Student Accomplishments

Black and white portrait of Katelyn Vahala

Katelyn Vahala wins first prize at Rosalyn Tureck International Bach Competition

December 11, 2019

Keyboard Studies alum and current graduate student Katelyn Vahala (BM ’18) has recently won first prize at the Rosalyn Tureck International Bach Competition, and also won the prize for best contemporary performance. The international competition is named for the late Rosalyn Tureck, an acclaimed pianist, teacher, conductor, scholar, and author, who was known for her […]


Photo of composer Adeliia Faizullina

Adeliia Faizullina named winner of 2020 Celebrate Asia Composition Competition

November 28, 2019

Composition doctoral candidate Adeliia Faizullina was announced as the winner of the Seattle Symphony’s Celebrate Asia Composition Competition, a competition that invites submissions from emerging composers who find inspiration and influences in Asian culture, music and traditions. Her piece, “Tatar Folk Tales,” will be performed by the Seattle Symphony at the Celebrate Asia concert on […]


Photo of Erna Vala at piano

Erna Vala performs at Icelandic Embassy in Washington, D.C.

November 17, 2019

Keyboard Studies doctoral student Erna Vala recently performed at the Icelandic Embassy in Washington, D.C. at the reception of the Fulbright Artic Initiative Symposium. Vala is a Fulbright scholar from Iceland and talented pianist who studies with faculty member Bernadene Blaha. The Fulbright Arctic Initiative works to provide the foundation for collaboration of all Arctic […]


Photo of Amir Kelly and Ayoni Thompson

Amir Kelly and Ayoni Thompson named among Best Young Music Artists of 2019

November 16, 2019

Two USC Thornton Popular Music students, Amir Kelly and Ayoni Thompson, were recently named to PopSugar Magazine’s list of Best Young Music Artists 2019. The list highlights talented up-and-coming artists who are soon to make waves in pop music. Senior Amir Kelly creates music he describes as “Blindian Pop,” a nod to his Black and […]


Photo of Ernest Harrison

Ernest Harrison named Music Director and Conductor of Gay Men’s Chorus of Los Angeles

November 14, 2019

Doctoral Candidate in Choral Conducting at USC Thornton Ernest Harrison has been named the Music Director and Conductor of the Gay Men’s Chorus of Los Angeles (GMCLA). Ernest will begin working with GMCLA in December to work on season concert plans, and will begin his full-time podium position beginning in January. His first main-season concert […]


Black and white photo of Nina Shekhar

Nina Shekhar receives Debut Fellowship from Young Musicians Foundation

November 13, 2019

Composition graduate student Nina Shekhar is one of the first recipients of the Debut Fellowship from the Young Musicians Foundation (YMF). The newly established program aims to empower musical artists who are committed to social justice through arts in education by providing professional development and training in areas vital to building successful initiatives for systemic […]


Photo of Thomas Mellan

Thomas Mellan opens Jacaranda Music’s new season

November 12, 2019

USC Thornton Composition student and Organ Studies alum Thomas Mellan (BM ’17, MM ’19) recently opened Jacaranda Music’s 2019-2020 season in Los Angeles as a resident organist. Mellan performed in Jacaranda’s opening concert, “Organic Rush,” on Sept. 21 alongside organist and conductor Mark Allen Hilt. Mellan will also close the season in June with a […]


Spencer Lemann with Carol Rosenstein

Jazz Studies student receives Outstanding Young Philanthropist Award

November 6, 2019

Jazz Studies student Spencer Lemann has received the Outstanding Young Philanthropist Award from the Association of Fundraising Professionals Greater Los Angeles Chapter. Lemann will be recognized for his work with Music Mends Minds, a nonprofit that creates musical support groups for patients with neurodegenerative diseases. Lemann has volunteered with Music Mends Minds since its founding […]


Photo of three international artist fellows

Three Thornton doctoral candidates among this year’s USC International Artist Fellows

September 30, 2019

USC recently announced the 2019-2020 class of International Artist Fellows, including three USC Thornton DMA candidates: Classical Guitar student Bokyung Byun, Keyboard Studies student Wesley Chu, and Composition student Guang Yang. Since 2013, the International Artist Fellowship has provided scholarships and other resources to enable talented artsits from around the world to study at USC’s […]


Carly Rose

Carly Rose discusses reality TV past and upcoming E.P. on Spectrum News

September 27, 2019

Music Industry student Carly Rose recently appeared on Spectrum News to talk about her latest single and upcoming debut E.P. Rose released her first single “Birds & Bees” in June and made waves with her indie-pop talent. She plans to release her full E.P. in 2020. “Birds & Bees” isn’t Rose’s first musical breakthrough. Her […]


Student accomplishments archive