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

  • CANCELLED - Faculty Recital with Jessica Maxfield

    Classical saxophonist Jessica Maxfield presents her first faculty recital since joining the Winds & Percussion faculty in 2017, with pianist Akina Motoyama. The performance will include works by two USC Thornton faculty, Sean Friar and Andrew Norman, as well as pieces by Edison Denisov and Florent Schmitt. This event has been cancelled. Please check for rescheduling details.

    Newman Recital Hall (AHF)

  • USC Thornton Symphony: A Hero's Welcome

    Carl St.Clair leads the USC Thornton Symphony in a wide-ranging program, including Richard Strauss's spectacular tone-poem, Ein Heldenleben (A Hero's Life).

    Bovard Auditorium (ADM)

  • Faculty Recital with Judith Farmer and Andrew Shulman

    USC Thornton faculty bassoonist Judith Farmer and cellist Andrew Shulman present a joint recital featuring faculty pianist Jeffrey Kahane, alumni pianists Nadia Shpachenko and Nic Gerpe, and alumni clarinetist Edgar Lopez. The evening recital includes duo performances by Shulman and Kahane, longtime collaborators in the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, of works by Frank Bridge and Benjamin Britten that explore the teacher-pupil relationship between the two composers. Farmer will lead an ensemble in a performance of works by Thornton alumnus Gernot Wolfgang including the world premiere of Road Signs for Bassoon and Piano. A previous collaboration between the artists led to a 2016 GRAMMY nomination.

    Newman Recital Hall (AHF)

  • USC Thornton Wind Ensemble: Contemporary Voices

    H. Robert Reynolds and Sharon Lavery lead the USC Thornton Wind Ensemble in a concert of works by contemporary composers, including the world premiere of a work by Thornton student Celka Ojakangas. The program will include Larry Tuttle’s Across the Divide, the premiere of Ojakangas’ Bonehead Fizzix, Stephen Goss’ A Concerto of Colours, David T. Little’s Radiant Child, Gustav Holst's Suite No. 2 in F, and Roberto Sierra’s Fandangos. PROGRAM: Larry Tuttle – Across the Divide Celka Ojakangas – Bonehead Fizzix (Premiere) Stephen Goss – A Concerto of Colours (Guitar) David T. Little – Radiant Child Gustav Holst – Suite No. 2 in F Roberto Sierra – Fandangos

    Bovard Auditorium (ADM)

  • USC Thornton Symphony: New Music for Orchestra

    Donald Crockett, chair of the Composition program, leads the USC Thornton Symphony in this annual concert featuring original works by Thornton student composers.

    Bovard Auditorium (ADM)

  • Drum Day

    The USC Thornton Community Engagement Programs celebrates the diversity and universality of the percussion family of musical instruments. The day-long event will offer clinics, demonstrations, and participatory drumming sessions in a variety of different styles and traditions.

    Ramo Recital Hall (BMH)

  • USC Thornton Symphony presents Mahler's 5th

    Guest conductor Yoav Talmi leads the USC Thornton Symphony on a journey from the infernal to the transcendental with Gustav Mahler's awe-inspiring Fifth Symphony.

    Bovard Auditorium (ADM)

  • USC Thornton Symphony and Choral Artists present Beethoven's 9th

    The USC Thornton Symphony and USC Thornton Choral Artists join forces to perform one of the great Classical masterworks, Ludwig van Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony. Completed in 1824, Beethoven’s final published symphony features the largest orchestra ever assembled by the composer and the now-iconic final movement, with a full chorus singing “Ode to Joy”—a fitting title for such a revelatory piece of music. Maestro Carl St.Clair, artistic leader of the USC Thornton Orchestra Program, will conduct the USC Thornton Symphony, the USC Thornton Chamber Singers, and the USC Thornton Concert Choir as they perform one of the most beloved symphonies ever written. Presented by USC Visions and Voices: the Arts & Humanities Initiative

    Bovard Auditorium (ADM)

  • USC Thornton Percussion Group

    Joseph Pereira, USC Thornton faculty member and principal timpanist of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, leads the Percussion Group in a program of contemporary works.

    Newman Recital Hall (AHF)

  • Considering Matthew Shepard: A Chamber Music Performance

    Composer Craig Hella Johnson leads the USC Thornton Chamber Singers in his oratorio, Considering Matthew Shepard, the story of a young man who was beaten, tied to a fence, and left to die because he was gay. The 1998 murder of Wyoming college student Matthew Shepard brought international attention to hate-crimes perpetrated against the LGBTQ community. Shepard’s life and legacy are remembered in Considering Matthew Shepard, the new passion/oratorio by Craig Hella Johnson, one of today’s most influential choral composers. This exquisite and moving chamber work, performed by the USC Thornton Chamber Singers, soloists, and instrumentalists, reminds us that we must embrace differences and disrupt violence. The performance will be followed by a discussion with the composer and representatives of the USC Office of Religious Life and the LGBTQ community. Presented by USC Visions and Voices: The Arts and Humanities Initiative.

    Bovard Auditorium (ADM)

  • USC Thornton Wind Ensemble

    H. Robert Reynolds and Sharon Lavery lead the USC Thornton Wind Ensemble in the premiere of faculty member Frank Ticheli’s Serenade for Kristin, with oboe soloist Kristin Reynolds, among works by Mark Kilstofte, Paul Hindemith, and William Walton. PROGRAM: Mark Kilstofte - Ballistic Etude No. 1: A Frickin' Fanfare Frank Ticheli - Serenade for Kristin Paul Hindemith - Konzertmusik, Op. 41 William Walton - Façade

    Bovard Auditorium (ADM)

  • Chamber Music Festival: Winds & Percussion

    As part of a three-day festival, USC Thornton’s Winds & Percussion students present an afternoon of chamber music under the direction of Kristy Morrell. FESTIVAL SCHEDULE: Winds & Percussion - Mon., Apr. 23 at 4:30PM Vocal Arts - Tue., Apr. 24 at 5:30PM Strings - Tue., Apr. 24 at 7:30PM Strings - Wed., Apr. 25 at 5PM & 7:30PM

    Newman Recital Hall (AHF)

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    Clarinetists earn prizes at the Vandoren Emerging Artist Competition

    January 19, 2018

    Two USC Thornton clarinet students recently took prizes in the 2018 Vandoren Emerging Artist Competition. Masters candidate Ryan Toher earned 1st Prize in Classical Clarinet. This month, Toher will also participate in the New York Philharmonic Global Academy Fellowship Program traveling to New York City for an intensive ten days… read more

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