Thornton Accolades

December 2009
Thornton 2010 GRAMMY Nominations

USC Thornton faculty and alumni have been nominated for 2010 GRAMMY awards in an astounding nine categories. Special congratulations to jazz studies faculty Vince Mendoza who received a total of three nominations in two categories! Congratulations to the following Thornton faculty and alumni for their nominations:

Click here for the full list of 2010 nominations, and watch the 52nd Annual GRAMMY Awards on January 31, 2010 for the winners.

October 2009
Eric Guinivan Received Third Place in the 23rd Annual Austin Peay State University Young Composer’s Competition
Doctoral composition student Eric Guinivan recently received third place in the 23rd Annual Austin Peay State University Young Composer’s Competition for his piece Mie: Caprice for Eight Musicians and honorable mention in the 2009 Fauxharmonic Orchestra’s Concerto Composition Contest for Concerto for Percussion and Orchestra, which was premiered by the USC Thornton Symphony in 2008.

June 2009
Jason Issokson Awarded Second Prize in the “Andrea Postacchini International Violin Competition
Thornton student Jason Issokson was awarded second prize in the XVI International Violin Compeition “Andrea Postacchini” in Fermo, Italy. No first prize was given. Issokson was also on tour in Albania during the month of may. From the studio of Professor Midori Goto.

May 2009
Thornton Students’ Band to Appear on Bones
Thornton music industry students Luke Hall, Peter Potyondy, and Tien Nguyen appeared on the finale of Fox TV show Bones on May 14, 2009. Their band, Dayplayer, performed two original songs under the stage name Gormogon. The studio recordings of these songs will be available online after the episode airs at

May 2009
Courtney Huffman to Light Up Carnegie Hall in Celebration of American Song
Thornton alumna Courtney Huffman makes her Carnegie Hall debut in a recital of American Songs on Thursday, June 18, 2009, at 8:00 p.m. Huffman is from the studio of Elizabeth Hynes. The recital also features recent graduate Tali Tadmore (from the studio of Kevin Fitz-Gerald) on piano.
View the press release
April 2009
Resonance: an Interdisciplinary Music Journal
Edited by graduate students at the USC Thornton School, Resonance announces the publication of the Spring 2009 issue of our online journal. The new issue features articles on the problems of composing with Finale by DMA composition candidate Francis Kayali, Italian renaissance madrigals by PhD candidate Eric Schneeman, and a profile of recent DMA composition graduate Alan Chan.
View the new issue
April 2009
Krieger’s students sweep competition
Four of Norman Kriger’s piano students swept the Phi Beta, Pi Iota Chapter of Los Angeles Piano Scholarship Auditions. Hyun-soo Lee (GS), Fang-Fang Shi Inouye (DMA), Benjamin Hopkins (BM), and Keenan Reesor (MM) won 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th place, respectively.

April 2009
NATSAA Winner Courtney Huffman Carnegie Hall Debut
2008 NATS Artist Award winner, soprano Courtney Huffman (’07), will make her Carnegie Hall Solo Recital Debut on Thursday, June 18.
Read the press release
April 2009
Peter Erskine and James Walker receive 2009 USC Mellon Mentoring Award
USC Mellon Mentoring Awards are given to faculty members for their extraordinary efforts at building a sustainable culture of mentoring at USC on all three campuses. Peter Erskine was awarded in the graduate student category and James Walker in the undergraduate category.

