Paul Young

Chair, Music Industry Program

Assistant Professor of Practice

  • Program:
    Music Industry
  • Division:
    Contemporary Music
  • Instrument:


Paul Young, new chair of the Music Industry program, teaches in the fields of music industry studies, music education, jazz and private/applied trombone.

Accomplished as both a musician and industry veteran, Young began leading and booking professional groups at age 13. Earning his bachelor of music degree from University of the Pacific in 1993, he majored in music business/management under Dick Etlinger (former attorney for RCA and Casablanca Records) and Don Gorder (founder of Berklee College of Music’s music industry program) while performing all four years as the lead trombonist and a regularly featured soloist with the UOP Jazz and Wind ensembles. Upon moving to Los Angeles in 1993, Young started his private teaching studio and performed at night while working by day at Lee Solters Public Relations as a junior publicist for Paul Anka, Michael Jackson’s MJJ Records label, and actors from the TV show Mighty Morphin Power Rangers. In 1995, Young joined MCA Records working as a paralegal and a sample use coordinator for new releases by their artists, including Mary J. Blige, Heavy D, Sean “Diddy” Combs and Sublime, to name a few. Moving over to their Licensing Department in 1997, Young became a licensing negotiator, sample clearance expert, contract specialist and royalty collector for MCA as they merged with PolyGram Records (later re-named Universal Music Group), while producing several compilation records for their re-issue imprint, Hip-O Records. By the time Young left he had become director of Licensing and Contract Administration for Universal Music Group (now the largest record label in the world) as well as a highly in-demand performer and arranger for hire, becoming a working professional with a unique blend of actual experience spanning literally all styles and genres of music.

To further his inter-disciplinary musical interests, from 2004-09 Young attended the USC Thornton School of Music to earn his master of music and doctor of musical arts degrees, working closely with professors Bill Watrous, Shelly Berg, Kim Richmond, Terry Cravens, Sheila Woodward, Joanna Demers, Mark Goldstein and Dick McIlvery. As a graduate student, he concentrated on specializations jazz and classical performance, music education, 20th century music history and modern music technology, while serving several years as the lead trombonist in the USC Thornton Jazz Orchestra and as a lecture assistant for the music industry department.

Today, Young teaches primarily about the business of music, including music publishing, record companies, monetizing musical creations and performances, while offering limited private/applied music lessons and other general music/technology classes for Thornton’s future performers, arrangers and educators, at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Young is also a certified member of the Technology Institute for Music Educators (“TI:ME”), teaches computer music notation classes for the American Federation of Musicians in Hollywood, guest lectures at colleges and trade shows, and is on the board of the Rising Star Music Fund charity program run by former music industry professionals to benefit under-funded music education programs.

Young has performed live with countless artists, including Bobby McFerrin, Wynton Marsalis, Dave Brubeck, Terry Gibbs, Gerald Wilson, Les Brown, Bill Holman, Bill Watrous, Med Flory, Steve Miller, Michael Bolton, Stevie Wonder, Take 6, Patti Austin, Wynonna Judd, Natalie Cole, Jason Mraz, Bebe Winans, Ledisi, Monica Mancini, Seth McFarlane, and more. He has recorded for many Hollywood TV shows, including Family Guy, American Dad, The Cleveland Show, Mad Men, Vegas and CSI among others, can be heard regularly performing as a current member/soloist in the John Daversa Progressive Big Band, Alan Chan Jazz Orchestra, Emil Richards Big Band, Gregg Field Big Band, Tex Beneke Band, Billy Vaughn Orchestra, Budman-Levy Orchestra and No Vacancy Orchestra, and with his own jazz quintet at the Lighthouse Café jazz club in Hermosa Beach.