Students gathering outside under colorful tents for a academic event.

A New School Year at USC Thornton

By Deanna Gasparyan

USC Thornton welcomes students and faculty to campus for the 2023-2024 academic year.

On Thursday, Aug. 17, students and families from around the world gathered in Los Angeles for Welcome Week at USC and the start of the academic year. After a quiet summer, the campus buzzed with excitement, and USC Thornton students and faculty joined in the festivities that included an inspiring speech from new Dean, Jason King

“You are artists, performers, educators, and professionals and more,” Dean King said. “You represent diverse areas of music, from early music to popular music, to orchestral performance, screen scoring, to jazz, composition, music industry, recording…to name only a few. Some of you may be feeling nervous or jittery about being here because you are new. I join you in that shared feeling of jittery-ness. I relocated to Los Angeles only last month and I’ve spent the last six weeks as Dean. Thornton is also, for me, a new school, a new university, and a new city. So let’s be new together as we commence on this wonderful and exciting adventure.”

Photos by Dario Griffin.

During USC’s New Student Convocation at Alumni Park, Thornton first-year Popular Music program student and singer-songwriter Sawyer Rabin made his campus debut. Following a warm introduction from President Folt, Rabin performed an original song to an audience of over 6,000 people.

At Thornton’s annual New Student Luncheon on Ramo Lawn, the Thornton community met to celebrate the start of the fall semester and connect with friends new and old. Students and faculty enjoyed ample sunshine, fresh food and live jazz. 

Dean King offered advice to the incoming class, telling the students: “As Nigerian bandleader Fela Kuti once said, ‘Music is the weapon of the future.’ While you are a student at Thornton, use music as your weapon to be bold. Be brave. be daring. Be ambitious. Be committed. Be responsible. Ask questions. Be curious. Create new sounds, new concepts, new theories, new expressions, new business models, new technologies, new practices, new methodologies, and new ways of being. As Thornton students, you are the inheritors of a great legacy. You can change the world, one vibration at a time. Welcome to the Thornton School of Music.”

Dean Jason King addresses incoming students on Ramo Lawn at the USC Thornton School of Music. (Photo by Dario Griffin)
TAGS: Arts Leadership, Choral and Sacred Music, Classical Guitar, Composition, Early Music Performance, Jazz Studies, Keyboard Collaborative Arts, Keyboard Studies, Music Teaching and Learning, Music Technology, Musicology, Organ Studies, Popular Music, Screen Scoring, Strings, Studio Guitar, Vocal Arts and Opera, Winds and Percussion,

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