Spring 2023 Live Events Preview

By Danielle Jones

A symphony orchestra bows after a performance on a concert stage, in front of an illustration of a purple flower.
Main photo by Brian Feinzimer/Capture Imaging; Graphic design & photo collage by Sean David Christensen featuring images by Ben Gibbs, Lawrence K. Ho & Gabi Muchacho.

The spring 2023 semester holds a tremendous array of live programs on campus and in Los Angeles, from the USC Thornton Opera to new music premieres and alumni guests to masterclasses taught by acclaimed musicians. 

Learn more about the spring 2023 event calendar in the highlights below, and see the full list at Thornton’s online events hub, Thornton/LIVE

Thornton in Los Angeles – Popular Music, Opera Program, and Choral & Sacred Music

Kicking off the spring 2023 live events, ensembles take their performances into the city in a series of showcase events. On March 5, the Popular Music Senior Showcase will take place at the El Rey Theatre. On April 14, the University Chorus will perform at Westwood United Methodist Church. On April 14 and 16, the USC Thornton Opera will present two one-act operas at Art Share L.A. The next weekend on April 23, the USC Thornton Chamber Singers will perform at All Saints Episcopal Church. 

USC Thornton Orchestra Program

The Orchestra Program presents a vast repertoire featuring alumni performances and special guest conductors. On January 27, Carl St.Clair leads the Thornton Symphony in Mahler’s Symphony No. 9 at Bovard Auditorium. 

On February 10, the USC Thornton Winds will showcase professor of composition Frank Ticheli’s career. The program features compositions such as “Shooting Stars;” “There Will Be Rest;” “Clarinet Concerto;” “Symphony No. 2, Mvmt. III, Apollo Unleashed;” Angels in the Architecture;” and “Blue Shades.” Conductors Carl St.Clair and Sharon Lavery, the USC Thornton Chamber Singers and clarinetist Alex Chang will join in performing Ticheli’s Clarinet Concerto

A month later on March 10, guest conductor Maximiano Valdes will lead the USC Thornton Symphony in Ravel’s “Alborada Del Gracioso,” “Altar de Viento” by Gabriela Ortiz and Shosatakovich’s Symphony No. 5 in D minor. 

On March 31, guest conductor Lieutenant Colonel Jason K. Fetting, director of the President’s Own Marine Band, will lead the USC Thornton Winds in a performance featuring Thornton faculty soloist Thomas Hooten.

On April 4, Pepe Romero will lead the USC Percussion Group in an evening of contemporary works at Newman Recital Hall. 

On April 14, the USC Thornton Chamber Orchestra will present a star-studded evening featuring luminaries from the Thornton Strings department faculty including violinist Glenn Dictorow, violinist Bing Wang, violist Karen Dreyfus, cellist Ben Hong and bassist David Moore.

Choral students wearing black dress attire walk through the campus of a university laughing and smiling.
USC Thornton choral & sacred music students walk through the campus of USC. (Photo by Ben Gibbs)
Jazz Nights & Studio Guitar Showcase

The storied Jazz Nights at Carson series takes place on Monday nights with many standout performances. On February 13, the USC Thornton Honors Combo, under the direction of professor Jason Goldman, will be joined by GRAMMY Award-winning group, the Yellowjackets.  

And on March 30, the Studio Guitar department will present a series of small ensemble performances at the Carson Center. 

New Music & Composition department Premieres

There will also be plenty of opportunities to hear new music and compositions written by USC Thornton students, faculty and alumni. On February 24, the chair of the composition program, Donald Crockett, will lead the USC Thornton Symphony in an annual concert by student composers. A few days later, Thornton Edge will perform new works by Kaija Saariaho, Jihyun Kim and world premiere Thornton DMA student Celka Ojakangas’ “My Time Machine.” 

On March 22, the Argus Quartet will perform two works by Crockett, including “String Quartet No. 1, Array” and “String Quartet No. 2” at USC Brain and Creativity Institute’s Joyce J. Cammilleri Hall. 

A few days later on March 25, composition program students will present original work in an electro-acoustic showcase at the Alice and Eleonore Schoenfeld Symphonic Hall. 

In addition, Thornton Edge will present The Slava Festival, contemporary music by composers of Ukrainian origin, including a world premiere by composition alumnus and current Master’s student Adam Karelin. 

Early Music and Masterclasses

Among early music showcases and masterclasses, distinguished professor and acclaimed violinist Midori will present a masterclass for USC Thornton students on March 3. Later that night, early music ensemble, Baroque Sinfonia, will perform a program titled, “Early Modern Music in the Americas,” led by Thornton faculty Adam Knight Gilbert and Jason Yoshida at Newman Recital Hall. 

In addition, adjunct professor of classical guitar and guitarist Pepe Romero will present a masterclass with Thornton guitar students on April 3 and 4. Acclaimed violinist Peter Salaff also presents a chamber music masterclass for USC Thornton students. 

Led by faculty member Adam Knight Gilbert, USC Collegium Musicum will perform early and traditional music of Armenia and Cyprus on April 15. 

Finally, the spring 2023 live events conclude on April 28. Baroque Sinfonia will perform a program titled “Musica Antiqua Polonica IV: Music from Early Modern Poland” in collaboration with the Polish Music Center of USC. 

Student wearing glasses and carrying a tuba ascends an escalator inside an office building.
USC Thornton winds & percussion student Derek Zimmerman ascends the escalator at USC Tower in downtown Los Angeles. (Photo by Ben Gibbs)
Music students perform rock music on stage.
USC Thornton popular music students perform live at Carson Center on the University Park Campus of USC. (Photo by Angela Lee)
TAGS: Choral and Sacred Music, Classical Guitar, Composition, Early Music, Early Music Performance, Jazz Studies, Keyboard Studies, Music Teaching and Learning, Musicology, Polish Music Center, Popular Music, Strings, Studio Guitar, USC Thornton Symphony, Winds and Percussion,

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