Alumni News from the 2020-2021 Academic Year

Michael Tilson Thomas and Los Angeles Philharmonic win at 2021 GRAMMY Awards

March 14, 2021

The 63rd annual GRAMMY Awards, held virtually on Sunday, March 14, brought wins for faculty and alumni at USC Thornton. Celebrated conductor Michael Tilson Thomas, a Thornton alum and Judge Widney Professor at USC, won for Best Orchestral Performance for the San Francisco Symphony’s “Copland: Symphony No. 3.” And the many alumni and faculty who […]


Morten Lauridsen in black and white

Morten Lauridsen named to Oscar Hammerstein Museum and Theatre Education Center advisory board

March 10, 2021

Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Composition and Thornton alumnus Morten Lauridsen has been named as one of the Honorary Advisory Board Members of the Oscar Hammerstein Museum and Theatre Education Center and will serve as a core member of the Honorary Board of Directors. Lauridsen is one of four prominent figures named to the new Board. […]


Side by side images of Celeste Butler and Raivyn Hearne

Celeste Butler and Raivyn Hearne compete on American Idol

March 9, 2021

Two artists from USC Thornton’s Popular Music program will compete on American Idol this season. Alum Celeste Butler (BM ‘19) and current student Raivyn Hearne both received the coveted golden ticket and will appear on the show’s 19th season, airing now. Butler was recently featured in a Daily Trojan article about her appearance on the […]


Gretchen Parlato in a gown holding a white flower

Gretchen Parlato releases new album, Flor

March 5, 2021

USC Thornton alum and jazz vocalist Gretchen Parlato (GCRT ’03) released a new album on March 5, titled Flor. The album features several special guests, including fellow Thornton alum, pianist Gerald Clayton (BM ‘07). Parlato was interviewed by DownBeat Magazine about her journey from her 2014 album, Live In NYC, which earned her a GRAMMY […]


Alumni duo Karmina releases new album

March 4, 2021

Karmina, a pop duo featuring Music Industry program alumni Kelly Adams (BM ‘05) and sister Kamille Rudisill (BM ’05), recently released a new album produced by film composer John Powell called Queens of Heart. The duo says the four-part cinematic pop album is a tribute to women, paying homage “to powerful women who have elevated […]


Photo of Ludwig Göransson on white backdrop

Ludwig Göransson discusses “Tenet” score in Variety

March 1, 2021

Ludwig Göransson (GCRT ‘08), an alum of the USC Thornton Screen Scoring program, was interviewed by Variety about his score for Christopher Nolan’s recent film, “Tenet.” In the article, Göransson discusses the details of his collaboration with Nolan, including how he was challenged to experiment with different sounds for the film’s otherworldly score. “So many […]


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 […]


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