Posts Tagged ‘Winds and Percussion’


An orchestra gathers in a large studio soundstage.

Thornton faculty and alumni record 25th anniversary album for Chandra X-ray Observatory

July 17, 2024

USC Thornton faculty and alumni participated in a recording at Sony Pictures for the upcoming album Chandra-X: Into Darkness, a musical celebration marking 25 years of space exploration and research through the lens of the Chandra X-ray Observatory. Produced by Thornton faculty member Christian Amonson, the project will feature a 95-piece orchestra comprised of several… Continue reading Thornton faculty and alumni record 25th anniversary album for Chandra X-ray Observatory


A smiling face in front of a grey background.

Leigh Wilson wins principal percussion position with Spokane Symphony

May 22, 2024

USC Thornton Winds & Percussion graduate Leigh Wilson (GCRT ‘24) won the principal percussion position with the Spokane Symphony. He will begin his new appointment in the fall of 2024. Wilson began percussion at age 13, studying under John Tanzer of the Portland Symphony. As a Thornton student, he studied under Director of Percussion Studies… Continue reading Leigh Wilson wins principal percussion position with Spokane Symphony


Up close photo of two hands playing the clarinet.

Clarinetist alumni win orchestra positions with New York Philharmonic and Los Angeles Philharmonic

May 6, 2024

USC Thornton Winds & Percussion alumni Benjamin Adler (MM ‘14) and Taylor Eiffert (MM ’18) begun new orchestra positions in the 2023-24 season. The alumni studied under Thornton faculty member Yehuda Gilad. Adler won the associate principal clarinet position with the New York Philharmonic. He previously held positions with the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra and St.… Continue reading Clarinetist alumni win orchestra positions with New York Philharmonic and Los Angeles Philharmonic


Logo for USC Thornton School of Music.

Alyssa Mercedes Mena publishes solo flute piece, “Hasta La Raíz”

May 1, 2024

USC Thornton Winds & Percussion department alumna Alyssa Mercedes Mena (MM ‘21) published a solo flute piece “Hasta La Raíz,” which had its world premiere at the 2022 National Flute Convention. Translated as “Down to the Roots,” the piece gives a glimpse into the composer’s life through Cuban-inspired dance rhythms and melodic passages. Mena studied… Continue reading Alyssa Mercedes Mena publishes solo flute piece, “Hasta La Raíz”


Saxophonist Andrew Harrison playing a saxophone.

Saxophonist Andrew Harrison to debut with Santa Rosa Symphony for 2024-25 season

April 5, 2024

Saxophonist and USC Thornton alumnus Andrew Harrison (DMA ‘15) will make his performing debut with the Santa Rosa Symphony for the 2024-2025 season, directed by Francesco Lecce-Chong. Titled “Rach & the Hollywood Sound,” the concert takes place on January 11-13, 2025 at Green Music Center. Harrison is a lecturer of Classical Saxophone at Sonoma State… Continue reading Saxophonist Andrew Harrison to debut with Santa Rosa Symphony for 2024-25 season


A musician holding a trumpet standing next to someone in a military uniform.

Ben Gunnarson joins “The President’s Own” United States Marine Band

February 15, 2024

Ben Gunnarson, a master’s student in the USC Thornton Winds & Percussion program, has won a position in “The President’s Own” United States Marine Band, the oldest active musical organization in the country. Gunnarson will join a community of Thornton graduates, including clarinetists Angelo Quail (MM ‘15) and Andrew Jacobi (MM ‘14, GCRT ‘16) and… Continue reading Ben Gunnarson joins “The President’s Own” United States Marine Band


Photo of flautist Gina Luciani in her studio.

Flutist Gina Luciani creates practice notebook for musicians

February 7, 2024

Gina Luciani (MM ’13), a USC Thornton alumna and flutist, has launched “Practice Note: The Practice Notebook for Musicians.” “Practice Note” is a modern journal with weekly music practice pages and goal sheets, available in 11 different versions. The journal features a clear layout and vibrant designs to help organize and inspire musicians of all… Continue reading Flutist Gina Luciani creates practice notebook for musicians


Conductor Jeffrey Kahane leads an orchestra.

Jeffrey Kahane named music director of San Antonio Philharmonic

February 2, 2024

USC Thornton Keyboard Studies faculty member Jeffrey Kahane has been named music director of the San Antonio Philharmonic. Kahane will begin his tenure with the Philharmonic in their 2024-2025 season while continuing to teach at Thornton. Curated by Kahane, the 2024-2025 season will showcase pieces both classical and contemporary, including the work of Thornton alumnus… Continue reading Jeffrey Kahane named music director of San Antonio Philharmonic


Sue Elliott joins Calgary Opera as general director and CEO

January 22, 2024

Sue Elliott (MM ‘98), a USC Thornton Winds & Percussion alumna, was appointed as general director and CEO of the Calgary Opera in Calgary, Alberta. She will partner with artistic director Jonathan Brandani to realize the company’s mission of providing the community with diverse operas, educational programs, artist training and more. “I have long admired… Continue reading Sue Elliott joins Calgary Opera as general director and CEO


Conductor leading a classical ensemble on stage.

Jeffrey Kahane conducts LACO in world premiere of Nina Young’s “Violin Concerto: Traces”

November 10, 2023

Jeffrey Kahane, a USC Thornton Keyboard Studies faculty member and conductor laureate of the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, will conduct the world premiere of “Violin Concerto: Traces,” composed by Thornton Composition faculty member Nina Young. The piece will be performed by violinist Jennifer Koh on Nov. 11 at the Alex Theatre and Nov. 12 at… Continue reading Jeffrey Kahane conducts LACO in world premiere of Nina Young’s “Violin Concerto: Traces”