Alumni News

Jensen McRae in white jacket photographed against red backdrop

Jensen McRae featured on KCRW

August 21, 2020

Popular Music alum Jensen McRae (BM ’19) was recently featured on KCRW’s In Residence series, with the outlet describing McRae as “unquestionably one of KCRW’s favorite new artists of 2020.” In her interview, McRae talks about the music she’s currently writing and why visibility is important as a Black artist in the folk-rock genre. “Black […]


Portrait of Tish Oney on black backround

Tish Oney publishes Peggy Lee biography for icon’s centennial

August 19, 2020

Jazz Studies alum Tish Oney (DMA ’07) celebrated the 100th birthday of music icon Peggy Lee with the publication of her new biography, “Peggy Lee: A Century of Song,” released in July. Oney’s book focuses on Lee’s artistic development, cultural impact, musicianship, and legacy as a songwriter. Oney’s exploration of Peggy Lee’s legacy began as […]


Sydney Adedamola. (Photo by Ben Gibbs/LACO)

Sydney Adedamola announced as 2020/21 LA Phil Resident Fellow

August 18, 2020

The Los Angeles Philharmonic has announced that Sydney Adedamola (BM ’18), violinist and alum of the USC Thornton Strings program, is one of this season’s cohort of the Judith and Thomas L. Beckmen LA Phil Resident Fellows program. The program was founded in 2018 to build stronger career pathways for musicians historically underrepresented in today’s […]


Billy Childs discusses upcoming album in JazzTimes interview

August 10, 2020

USC Thornton alum and GRAMMY Award-nominated artist Billy Childs (BM ’79) is set to release a new album on Aug. 28, and reflects on its influences in a recent JazzTimes interview. Childs reminisces on the artists and projects that have inspired his music, such as his time playing at World Stage, a historic art and […]


portrait of Grant Gershon

Grant Gershon pens KCET article about equity in the arts

August 6, 2020

USC Thornton alum Grant Gershon (BM ‘85), artistic director of the Los Angeles Master Chorale, recently penned an article for KCET about how artists and arts organizations can do more to make the arts accessible and equitable. “I believe that the single most important thing that arts organizations must do now is lift up a […]


Juan Pablo Contreras holding notepad and pencil

Juan Pablo Contreras appears on Trilloquy podcast with Garrett McQueen

July 30, 2020

Juan Pablo Contreras, Latin GRAMMY-nominated composer and a doctoral student in the Composition program, is a guest on the latest episode of Trilloquy, a podcast hosted by USC Thornton alum Garrett McQueen (MM ’12). On Trilloquy, McQueen hosts conversations about challenging the status quo and addressing inequities in classical music. In his interview with McQueen, […]


Eli Brueggemann pictured by brick wall

USC Thornton faculty and alumni nominated for Emmy Awards

July 28, 2020

USC Thornton faculty and alumni were nominated in the 72nd Emmy Awards, announced on July 28. Laura Karpman, a faculty member in the celebrated Screen Scoring program, received two nominations for her work on the Discovery Channel’s “Why We Hate.” Karpman was nominated in the categories of Outstanding Original Main Title Theme Music and Outstanding […]


Guitarlab logo

Classical Guitar students and alumni launch Guitarlab online learning platform

July 27, 2020

A group of entrepreneurial alumni and students of USC Thornton’s Classical Guitar program have launched Guitarlab, a new international online classical guitar intensive and competition for guitarists ages 12-21. Alumni Bokyung Byun (DMA ’20), Tomasz Fechner (MM ’16, DMA ’20), and Jaxon Williams (DMA ’20) along with doctoral students Mircea Gogoncea and Brendon Grabowski built […]


Picture of cellist's hand with bow

Twelve Thornton students and alumni among winners of 2020-2021 Beverly Hills National Auditions

July 26, 2020

Winners of the 2020-2021 Beverly Hills National Auditions (BHNA) were recently announced, and among them are a long list of 12 students and alumni of USC Thornton. Each year, the BHNA selects winners to be presented the following season in a series of monthly concerts across Southern California. In consideration of restrictions on in-person events, […]


Compilation of three images showing three composers portraits

Thornton alumni to appear in Comic-Con@Home online game show

July 24, 2020

Sunday, July 26, three USC Thornton alumni will appear on a panel event for this year’s online-only Comic-Con, Comic-Con@Home. The live online event is a game show-style panel called Composer Squares Game Show, in the style of Hollywood Squares, and will feature alumni composers Jongnic Bontemps (GCRT ’12), Christopher Lennertz (BM ’95), and Giona Ostinelli […]


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