Choral & Sacred Music

Established by Charles C. Hirt in 1946, the USC Thornton Department of Choral & Sacred Music has long been an innovator and leader in the development of degree programs specifically designed for the choral conductor and religious affiliated musician. Graduates are given the opportunity to conduct choral groups of national prominence and hold positions as conductors and teachers throughout the world. The current faculty consists of talented specialists who lead regional choral and church ensembles and also serve as clinicians and guest conductors around the world.

Departmental ensembles have achieved local, national and international recognition through performances with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Pacific Symphony and Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, and ensembles have appeared at divisional (2014, 2018) and national conferences of the American Choral Directors Association (ACDA)(2005, 2015), the National Collegiate Choral Organization (NCCO)(2011, 2016) and the International Federation for Choral Music (IFCM)(2014). Recent tours have taken the ensembles to New Zealand, Australia, China, South Korea, Bulgaria, Spain, France, Poland, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia.

Undergraduate Programs

Bachelor of Music

Choral Music

4 years | 132 units

The BM in choral music is a four-year, 132-unit program that combines the flexibility of a Bachelor of Arts program, including 32 units of general education and 20 elective credits, with an in-depth education in choral music that includes an introduction to choral music and course work in choral conducting, choral development, choral arranging, diction, and choral ensemble.

Refer to the USC Catalogue for complete course descriptions and degree requirements here.

Graduate Programs

Master of Music

Choral Music

2 years | 30 units

The MM in choral music is a two-year, 30-unit program that includes course work in choral conducting, choral music seminars, choral literature, choral development, music history, and vocal arts. The program culminates with a graduate recital.

Refer to the USC Catalogue for complete course descriptions and degree requirements here.

Master of Music

Sacred Music

2 years | 30 units

The MM in sacred music is a two-year, 30-unit program that includes course work in sacred music, choral conducting, choral literature, choral development, music history, and vocal arts. The program culminates with a graduate recital.

Refer to USC Catalogue for complete course descriptions and degree requirements here.

Doctoral Programs

Doctor of Musical Arts

Choral Music

65 units

The DMA in choral music requires a minimum of 65 units beyond the bachelor’s degree and consists of the following areas of study: the basic DMA curriculum, course work in the major, an academic field and two elective fields. Two doctoral recitals are required.

Refer to the USC Catalogue for complete course descriptions and degree requirements here.

Doctor of Musical Arts

Sacred Music

65 units

The DMA in sacred music requires a minimum of 65 units beyond the bachelor’s degree and consists of the following areas of study: the basic DMA curriculum, course work in the major, an academic field and two elective fields. One lecture/recital is required.

Refer to the USC Catalogue for complete course descriptions and degree requirements here.

Minors & Electives

Minor in Musical Studies


18 units

The Musical Studies minor is for students who already have a background in music performance and want to continue to develop their skills. Musical Studies minors have the opportunity to study their instrument in private lessons and participate in ensembles, as well as study music theory and music history. Through the electives, students may explore their own unique musical interests. Students may apply on virtually any instrument, including voice.

Sing With Us

Any USC student or faculty can join a choir for credit or as an extracurricular activity. Regardless of your background or level of experience, we have a choir for you!

Study With Us

Our department boasts alumni distinguished by the diversity of their contributions to the choral art, including music directors of renowned professional ensembles

Subscribe to Choral News

Spring 2020
Read the latest edition of our annual departmental newsletter.

For all the latest from the Choral & Sacred Music program, subscribe to our email newsletter.

Contact

Cristian Grases, chair
Woody Gatewood, choral department administrator

Department of Choral and Sacred Music
USC Thornton School of Music
Los Angeles, California 90089-0851
(213) 821-5756
uschoral@usc.edu