Maxwell Beck

Major: Jazz Studies (Double Bass)

Minor: Classics

Graduation year: 2021

Hometown: Los Angeles, California

USC Organizations: Chess Club

Hashtag to describe yourself: #forgetallyourtrebles

Describe your favorite USC Thornton experience so far.

One of the most memorable experiences I have had at Thornton thus far occurred in my Jazz Theory class taught by Professor Goldman. In this class, I had the opportunity to compose music for instruments other than my own and to have it performed and recorded by other musicians. This was significant because it was the first time that I actually heard music that I composed but was not on the recording. The process from start to finish required me to organize and direct the musicianship of others and I felt both the sense of responsibility and the feeling of pride in the accomplishment. The camaraderie and the friendships that came from this experience were wonderful, and from a musical standpoint it was fulfilling and furthered my interest in composition and theory.

What was your favorite USC GE class?

WRIT340 Advanced Writing

What is your favorite thing about being in Los Angeles?

Having grown up in Los Angeles, it never ceases to amaze me the variety of activities, neighborhoods, culinary experiences, and attractions to explore. One of my favorite things about the city is its passion for the arts and its eclectic music scene. Whether a concert at the Walt Disney Concert Hall, a night of Jazz at The Baked Potato or listening to street performers on the Santa Monica Pier, there is inspiration for a music student around every corner.

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

To enjoy the process. There is so much stress surrounding application submissions that I think it is easy to lose sight of the bigger picture – that the goal of college is not only where you get in, but what you make of it when you arrive.

Where is your favorite place on campus?

Doheny Memorial Library

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

The faculty at Thornton is world-class yet approachable and accessible to students. Every professor that I’ve had, from theory to ensembles, really takes the time to get to know you as an individual and helps you to challenge yourself and play to your strengths.

Why did you choose USC Thornton?

When I transferred to Thornton, my goal was to maximize my experience in the jazz curriculum and to expand my scholastic expertise in such areas as composition and audio engineering. I realized after attending a school 3000 miles away, that I missed the energy of Los Angeles, and that I wanted to be truly challenged by a demanding music program.