Choral and Sacred Music News from the 2016-2017 Academic Year


USC acquires Paul Salamunovich Archive

February 16, 2017

USC Thornton’s department of Choral and Sacred Music, in conjunction with the USC Libraries Special Collections, has been gifted the archives of the late conductor, scholar, and educator, Paul Salamunovich. A long-time conductor and music director of the Los Angeles Master Chorale and an influential voice in choral pedagogy, Salamunovich also taught at Thornton and… Continue reading USC acquires Paul Salamunovich Archive


portrait of Grant Gershon

Grant Gershon to be honored at 84th USC Alumni Awards

December 22, 2016

On April 22, 2017, the USC Alumni Association will honor seven distinguished alumni, including conductor and USC Thornton Board of Councilors member Grant Gershon (’85, piano), at the 84th annual Alumni Awards. Gershon is Artistic Director of the Los Angeles Master Chorale, Resident Conductor of the Los Angeles Opera, and has emerged as one of… Continue reading Grant Gershon to be honored at 84th USC Alumni Awards


Student Shou Ping Liu selected for conducting master class in Denmark

December 20, 2016

Shou Ping Liu, a doctoral candidate in the USC Thornton Choral & Sacred Music program has been selected to participate in the Nordic Master Class in Instrumental Conducting in Sønderborg, Denmark, this January. Liu will be the only participant from an American school. At the conclusion of the masterclass, which will be led by professor… Continue reading Student Shou Ping Liu selected for conducting master class in Denmark


Nick Strimple receives German-American Friendship Award

December 13, 2016

The legacy of Choral & Sacred Music faculty member Nick Strimple was recently celebrated in a special 70th birthday concert at the Adat Ari El Synagogue. Over a dozen USC Thornton student and alumni musicians, as well as the Los Angeles Zimriyah Chorale and the Beverly Hills High School Minnesingers, performed Strimple’s choral works, including… Continue reading Nick Strimple receives German-American Friendship Award


Matthew Nielsen appointed Interim Choral Conductor at BYU

November 11, 2016

Choral and Sacred Music DMA candidate Matthew Nielsen will serve as the Interim Choral Conductor for the Brigham Young University Men’s Chorus and Concert Choir this spring. Nielsen has previously composed work for the BYU singers and was awarded a Barlow Endowment Foundation commission to craft new compositions.


Masters student receives funding to research and perform Brubeck’s “Gates of Justice”

October 27, 2016

Daniel Newman-Lessler, a second year student in the USC Thornton Choral & Sacred Music master’s program, has received a research grant from The Brubeck Institute at the University of the Pacific to edit a new edition of Dave Brubeck’s jazz-imbued cantata, The Gates of Justice, which he will later perform. The Gates of Justice dates… Continue reading Masters student receives funding to research and perform Brubeck’s “Gates of Justice”


USC Thornton Chamber Singers perform with the Rolling Stones

October 10, 2016

The Rolling Stones took to Coachella this past weekend for the Desert Trip classic-rock festival, with a little help from the USC Thornton Chamber Singers. Under the direction of Choral and Sacred Music chair Jo-Michael Scheibe, the chorus accompanied the Stone’s “You Can’t Always Get What You Want,” to the cheering of thousands of fans.… Continue reading USC Thornton Chamber Singers perform with the Rolling Stones


DMA candidate Irene Apanovitch awarded prestigious CET Fellowship

August 2, 2016

Irene Apanovitch, a doctoral candidate in the USC Thornton Choral & Sacred Music program, has been appointed as a Teaching Assistant Fellow with the USC Center for Excellence in Teaching (CET) for the 2016-17 academic year. CET Fellows take an active role in guiding the work and objectives of Teaching Assistants across the university. In… Continue reading DMA candidate Irene Apanovitch awarded prestigious CET Fellowship


Nathan Fryml joins growing list of professional appointments for Choral grads

July 18, 2016

USC Thornton DMA candidate Nathan Fryml has been appointed Director of Choral Activities at Amarillo College in Texas, where he will conduct three choirs and teach theory at the college. Fryml’s is the fifth professional appointment of Choral & Sacred Music graduates recently: Jenny Wong (MM ’13, choral) was named Assistant Conductor of the LA… Continue reading Nathan Fryml joins growing list of professional appointments for Choral grads


Choral alumnus Robert Istad receives CSUF’s top faculty award

July 5, 2016

Robert Istad (DMA ’06), an alumnus of the USC Thornton Choral & Sacred Music program, has received the 2016 Outstanding Professor Award for his work at the California State University, Fullerton (CSUF). In addition to his teaching responsibilities in the School of Music, Istad oversees several ensembles, including the CSUF University Singers, Concert Choir, Women’s… Continue reading Choral alumnus Robert Istad receives CSUF’s top faculty award