Composition

Overview

The composers on the USC Thornton faculty are outstanding members of the international musical community, with major commissions, awards, recordings and residencies among the faculty’s many accolades. Composition students, among the finest in the country, regularly win national awards and commissions, including: ASCAP and BMI awards, New York Symphony Orchestra First Music commissions, Aspen and Tangelwood fellowships, American Composers Orchestra and Minnesota Orchestra reading sessions, among many others.

The Composition Program strongly emphasizes performance opportunities for student composers. Student works are premiered at Thornton Edge new music Ensemble concerts, student department showcases and recitals, and at the annual New Music for Orchestra concert – an event which has premiered over 150 USC Thornton student orchestral works. The USC Thornton choruses, Wind Ensemble, Percussion Ensemble and chamber music program provide composition students with significant reading and performance opportunities as well.

Our Program’s curriculum offers thorough training in composition, musicianship, theory, analysis, orchestration and counterpoint. Electives in electro-acoustic composition are also available. Student who complete the BM, MM, or DMA in composition at USC Thornton are given priority status for admission to the MM Screen Scoring program. Those wishing to pursue this option are required to meet with the director of the Screen Scoring program as early as possible in their composition studies at USC Thornton in order to determine which additional courses they must successfully complete (typically 5 units or less), and what other steps they must take (including but not limited to submission of an application), to secure their spot in the Screen Scoring program.

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Spotlights

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Upcoming events

  • Thornton Edge

    Donald Crockett leads Thornton Edge new music group in a program of contemporary works for large ensemble.

    Newman Recital Hall (AHF)

  • Winter Gala: Brightest and Best

    The USC Thornton School of Music and its Choral & Sacred Music department present its annual winter gala. Celebrate the holidays in elegant style with Brightest & Best, a scholarship fundraiser that provides substantial support for Thornton student scholarships. The event will feature 250 singers and instrumentalists ringing in the season with carols and songs in an evening of pageantry for the entire community to enjoy. Saturday, December 9 Bovard Auditorium, USC University Park Campus Pre-concert dinner at 5:00 p.m. optional Will call opens at 6:30 p.m. Doors open at 7:00 p.m. For ticket information about this scholarship fundraiser, call (213) 740-6474, or visit music.usc.edu/wintergala Join us for dinner! New this year, we are offering an optional pre-concert dinner at the Amy King Dundon-Berchtold University Club of USC beginning at 5:00 p.m. for $100 per person. Reserve early as this limited capacity dinner is sure to sell out! Dinner will include a champagne reception followed by a three-course menu specially designed for this festive holiday concert. Music performed by our talented USC Thornton students will be featured during the evening. Dinner reservations are not tax-deductible. Reception at 5:00 p.m. Dinner at 5:30 p.m.

    Bovard Auditorium (ADM)

  • Caught in the Chamber: A Music and Dance Concert-in-Process with yMusic

    In two very special performances, yMusic, award-winning composer and USC Thornton faculty member Andrew Norman, dancer/choreographer and USC Kaufman professor Jennifer McQuiston Lott, and avant-pop music-video director Nathan Johnson will create a hybrid “chamber music video.” Hailed by NPR as “one of the groups that has really helped to shape the future of classical music,” yMusic is an ensemble of six innovative New York City instrumentalists who are equally at home performing with popular musicians like Björk and commissioning scores from rising orchestral composers. Share in their creative journey at this unique event, which will also feature new works by students from the USC Thornton School of Music and USC Kaufman School of Dance. Presented by USC Visions and Voices: The Arts and Humanities

    Glorya Kaufman International Dance Center


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