A trio of popular music songwriters and performers smile together for a posed picture in a modern recording studio.

Making “A Song for the Ages”

By Deanna Gasparyan

USC Thornton Trojans were called to action to record the Coliseum’s 100th Anniversary anthem.

“We Came To Bring The Fire”
Ella Collier x Sam Vendig
Now streaming on Apple Music & Spotify

The Trojan bond runs deep within USC Thornton’s community of alumni, students and faculty. When it came to recording “We Came to Bring the Fire,” a rousing pop song written for the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum by Ella Collier (’22) and Sam Vendig (’17), there was no doubt about who to call. Songwriters Collier and Vendig returned to their alma mater­—they worked directly with Sean Holt, vice dean of the Division of Contemporary Music at Thornton, to creative-direct the project and assemble a team.

On Sunday, Oct. 15, Holt led a recording session of the song at Evergreen Studios that included a choir of Thornton singers arranged by alumna Tehillah Alphonso (’20), student musicians, and a production team of Thornton faculty. Their musical training made them well-equipped for this undertaking which, altogether, took less than a week to complete. 

Truly an in-house production, the song is believed to be the first student and alumni-led project in the Coliseum’s history. Not only does it honor the centennial of a Los Angeles landmark, but it also represents the ties between USC and the Coliseum, as well as the collective spirit of the Thornton community.

“What’s exciting is that the project has grown to include not only alumni but also current students and faculty from Thornton in addition to our friends and partners across the university,” said Jason King, Dean of USC Thornton. “The fact that the project has brought so many people together who are in some way connected to Thornton’s past and present seems like a fitting way to celebrate the centennial.”

The song was released on all major music streaming platforms on Dec. 1. Stream “We Came to Bring the Fire” here.

A choral ensemble recording a popular music song led by a conductor on a podium in a large recording studio surrounded by microphones.
Tehillah Alphonso (’20) conducts the choral ensemble for “We Came to Bring the Fire” made up of USC Thornton popular music students Michele Lu, Aden Black, Torianna Jones, Mateo Gonzales, Jack Romero and Joshua Wilson. (Photo by Dario Griffin)
TAGS: Popular Music,

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