USC Thornton alumni and faculty nominated for 2015 GRAMMY Awards

USC Thornton alumni and faculty garnered eight nominations for this year’s 57th Annual GRAMMY Awards on Sunday, February 8th. The nominations, which recognize everything from live performances to instrumental arrangements, showcase the talent, dedication, and passion for music excellence that has come to define each and every Thornton alumnus, faculty member and student.


Ben Bram (BM ’11), who graduated from Thornton’s Music Industry program, and Scott Hoying, a former student in Popular Music, were nominated for Best Arrangement, Instrumental or A Cappella for their work with Pentatonix. The a cappella group, which formed in 2011 and came to prominence by winning the third season of NBC’s The Sing-Off, has been nominated for “Daft Punk,” a fresh, comprehensive track from their album, PTX, Vol. 2.


Thornton alumnus Billy Childs (BM ’79) took home three nominations for the album, Map To The Treasure: Reimagining Laura Nyro, including Best Jazz Vocal Album. Childs, who studied composition at Thornton, previously won three separate GRAMMY awards for instrumental composition and arrangement. Childs was also nominated for Best American Roots Performance for the track, “And When I Die,” and Best Arrangement, Instruments and Vocals for the song, “New York Tendaberry” featuring Alison Krauss & Jerry Douglas.


Also nominated for Best Jazz Vocal Album was Gretchen Parlato (GCRT ’03), who studied in USC Thornton’s Jazz Studies program. The first vocalist to be admitted to the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz Performance, Parlato recently released the GRAMMY-nominated album Live in NYC.


USC Thornton faculty Vince Mendoza joins Childs in the category of Best Arrangement, Instruments and Vocals for Mary Chapin Carpenter’s “Goodnight America” from her acclaimed album Songs From The Movie.


USC Thornton Board of Councilors Member and six-time GRAMMY Award-winner Thomas Newman, who studied at USC, was nominated for Best Score Soundtrack for Visual Media for the feature film, Saving Mr. Banks. Newman has been nominated for twelve Academy Awards and three Golden Globes.