Meet The New Faculty: León F. García Corona

Photo: Lev A. García Stallings

As part of a new series this spring, USC Thornton welcomes León F. García Corona, new assistant professor of musicology.


León F. García Corona is a music scholar whose work focuses on the intersections between music, race and social justice in Mexico and among its diasporic communities in the United States. He is the co-editor and a contributor of Voices of the Field: Pathways in Public Ethnomusicology (Oxford University Press), in which he and other contributors explore public engagement in ethnomusicology.

García Corona received his doctoral degree in ethnomusicology from the University of California, Los Angeles. He previously worked as a producer and education specialist for the Smithsonian Institution, where he founded Folkways Magazine and produced dozens of featured articles and educational initiatives, including the award-winning jazz educational website. His scholarship has been published by Oxford University Press, Cambridge University Press, Latin American Music Review, American Music, the Canadian Journal of Latin American and Caribbean Studies and the Smithsonian Institution.

Adam Knight Gilbert, director of the Thornton Early Music program and a professor in the musicology and early music programs, said García Corona – a scholar with a wide range of expertise – will bring to Thornton “much-needed representation of Latin American musical traditions.”

“I am especially excited about León joining our faculty because musical performance is such an integral aspect of his research, teaching and spirit. Every time I have spoken with León, he has taken his guitar or vihuela off of the wall to demonstrate something by playing and singing,” Gilbert said. “I suspect that by the end of his first week in class, everyone will be singing and playing along.”

“I’m thrilled to be part of the Thornton School of Music, a music program that is not only aware of the shifting educational paradigms in music but actively leading that change by example,” García Corona said.

García Corona is currently working on a monograph, Enamored Voices: Music, Migration and Social Struggle in Close Harmony, where he explores close harmony singing in the United States and Mexico and the ways it intersects with issues of race, migration and cultural membership.


The New Cohort

As part of the series, here are more recently announced faculty of USC Thornton.

Photo of Jeanine Cowen

Jeanine Cowen

Jeanine Cowen joins the faculty as a professor of practice and the new chair of the USC Thornton Screen Scoring program. Cowen is an active media composer and educator who works as a freelance composer, music producer and sound designer focusing primarily on the intersection of audio and visual medias, with particular interest in the burgeoning VR/AR/XR worlds and video games. Formerly the vice president for curriculum and program innovation at Berklee College of Music, she was a professor in the game and interactive media scoring area at Berklee before joining the USC Thornton faculty.

Photo of Jonathan A. Gómez

Jonathan A. Gómez

Dr. Jonathan A. Gómez joins the faculty as an assistant professor of musicology. He is a musicologist who studies Black American musics of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, as well as musics of the African diaspora more broadly. Gómez is a jazz saxophonist who holds a master’s degree in musicology from Michigan State University and a bachelor’s in studio music and jazz from the University of Miami’s Frost School of Music. He is currently completing his doctoral degree in historical musicology with a secondary field in African and African American studies at Harvard University, where he is also a GSAS presidential scholar.

Photo of Candice D. Mattio

Candice D. Mattio

Candice D. Mattio joins the faculty as an assistant professor of music teaching and learning. Her research focuses on the intersections of musical creativity, social issues in contemporary and popular music education and technology-based music teaching and learning contexts. Before joining the Thornton faculty, she was an assistant professor and coordinator of music education at Florida International University and previously was chair of fine arts and taught secondary general music, electronic music, studio production and popular music ensembles in Chicago public schools.

Seth Parker Woods

Cellist Dr. Seth Parker Woods joins the faculty as an assistant professor of practice, string chamber music and cello. A recipient of the 2022 Chamber Music America Michael Jaffee Visionary Award and hailed by The Guardian as “a cellist of power and grace” who possesses “mature artistry and willingness to go to the brink,” Woods will direct the Thornton Strings Department’s chamber music program while teaching cello.