Tiffany Chen

Major: Piano Performance

Minor: Web Technologies and Applications

Graduation year: 2020

Hometown: San Jose, CA

What was one of your favorite USC Thornton experiences?

One of my favorite parts of sophomore year was playing piano and celeste for Thornton Symphony and Wind Ensemble. Sometimes, piano can be a lonely instrument, so being ensconced in an orchestra allowed me to play around with my instrument’s timbre in the context of other textures and explore a wide variety of orchestral repertoire. It was fascinating to see how different composers used keyboard instruments in their music, whether they were used as conduits for a more sharp, percussive timbre or as watercolors to fill in the harmonies. All these explorations of textures that I was able to experience through playing for Thornton Symphony (that I might not necessarily realize practicing alone in the practice room) helped to develop a wider variety of color in my sound when approaching solo works.

What was your favorite USC GE class?

Exploring Ancient Ways of Living (or endearingly, How to Survive a Zombie Apocalypse)

What is your favorite thing about Los Angeles?

Los Angeles is such a diverse, hopeful, artistic city with so much love to give. Between the supportive arts community, endless adventures to be had, and the amazing food, what’s not to like?

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

I wish I had been less afraid of asking questions and taking up people’s time to learn more about the schools I applied to. Reach out to professors, students, and admissions counselors so that you can really get to know the school–and they get to know you better too!

Where is your favorite place on campus?

Bloom Walk (at sunset)

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

The incredibly supportive faculty as well as my inspiring classmates–people make everything!

Why did you choose the Thornton School?

Every Thornton alumnus I met has always had nothing but good words to say about their alma mater, whether it be about the program or the people. Plus, the students all seemed incredibly happy and excited to be here. USC is truly such a special place!