Trio Ensemble

This picture shows a drumset with the logos Remo and USC Thornton.
Two USC Thornton students side-by-side in purple and blue shirts play their electric and acoustic guitars.

Directed by Frank Potenza, the focus of this ensemble is to build artistry and performance skills in a trio with bass and drums only. Without having the harmonic support of another polyphonic instrument in the group, the guitarist becomes responsible for supplying melodic lines, harmony, and all other aspects of the arrangement at hand. This stark setting presents the perfect opportunity to experiment with arranging and performing in the chord-melody style, and to gain valuable experience in leading a small group performance in which they play a vital, central role.

Developing repertoire is another priority. The process of applying arranging techniques and ideas to many different song forms and styles provides the forum in which one develops an individual playing style. An added benefit is that as a guitarist becomes more familiar with the standard repertoire of a variety of styles and genres as a leader, opportunities for employment increase.