Fall 2019 Event Preview

By Evan Calbi and Will Proctor

Another school year is here, and USC Thornton has an amazing semester of events planned that are a testament to the versatility and artistry of our incredible student musicians.

“Music is such a meaningful experience that should be part of everyday life, and we want everyone to feel welcome at our events,” said Robert Cutietta, dean of USC Thornton. “Our students and faculty continually put on concerts, and we welcome everyone by making them free or nearly free for as many people as possible.”

Take a look at our brochure and read about select events below.

Classical Ensembles

Carl St.Clair opens the 2019-20 season on Sept. 13 by leading the USC Thornton Symphony in an all-Shostakovich concert, featuring Festive Overture and the composer’s Symphony No. 10. Two weeks later on Sept. 27, the USC Thornton Symphony, under the direction of Sharon Lavery, will perform Dvořák’s New World Symphony, which was taken to the moon during the Apollo 11 mission.

Other notable performances include the USC Thornton Wind Ensemble celebrating the 25th-anniversary of Blue Shades by Composition faculty member Frank Ticheli on Oct. 11, and the Symphony’s annual Concerto Night with celebrated guest conductor Murry Sidlin on Oct. 16.

The USC Thornton Opera’s Fall program opens Nov. 20.

Vocal Arts and Opera

On Nov. 20, 22 and 24, the USC Thornton Opera presents Benjamin Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. The opera is a fantasy about how myth affects the lives of mortal beings. In a production that is updated to current day, Shakespeare’s lovers and fairies roam the dark streets and hidden alleys of the Downtown Los Angeles Garment District.

Choral Music

The USC Thornton Chamber Singers will be joined by renowned British vocal ensemble VOCES8 at St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church on Nov. 1. On Nov. 15, the USC University Chorus celebrates autumn in all its glory, from the Reformation and falling leaves to the World Series and Thanksgiving, in a concert at the St. John’s Episcopal Cathedral.

Faculty Recitals

On Sept. 24, piano duo HOCKET celebrates the USC Thornton Composition program with a recital featuring work by new faculty member Nina Young and Sean Friar among an eclectic evening of new music.

On Oct. 15, pianist Antoinette Perry performs a solo recital featuring music by Debussy, Messiaen, Copland, and Schumann.

Luciana Souza

Luciana Souza will perform with the USC Thornton Jazz Orchestra on Oct. 28.


The USC Thornton jazz programs will feature talented students in recitals, small groups, and large ensembles in 12 jazz nights throughout the semester. Among the many fantastic nights of music, a highlight is the Oct. 28 event that features guest vocalist Luciana Souza and the USC Thornton Jazz Orchestra. They will present an evening of standards and original compositions under the direction of guest conductor and faculty member Vince Mendoza.

Also of note, Shanghai Jazz: A Culture Mix on Nov. 19, celebrates the 1935 collaboration of celebrated Chinese musician Li Jinhui and jazz musician Buck Clayton.

Polish Music Center

The Polish Music Center’s Oct. 12 flagship fall concert will present a collaboration with the USC School of Dramatic Arts, Three Paderewskis, a new American musical hybrid exploring the life and loves of Ignacy Jan Paderewski, created by writer Oliver Mayer and composer Jenni Brandon.

Early Music

On Dec. 6, the Baroque Sinfonia presents Terpsichore: Michael Praetorius and the Muse of Dance, a concert featuring music from Terpsichore, with great dances collected, composed and arranged by Michael Praetorius.

Sounds of the Season

Celebrate the holidays and the end of the semester in style on Dec. 14 with Sounds of the Season, our annual gala concert, featuring 250 singers and instrumentalists ringing in the season with carols and songs, in support of scholarships for USC Thornton’s most talented students.

This is just a select few the events USC Thornton events this Fall. Visit our event calendar to up-to-date information on all of the events.

TAGS: Choral and Sacred Music, Classical Division, Classical Guitar, Classical Performance and Composition, Community Engagement, Composition, Contemporary Music, Contemporary Music Division, Early Music, Early Music Performance, Jazz Studies, Keyboard Collaborative Arts, Keyboard Studies, Music Industry, Musicology, Organ Studies, Popular Music, Screen Scoring, Strings, Studio Guitar, Vocal Arts, Vocal Arts and Opera, Winds and Percussion,

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