March 27 – A Message from the Dean to Faculty and Staff: Thornton Reopening Preview

Dear Thornton Faculty and Staff:

I am writing with a preview of the attached message that will be sent to students this afternoon that further defines the next steps of our partial reopening of Thornton facilities.

USC Thornton Practice Space Access Request

Be advised that students MUST submit the USC Thornton Majors: Practice Space Request Form to be considered. All submissions must be received by next Wednesday, March 31 before 5:00 pm. Attached please find an alphabetical list of all students who have submitted to date. If you know of a student living near campus experiencing hardship associated with sound isolation or a lack of instrument, and you do not see their name on the list, please encourage them to apply as soon as possible.

USC Thornton Practice Reopening Opportunities

We have confirmed the following opportunities for the timeframe of March 15 to May 12. They are summarized below:


(March 15 – May 12)

This initial round has already begun, with the limited spaces we could provide, addressing the needs of approximately 50 local students experiencing the greatest hardship (as assessed by the Restart Team).

Students are assigned, based on their practice availability, a studio for individual use only for two full days (9:00 am-9:00 pm) out of a seven-day week. Students will be provided a key to that studio and are responsible for providing their own access on their designated days.


(April 12 – May 12)

The Gateway Practice Facility will provide 2-hour practice slots Wednesday-Sunday. 48 daily slots will be made available within compliance constraints. Practice slots are for individual use only.

Various rooms within our main buildings will become available for 3-hour slot reservations Monday-Friday. These rooms are for individual use only.

USC Thornton Halls for Recording Projects Request

A separate process is being created for signing up for the Schoenfeld Symphonic Hall, MacDonald Recital Hall, and Ramo Recital Hall venues for the purposes of recording projects. Students who live in the area around campus and need to record for their recitals will be prioritized. Only a single performer will be allowed in these spaces using either their own equipment or some peripheral (camera, microphone) equipment on loan from the school. Information about this process will be announced after the Practice Space Access Request submissions are complete.

USC Thornton Summer Planning

This summer at Thornton, a timeframe of May 13 – August 1, is referred to as “ROUND THREE.” Thornton facilities will be closed to make way for an extensive set of projects designed to address long-standing issues as well as prepare Thornton for a return to more normalized operations in Fall 2021. In that context it is expected that:

One notable exception is the Screen Scoring program that deferred its start date to the spring and will be offering its spring session during the summer. Needs for this program will be managed on a course-by-course basis and be conditions-based.

Repairs and renovations will be taking place throughout most Thornton facilities. Noise, dust, or simply the significant moves associated with projects will substantially limit or prevent access to facilities. Therefore, most faculty and staff should plan to continue to work remotely until late July/early August.

While many restrictions remain, it feels great to send these updates about our partial reopening and plans moving forward. I will continue to update you while we plan for the remainder of this year and the Fall 2021 semester.

As always, please stay safe and be well.

Rob Cutietta
Dean, USC Thornton School of Music