Winds & Percussion


The USC Thornton Winds & Percussion faculty consists of artists and teachers of national and international regard, and provides a level of artistic and technical development virtually unmatched in the United States. Emphasis on all aspects of performance, combined with broad musical preparation, produces graduates who are concert artists, recording artists for major motion picture and television studios, performers in major orchestras and ensembles, and members of the faculties of music schools throughout the world.

Undergraduate and graduate degrees, as well as non-degree certificates, are offered in: flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon, saxophone, french horn, trumpet, trombone, tuba, and percussion.



event calendar

Upcoming events

  • USC Thornton Symphony: Bernstein & Prokofiev

    Resident conductor Sharon Lavery leads the USC Thornton Symphony in a rousing program celebrating Bernstein at 100. The concert features Bernstein's Overture to Candide, Symphonic Dances from West Side Story, as well as selections from Prokofiev's Romeo and Juliet, Suites 1 & 2. PROGRAM: Bernstein - Overture to Candide Bernstein – Symphonic Dances from West Side Story Prokofiev – Romeo and Juliet: Selections from Suites 1 & 2

    Bovard Auditorium (ADM)

  • Thornton Edge

    Donald Crockett leads the USC Thornton Edge new music group in a program of colorful and evocative music from Europe, including Derives 1 by Pierre Boulez, Lied in Fall by Hans Abrahamsen, and The Bagpiper's String Trio by Judith Weir.

    Newman Recital Hall (AHF)

  • USC Thornton Wind Ensemble: Old & New

    H. Robert Reynolds and Sharon Lavery lead the USC Thornton Wind Ensemble in a radiant journey from the 19th century through today, featuring music by Dvořák, Mahler, Stravinsky, Joan Tower, and Thornton alumnus Zhou Tian. PROGRAM Joan Tower – Fanfare for the Uncommon Woman No. 2 Igor Stravinsky – Octet Gustav Mahler – Um Mitternacht Antonin Dvorak – Serenade, op. 44 Zhou Tian – Petals of Fire

    Bovard Auditorium (ADM)

  • USC Thornton Baroque Sinfonia: Fiori musicali

    Rotem Gilbert and the USC Thornton Baroque Sinfonia explore the musical flowers of 17th century Italy, featuring vocal works by Chiara Margherita Cozzolani, Barbara Strozzi, and Giovanni Legrenzi, along with virtuosic instrumental fireworks. This event is co-produced with the USC-Huntington Early Modern Studies Institute.

    Newman Recital Hall (AHF)

  • Concerto Night with the USC Thornton Symphony

    Guest conductor Andrés Cárdenes, Artistic Director of the Carnegie Mellon University Philharmonic, leads the USC Thornton Symphony in the annual Concerto Night, showcasing three outstanding student and graduate soloists. Elissa Brown will perform Christophe Rouse's Flute Concerto, while violinist Strauss Shi performs Franz Waxman's Carmen Fantasie, and Yuhan Yeh performs Prokofiev's Piano Concerto No. 3. PROGRAM: Franz Waxman – Carmen Fantasie featuring violinist Strauss Shi Christopher Rouse – Flute Concerto featuring Elissa Brown Serge Prokofiev – Piano Concerto No.3, op.26, C Major featuring Yuhan Yeh

    Bovard Auditorium (ADM)

  • USC Thornton Wind Ensemble: Happy Birthday, Lenny!

    The USC Thornton Wind Ensemble celebrates the centennial of visionary American composer Leonard Bernstein with a performance of favorites from West Side Story to Candide, along with music by Adam Schoenberg and faculty member Jim Self. H. Robert Reynolds and Sharon Lavery conduct. PROGRAM James Self – Ta Da Fanfare Adam Schoenberg – Picture Studies Leonard Bernstein – Overture to Candide Leonard Bernstein – “Symphonic Dances” from West Side Story Leonard Bernstein – BSO Forever March

    Bovard Auditorium (ADM)

  • LACO Mock Orchestral Auditions

    The Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra (LACO)-Thornton Strings Mentorship Program presents the Mock Orchestral Audition, providing students with the hands-on experience of a professional orchestra audition. True to the professional process, selected USC Thornton Strings students will play orchestral excerpts behind a screen for a panel of adjudicators. At the conclusion of the audition, a special award may be given to an exceptional student at the discretion of the judges, giving them an opportunity to be mentored by a LACO principal musician and to perform as a substitute player during one week of the orchestra's 2018-19 concert season.

    Newman Recital Hall (AHF)

  • Faculty Recital with Jim Self, Norm Pearson, & Doug Tornquist

    USC Thornton's tuba faculty – Jim Self, Norm Pearson, and Doug Tornquist – present a collaborative recital, performing solo, as a tuba trio, and with guest performers in a wide variety of music, including a world premiere. The three leading Southern California tubists are principals in the Los Angeles Philharmonic, LA Opera, Long Beach Symphony, Pacific Symphony, Pasadena Symphony, LA Master Chorale, Hollywood Bowl Orchestra, and the Hollywood studios.

    Newman Recital Hall (AHF)

  • USC Thornton Percussion Group

    Joseph Pereira, Thornton faculty member and Principal Timpanist of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, leads the Percussion Group in a program of contemporary works, including Steve Reich's minimalist masterpiece, Drumming.

    Newman Recital Hall (AHF)

  • USC Thornton Chamber Orchestra: Haydn & Ravel

    Carl St.Clair leads the USC Thornton Chamber Orchestra in a joyful program, featuring Ravel's Le Tombeau de Couperin and Mother Goose Suite, along with Haydn's sparkling Symphony No. 88. PROGRAM: Ravel – Ma mère l'Oye (Mother Goose) Ravel – Le Tombeau de Couperin Haydn – Symphony No.88 in G Major

    Bovard Auditorium (ADM)

  • Thornton Edge

    The USC Thornton Edge, the new music group led by Donald Crockett, presents a program of recent music from the United States, including Lightenings by Thornton alumna Elizabeth Ogonek, and music for large ensemble by David Dzubay.

    Newman Recital Hall (AHF)

  • USC Thornton Opera presents “Le Rossignol” & “L'Enfant et les Sortilèges”

    The USC Thornton Opera program and USC Thornton Symphony present a rare French double bill featuring iconic one-act operas, Stravinsky’s Le Rossignol and Ravel’s L’Enfant et les Sortilèges. Le Rossignol, with music by Igor Stravinsky and libretto by Stravinsky and Stepan Mitussov, is based on a story by Hans Christian Anderson and speaks to a spoiled ruler’s lack of control over nature and death. L’Enfant et les Sortilèges, composed by Maurice Ravel with libretto by the incomparable Colette, is the story of the consequences for a child who, in anger, destroys his nursery room, harming the animals around him. The child and the emperor both learn to find solace in nature and harmony in the worlds they inhabit. Performed in French with English subtitles. A pre-performance discussion on Friday, Nov. 16 is presented by USC Visions and Voices: The Arts and Humanities Initiative. Wednesday, Nov. 14 at 8PM Friday, Nov. 16 at 8PM Sunday, Nov. 18 at 2PM

    Bing Theatre (BIT)

  • more videos


    news archive


    Alumnus Jules Pegram premieres new opera

    September 5, 2018

    USC Thornton alumnus Jules Pegram (BM ’13, Composition) recently composed, produced, and conducted two performances of Higher Ground, a sixty-minute, one act opera with a libretto by North Carolina-based writer Jim Whiteside. Scored for seven principal vocalists, SATB chorus, and chamber orchestra, the opera was fully staged on April 4… read more

    more news

    all ensembles


    all USC Thornton faculty