Hannah McDonnel

Major: BM Choral Music

Graduation year: 2023

Hometown: Eden Prairie, MN

USC Organizations: American Choral Directors Association, Troy Tones A Capella, Teach for Los Angeles

Hashtag to describe yourself: #procrastinationstation

Describe your favorite USC Thornton experience so far.

It is so hard to pick just one, but at our Winter Gala choir concert we sang a few songs in the audience and I was singing right next to USC President Carol Folt! I was definitely a little star-struck, but she took my screeching like a champ.

What was your favorite USC GE class?

I took Existentialism in Philosophy, Literature, and Film my first semester here, and while it kicked my butt, I still got to read the works of some of the most celebrated philosophers in history. The class helped me round out my music-heavy schedule, and also strengthened my study habits and critical thinking skills.

What is your favorite thing about being in Los Angeles?

I love being in the center of the action! The music and arts scene is always changing, and there’s always something new to try. I also love being just a short metro ride away from the beach!

What is something you wish you knew when you were applying to college?

No one knows what the future holds, so just enjoy the ride. Consider your options carefully, but don’t get too caught up in the logistics. Everything may not go as you expect it, but eventually it all works out for the best!

Where is your favorite place on campus?

The roof of the parking garage at McClintock and 36th has gorgeous views. If you squint, you can see the Hollywood sign!

What is your favorite thing about being a student at USC Thornton?

The students are so supportive of each other, and faculty members are super passionate! There are endless opportunities to collaborate across disciplines, and all kinds of concerts to attend. I am constantly surrounded by incredible talent, and it pushes me to be a better musician every day.

Why did you choose USC Thornton?

When I visited, I could tell that the students were full of enthusiasm. Everyone was so passionate about what they were doing, and it inspired me! I knew that I wanted to go somewhere that had incredible musical opportunities, but I could tell that Thornton was a unique opportunity. In one of the best locations in the world to study music, at the heart of it all, with some of the most talented professors at the top of their fields, combined with the cheerful and welcoming spirit that I picked up on from the moment I stepped on campus, I could tell that Thornton was the place for me.