Taiga Murooka

Majors: Violin Performance; Communication

Graduation year: 2020

Hometown: Tokyo, Japan

What was one of your favorite USC Thornton experiences?

Some of the students from the USC Symphony Orchestra had the opportunity to play in the Warner Brothers Studio. We played and recorded the John Williams medley for student conductors that were studying film music conducting. It was my first time playing in a recording studio and I felt that it was amazing to be able to experience playing inside the same place where many other famous film music had been recorded.

What was your favorite USC GE class?

My favorite GE has been Language and Society. Since I am bilingual, it is interesting to see how different language can affect society and how language can influence communication between two people.

What is your favorite thing about Los Angeles?

I love that Los Angeles is lively 24/7 and there are tremendous opportunities for the entertainment industry. Another thing I love about Los Angeles is definitely the weather and how I can wear sandals, even in the winter.

What is something you wish you knew when you were applying to college?

I wish I knew how long of a process it would be to apply to college. Being prepared with uploading essays and pre-screening recordings would have helped me in the audition process. I would have told my younger self to stop procrastinating and make sure my time was being efficiently used.

Where is your favorite place on campus?

My favorite place on campus has to be the quad in the Cinematic Arts building. In front of the statue, I love to grab a coffee from Coffee Bean and study at the chairs outside.

What was your favorite thing about being a student at the Thornton School?

I love that there are concerts constantly performed. Whether it be pop music, classical music, or jazz music, anyone can experience the arts at the highest level. I love the Vision and Voices program because it gathers a younger audience to experience Mahler’s symphonies for example.

Why did you choose the Thornton School?

I chose the Thornton School because I loved the faculty and the opportunity that Los Angeles would provide me. I am so thankful that the Thornton School encourages students to constantly perform in concerts in order to become comfortable on stage. It has really helped me with my anxiety to perform or even talk on stage. Also, USC would give me the opportunity to take academic classes that another conservatory would not be able to provide me. Because USC has both academic and music prestige, it further drew me to choose the Thornton School.