Alumni News

Alumnus Robert Lydecker scores second season of “Iron Fist”

September 11, 2018

Composer and USC Thornton alumnus Robert Lydecker (BM ’08 Composition, GCRT ’09 Film Scoring), scored the second season of the Netlix original series Iron Fist, which premiered September 7th. Lydecker also co-scored two seasons of ABC’s Designated Survivor with composer Sean Callery, and co-composed the score for the 2017 film XXX: Return of Xander Cage […]


Alumnus Jules Pegram premieres new opera

September 5, 2018

USC Thornton alumnus Jules Pegram (BM ’13, Composition) recently composed, produced, and conducted two performances of Higher Ground, a sixty-minute, one act opera with a libretto by North Carolina-based writer Jim Whiteside. Scored for seven principal vocalists, SATB chorus, and chamber orchestra, the opera was fully staged on April 4 & 5, 2018 at the […]


Alumna Sue Elliott chosen to lead new Tanglewood Learning Institute

August 31, 2018

Alumna Sue Elliott (MM ’98, Clarinet) was recently appointed as the inaugural director of the Tanglewood Learning Institute, a new educational music facility set to open in the Summer of 2019. A project of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, in collaboration with the Tanglewood Music Center, the institute’s four new buildings will host year-round educational talks […]


Pianist Derek Polischuk releases two albums, looks ahead to book launch

August 27, 2018

Pianist and USC Thornton alumnus Derek Polischuk (BM ’01, DMA ’06, Piano) has recently released two albums on the Blue Griffin label. It’s About Time, featuring trombonist Ava Ordman, includes music by female composers Andrea Clearfield, Lauren Bernofsky, Joelle Wallach, Karen Thomas, Ida Gotkovsky, Elizabeth Raum and Barbara York, while Anxiety Attack, with soprano Melanie […]


Film scoring alumni selected for Universal Film Music Composer Initiative

August 23, 2018

Four USC Thornton film scoring alumni – George Shaw (BM ’04, Film Scoring), Jermaine Stegall (GCRT ’04, SMPTV), Layla Minoui (GCRT ’08, SMPTV), and Jongnic Bontemps (GCRT ’12, SMPTV) – have been selected as finalists for the Universal Film Music Composer Initiative, which aims to nurture up-and-coming screen composers. As noted in the Hollywood Reporter, […]


Harpist Caroline Hales wins Music Academy’s Concerto Competition

August 20, 2018

Harpist Caroline Hales (BM ’16), a master’s candidate in the USC Thornton Strings program, recently won the Music Academy of the West’s 2018 Concerto Competition. Hales, who studies with JoAnn Turovsky, serves as principal harpist with the American Youth Symphony, the Debut Chamber Orchestra, and the USC Thornton Symphony. Winners of the Concerto Competition will […]


Faculty and alumni featured in summer opera productions across the country

August 7, 2018

Several USC Thornton faculty and alumni have enjoyed success on the opera stage this summer. Faculty member Ken Cazan, the USC Thornton Opera’s resident stage director, returned to Colorado’s Central City Opera to direct productions of Handel’s Acis and Galatea and Henry Mollicone’s 1978 chamber opera, The Face on the Barroom Floor. Starring as Galatea, […]


Greg Reitan receives Copland House residency award

August 1, 2018

Jazz pianist and film composer Greg Reitan (BM ’96, Composition), a USC Thornton alumnus, has been awarded a 2018 residency at the Copland House in New York state. The house, where Aaron Copland spent the last 30 years of his life, hosts selected composers for short-term, all-expenses-paid creative residencies each year. Reitan has worked as […]


Martin Chalifour to perform Saint-Saëns’ Violin Concerto at the Hollywood Bowl

July 30, 2018

Violinist Martin Chalifour, Principal Concertmaster of the Los Angeles Philharmonic (LA Phil) and a member of the USC Thornton Strings faculty, will perform Saint-Saëns’ Violin Concerto No. 1, under the baton of Paolo Bortolameolli, at the Hollywood Bowl on August 2nd. Chalifour has spent much of the summer as a Valade Teaching Fellow and Valade […]


Guitarist Mak Grgić to tour with k.d. lang

July 23, 2018

Classical guitarist Mak Grgić (MM ’12, DMA ’16), a graduate certificate candidate at USC Thornton and an alumnus of the school’s Arts Leadership program, will open for k.d. lang during the artist’s Fall tour across the American South. Beginning September 7th, Grgić will perform on lang’s Ingénue Redux Tour in nine cities, closing the tour […]


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