News from the 2016-2017 Academic Year

Bassist Robin Kesselman performs with Houston Symphony Orchestra

May 3, 2017

USC Thornton alumnus Robin Kesselman (’12, double bass), principal bass of the Houston Symphony Orchestra, enjoyed his solo debut with the ensemble earlier this year. Kesselman performed Serge Koussevitzky’s Concerto for Double Bass on the January program, which featured contemporary music from the Americas and was led by conductor Andrés Orozco-Estrada. “Koussevitzky was an incredible […]


Composer Ted Hearne mixes music and politics

May 2, 2017

Composer and USC Thornton faculty member Ted Hearne recently released a new album, Sound from the Bench. The politically-charged album features the Philadelphia-based Crossing Choir, conducted by Donald Nally, performing four of Hearne’s works with guitarists Taylor Levine and James Moore and drummer Ron Wiltrout. Sound from the Bench explores subjects including the Iraq War, […]


Alumna Erika Binsley to premiere commission at D.C. Horn Day

May 1, 2017

USC Thornton Winds & Percussion alumna Erika Binsley (BM ’12, Horn) will premiere Nick Norton’s Gone to the Other Shore on May 7th at D.C. Horn Day in Washington, D.C., where she is a featured artist. Binsley commissioned the strikingly-contemporary piece, which features “sounds from many of the world’s oceans” and includes electronic instrumentation, with […]


NYTimes explores USC’s commitment to community engagement

April 28, 2017

Each year, over 70 USC Thornton students and 6,000 Los Angeles-area children participate in our Community Engagement programs. We’re so proud that USC is featured in this New York Times opinion piece on how universities can help kids from disadvantaged circumstances follow their college dreams. Funded in part by the USC Good Neighbors Campaign, Thornton’s […]


Thornton students to participate in serendipitous Sofar Sounds concert

April 27, 2017

Four USC Thornton Popular Music students will perform on the evening of Sunday, April 30th as part of the Sofar Sounds performance series on the USC campus. The series aims to create buzz by presenting unannounced musical artists in secretive locations, which are revealed to audiences just before each event. Music Industry faculty member Loren […]


“Rhythms + Visions” to light up the School of Cinematic Arts this Friday

April 26, 2017

This Friday, April 28th, USC’s School of Cinematic Arts will come to life with a spectacular evening festival of musical performances, interactive animation, projections, inflatables, and virtual reality experiences. The Visions & Voices-produced event, Rhythms + Visions / Expanded + Live 3, will feature work by innovative artists Refik Anadol, Miwa Matreyek, and Patterson + […]


Peter Erskine

Peter Erskine releases new trio album

April 25, 2017

Peter Erskine, jazz drummer and director of Drumset Studies at USC Thornton, recently released a new trio album, In Praise of Shadows. The trio features Erskine, bassist Damian Erskine, and pianist Vardan Ovsepian, who wrote several of the tracks. Electronic valve instrumentalist Judd Miller and cellist Artyom Manukyan are guest artists on the album. All […]


Donald Crockett, Thornton alumni featured at Caramoor

April 24, 2017

USC Thornton Composition chair Donald Crockett (MM ’76) recently visited the Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts in Katonah, New York, where the Argus Quartet is preparing his commissioned string quartet for its July premiere. Thornton alumni and faculty feature prominently throughout the Center’s spring and summer seasons. The Los Angeles-based Argus Quartet, which […]


Alumnus Gabriel DiMarco excels as composer and musician

April 21, 2017

USC Thornton Screen Scoring alumnus Gabriel DiMarco (GCRT ’14, scoring for motion pictures and television) won Best Score for the feature film, Children of the Mountain, at the 2016 Ghana Movie Awards in Accra, Ghana. Described as “moving” by Daniel Glenn of Film Forward, DiMarco’s score reinforces the emotional journey of an unmarried mother in […]


Doctoral student Scott Rieker leads Torrance Civic Chorale

April 20, 2017

Scott Rieker, a DMA candidate in the USC Thornton Choral & Sacred Music program, was recently named Artistic Director of the Torrance Civic Chorale. The fourth Artistic Director in the ensemble’s 56-year history, Rieker looks forward to “finding new levels of artistic, beautiful, healthy singing that will appeal to the wonderfully diverse population of the […]


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