-19 […]


Perry Botkin Jr. wearing sunglasses and sitting beside a piano keyboard

Grammy-winning TV and film composer Perry Botkin Jr. dies at 87

February 1, 2021

Perry Botkin Jr., a GRAMMY Award-winning and Oscar-nominated television and film composer, and alumnus of USC Thornton, died on January 18 at the age of 87. The acclaimed arranger was well-known for his composition of the themes to “Happy Days,” “Mork and Mindy,” and “The Young and the Restless.” Botkin’s musical career began when he […]


Portrait of Gerald Clayton

Gerald Clayton scores new documentary about Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

January 27, 2021

GRAMMY Award-nominated composer, pianist and USC Thornton alum Gerald Clayton (BM ‘07) wrote the score for “MLK/FBI,” a newly released award-winning documentary directed by Sam Pollard that uncovers the extent of the FBI’s targeted surveillance and harassment of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Sub Pop described Clayton’s composition of the documentary’s theme as “a gorgeous, […]


Chris O'Brien holding a trumpet

Chris O’Brien wins position with U.S. Navy Band

January 25, 2021

Chris O’Brien (GCRT ’20), a trumpeter and alum of USC Thornton’s Winds & Percussion program, has won a position with the U.S. Navy Band. He is one of many Thornton alumni to join the prestigious band. O’Brien is also a co-founder and current member of Two Button Brass, a Los Angeles-based brass quintet founded by […]


Portrait of Dale Trumbore

Dale Trumbore shares virtual chorus experience in The Voice of OC

January 21, 2021

Dale Trumbore (MM ‘11), an alum of USC Thornton’s Composition program, was featured in The Voice of OC in an article about how the Orange County Women’s Chorus adapted its programming to offer unique online events. Trumbore was commissioned to compose a new piece, “What We Hand Over,” for the chorus’s holiday event, and shares […]


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