Jacqueline Rasmussen

Major: Piano Performance

Minor: Education and Society

Graduation year: 2023

Hometown: Twin Falls, ID

USC Organizations: Thornton Community Engagement Program, USC Student Symphony Orchestra, USC Transfer Student Community

Hashtag to describe yourself: #creativityforcommunity

Favorite place on campus: Newman Recital Hall. I had my audition there, and it was such a gorgeous hall!

Describe your favorite USC Thornton experience so far.

Thornton not only seeks to support their students in their musical growth, but offers opportunities for them to begin their career and engagement from the get-go. My favorite experience so far has been in the Thornton Community Engagement Program (TCEP) where I taught a 2nd grade world music class, and my students expressed to me how much they loved learning about music and hearing me and my TCEP colleagues play our instruments for them. Instilling that love of music for those students was the highlight of my whole year.

What was your favorite USC GE class?

PHIL 288 (Love and its Representation in Western Literature, Film and Philosophy) has been my favorite GE so far. The teacher was so kind and fantastic, and it was so fascinating and fun to learn about “love” throughout history, and also in film.

What is your favorite thing about being in Los Angeles?

You really do get a little bit of everything here! Nature in the mountains, the beach, diverse and tight-knit communities throughout LA, and a city life with an incredible and world-renowned arts scene, with incredible opportunities. The people here are also warm and friendly.

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

As a transfer student who changed majors, I wish I knew that it’s completely okay to not know exactly what you want to do when you enter college and change majors, and that it’s also completely okay to be a transfer student, especially as a music student. Everyone’s college journey and experiences are unique and valid, and sometimes the things we think are disadvantages for ourselves can turn out to be our greatest strengths.

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

The Thornton community wants to support, help and see each other succeed in each of our endeavors. I was initially scared to come to Thornton because I was worried it would be a competitive atmosphere, but I was so happy to learn that it is quite the opposite. The students and faculty deeply care about each other as a community, and uplift each other in a positive environment.

Why did you choose the Thornton School? 

The world class faculty included professors that I have always wanted to study with, and my closest mentors have also almost entirely been Thornton alumni. What made me choose Thornton was being welcomed with such open arms into such a supportive community. I knew this world class music education in a positive and supportive environment was my dream.