Sarah Meidel

Major: Flute Performance

Minor: Cinematic Arts

Graduation year: 2019

Hometown: Houston, TX and Anchorage, AK

What was one of your favorite USC Thornton experiences?

My favorite Thornton experience was performing for the Los Angeles Film Conducting Intensive at the Eastwood Sound Stage on the Warner Bros. Studio lot in January 2018. As the piccolo player of the orchestra, I performed scores to iconic films such as Star Wars, Titanic, Psycho, and Rocky. Performing for the workshop was a wonderful networking opportunity and was also incredibly fun!

What was your favorite USC GE class?

My favorite GE is a tie between Ancient Lives and Art, History, and Culture of LA. I love ancient Greek and Roman history, so I found Ancient Lives fascinating, especially because the professor was so entertaining and enthusiastic about the subject. I took Art, History, and Culture of LA my freshman year, and it was a perfect class for my first semester of college. Part of the class was comprised of field trips around LA to visit art exhibits and plays. I would highly recommend both of these classes!

What is your favorite thing about Los Angeles?

I love the opportunities that can be found in this city. For me, moving to Los Angeles represented coming closer to my goal of being a film session musician. I love being in the Hollywood area and seeing celebrities (I had an entire conversation with Mark Ruffalo without realizing who I was talking to!), but I also love going about my day-to-day life and suddenly seeing DTLA or the Hollywood Sign and being reminded that I am in a place so many people view as iconic.

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

This sounds easy for me to say now, but I wish I stressed less about the college application process. In retrospect, I wish I would have enjoyed my last year at home more and spent more time being present with my friends and family. Even if you have both feet out the door and you’re ready for college now, soak up those last few months at home if you can!

Where is your favorite place on campus?

Every night, I would walk around campus at dusk, when there is still a slight bit of sunlight but the campus lights have turned on. I love looking at the globe structure on top of VKC, the John Williams Scoring Stage, the Student Union building, the various fountains on campus, views of DTLA, and of course, Tommy Trojan and Traveler (#FightOn). This daily walk serves as a reminder of how beautiful USC is and how lucky I am to go to school here!

What was your favorite thing about being a student at the Thornton School?

Besides the renowned faculty, I would have to say my favorite thing about being a student at Thornton is how revolutionary and open-minded the school is. I love that as students of Thornton, we can collaborate across disciplines, both in and outside of Thornton. I also appreciate how feasible it is to create a new club or group that caters to interests of Thornton students.

Why did you choose the Thornton School?

There were many reasons why I chose Thornton, but the following were two of the main selling points for me. When I came into college, I had planned to pursue a double degree in Flute Performance and Civil Engineering. I appreciated that such a cross-disciplinary degree objective was not only approved by Thornton, but it was welcomed. Though I ended up changing my Civil Engineering major to a Cinematic Arts minor at the beginning of my junior year, I appreciated that Thornton worked with and supported me during the challenges of pursuing two vastly different degrees. In addition, my lifelong dream has been to work in the film scoring industry. I chose Thornton because my flute professor, Jim Walker, has performed in over 750 film scores. The prospect of studying with someone with that knowledge, combined with the renowned Film Scoring and Cinematic Arts programs at USC, sold me on Thornton and USC!