April 2009
Upcoming performances by Thornton alumni quartet
The Calder Quartet, made up of cellist Eric Byers (BM ’03), violist Jonathan Moerschel (BM ’01, MM ’03), and violinists Benjamin Jacobson (BM ’01) and Andrew Bulbrook (BA ’02), can be seen in the following upcoming performances:
April 14, 2009 with the Airborne Toxic Event on The Tonight Show
April 17, 2009 with the Airborne Toxic Event at the Coachella Music Festival
April 20, 2009, 8:00 p.m. at the Los Angeles County Art Museum
View the quartet’s website
April 2009
Thornton classical guitar students reach international semi-finals
Thornton students Ed Trybek (DMA) and Colin Davin (BM) were announced as semi-finalists among an impressive international field in the prestigious Christopher Parkening Classical Guitar Competition. The competition will conclude May 26-31 at Pepperdine University in Malibu, and the winners will perform with the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra.
View competition information
April 2009
Thornton alum, Jason Issokson, received Marion-Rostal-Award
Jason Issokson (MM ’09), a participant at the International Max Rostal Competition 2009 for violin and viola in Berlin, was recently awarded the Marion-Rostal-Award for the best interpretation of the compulsory piece The Four Winds by Daniel Schnyder.
View competition results
March 2009
Thornton alum, Courtney Huffman, received great performance review from Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles Times highlighted Thornton alum, Courtney Huffman ’07, for her performance in Vivaldi’s Motezuma with the Long Beach Opera on Saturday, March 28, 2009.
Read the review
March 2009
USC Thornton student, Patrick Murray, named Fulbright Scholar
USC Thornton student Patrick Murray (senior BM, graduating in May 2009) has been named a Fulbright Scholar. With the Fulbright Award, Murray will study next year in Vienna, concentrating on language and the song literature of Franz Schubert. At USC Thornton, Murray is a student of Elizabeth Hynes, vocal arts/opera department chair.
March 2009
Thornton SMPTV alum, Nicholas Lawrence, composes the score for The Importance of Flossing
SMPTV alum, Nicholas Lawrence ’99, composed the music for The Importance of Flossing, which recently won the World Vision/Sojourners Filmmaking Competition. The film will be shown at the Sojourners Mobilization to End Poverty Convention in Washington, D.C. in late April.
Watch the film
March 2009
Thornton alum, Aaron Arntz, wins Grammy for Best Rock Instrumental Performance
Jazz Studies alum, Aaron Arntz ’03, gets added to list of Thornton Grammy winners. Arntz played with Zappa Plays Zappa on “Peaches En Regalia,” which won a Grammy for Best Rock Instrumental Performance.
March 2009
Thornton SMPTV faculty member, Lennie Moore, composes the score for Watchmen Motion Comic
Warner Premiere recently released the complete Watchmen Motion Comic on DVD/Blu-Ray to coincide with the feature film opening. The score for this series was composed and produced by USC Thornton SMPTV faculty member, Lennie Moore, who created a total of over two hours of live music for 50-piece orchestra. The series initially premiered as a downloadable TV Series on iTunes and’s Video On Demand in the U.S. and in the U.K.
March 2009
Lior Kaminetsky makes multiple television and concert appearances
USC Thornton doctoral student and violinist Lior Kaminetsky has made several recent television and concert appearances including:
The Chabad Telethon, KCET
Free Improvisation: Koz & Kaminetsky
Kaminetsky at Lincoln Center Theater, NY
March 2009
Alan Smith recording recognized in Opera News
A recording of USC Thornton faculty member’s Alan Smith’s composition, “Vignettes: Covered Wagon Woman,” has received the Opera News Critics Choice designation in the March 2009 Opera News.
December 2008
Daniel Pollock performs in celebration of the International Tchaikovsky Piano Competition
In celebration of the 50th anniversary of the International Tchaikovsky Piano Competition held in Moscow, Russia, pianist Daniel Pollack, a prizewinner of that competition, was the only pianist of all Tchaikovsky Competitions to date, to be invited to perform two concerts in Russia, one in St. Petersburg and one in Moscow. To watch a short video clip of a live performance of conductor Valery Gergiev and the Mariinsky Orchestra with Pollack during the White Nights Festival in St. Petersburg, Russia, last summer click here.

To watch a video clip of a live performance of the Moscow Philharmonic with conductor Yuri Simonov and Pollack in a sold out concert in the Bolshoi Zal, on December 28, 2008, click here.