Every Note Has A Purpose

“Every time the students walk into a rehearsal hall, I want the students to really feel assured that I am, and that all the guests, are there for them, for their benefit, and for their growth,” said Carl St.Clair, the artistic leader of the USC Thornton Orchestras program.

For over 20 years, the celebrated music director of the Pacific Symphony has had a relationship with the USC Thornton School of Music. Since the 2005-06 season, he has been principal conductor of the USC Thornton orchestras and a faculty lecturer in conducting. In 2012, he took on an expanded role as artistic leader and principal conductor.

Week after week, he’s led Thornton students in amazing performances — from Santa Barbara’s Granada Theatre to Walt Disney Concert Hall and USC’s Bovard Auditorium. “Playing with Maestro St.Clair has just been so inspiring,” said oboist Theodosia Roussos. “I feel that he brings out the best playing in everyone. He doesn’t let us get away with letting go of a note. Every note has a purpose.”

“The atmosphere they’ve created here is one where you feel ownership of what you’re doing,” added Jonathan Sie, an undergraduate in trombone, “and I think we’re all very proud of the product when we perform.”


Catch them this Friday, Jan. 26, when the USC Thornton Symphony opens the Spring semester of concerts with Strauss’s spectacular tone-poem, Ein Heldenleben (A Hero’s Life).