University of Southern California
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USC Thornton School of Music

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The USC Thornton studio/jazz guitar department boasts a faculty of world class touring and recording guitarists including Richard Smith (center), an award-winning recording artist, performer and clinician.

Since its founding in 1884, the USC Thornton School of Music has become the center of higher education in music in the western United States and ranks among the top schools of music in the nation. Situated in the heart of the vital musical life of Los Angeles, the Thornton School of Music brings together a distinguished faculty and gifted students from around the world. It is in this wonderfully diverse cultural milieu that students are offered instruction in virtually all professional and scholarly branches of music, including instrumental and vocal performance, jazz, early music, conducting, composition, film scoring, music industry, musicology, music education, pedagogy, choral and sacred music, conducting and opera. In addition to its major programs, the Thornton School of Music also offers a wide array of music minors and general interest courses for students majoring in other disciplines.

The USC Thornton Symphony, Chamber Choir, Concert Choir, Opera, Wind Ensemble, Trojan Marching Band, Jazz Orchestra, Contemporary Music Ensemble, Early Music Ensemble and a wide variety of large and small choral and instrumental ensembles assure students the broadest performing experience. More than 500 formal and informal concerts and recitals are presented on campus each year and the school regularly presents eminent visiting artists and scholars in master classes, workshops, lectures, seminars and in performance.

Los Angeles is the home of numerous musical organizations whose performances contribute immeasurably to the cultural life of the region, and also the home of the nation's major recording, radio, film and television industries. All offer abundant opportunities to the serious young musician.

Music Student Services

United University Church-B
(213) 740-4721
FAX: (213) 740-5950
Associate Dean: Debora Huffman

Music Admissions

United University Church 218
(213) 740-8986
FAX: (213) 740-8995
Assistant Dean: Phillip Placenti

Choral Music

Music Faculty Building 308
(213) 740-7418
Chair: William Dehning

Classical Guitar

Music Faculty Building 304
(213) 740-7399
Chair: James Smith


Music Faculty Building 308
(213) 740-7416
Chair: Donald Crockett


Music Faculty Building 308
(213) 740-7416
Chair: Larry Livingston

Jazz Studies

Music Faculty Building 304
(213) 740-3119
Chair: Ronald McCurdy

Keyboard Studies

Ramo Hall of Music 112
(213) 740-7703
Chair: Alan Smith


Waite Phillips Hall 304
(213) 740-3211
Chair: Bryan Simms

Music Education

Waite Phillips Hall 302
(213) 740-3211
Chair: Gwendolyn McGraw

Music Industry

Music Faculty Building 305
(213) 740-3224
Chair: Richard McIlvery


Ramo Hall of Music 112
(213) 740-7703
Chair: Ladd Thomas


Ramo Hall of Music 112
(213) 740-7703
Acting Chair: Donald McInnes

Studio Guitar

Music Faculty Building 304
(213) 740-7399
Chair: Frank Potenza

Vocal Arts

Ramo Hall of Music 112
(213) 740-7704
Chair: Elizabeth Hynes

Winds and Percussion

Music Faculty Building 308
(213) 740-7416
Chair: Terry Cravens

Keyboard Collaborative Arts

Ramo Hall of Music 112
(213) 740-7703
Director: Alan Smith

Scoring for Motion Pictures and Television

Music Faculty Building 305
(213) 821-4192
Director: Brian King

All departments may be reached by writing to:

USC Thornton School of Music
Music Faculty Building
Los Angeles, CA 90089-0851
FAX: (213) 740-3217


Robert A. Cutietta, D.Ed., Dean

Debora L. Huffman, Ed.D., Associate Dean for Student Affairs

Susan Miltner Lopez, M.B.A., Associate Dean for Administration and Finance

Giulio Ongaro, Ph.D., Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs

Christopher Sampson, M.M., Associate Dean for External Relations

Jeffrey de Caen, B.A., Assistant Dean for Operations

Phillip Placenti, M.P.A., Assistant Dean for Admission and Financial Aid


Jascha Heifetz Chair in Music: Midori Goto, B.S.

Distinguished Professor of Theory and Composition: Stephen Hartke, Ph.D.

Professors: Arthur C. Bartner, Ed.D.*; Bruce Brown, Ph.D.; Terry Cravens, D.M.A.; Donald Crockett, Ph.D.*; Robert A. Cutietta, D.Ed.; Gary Glaze, M.M.; Stewart Gordon, D.M.A.; Morten Lauridsen, D.M.A.*; Frederick Lesemann, D.M.A.*; Larry Livingston, M.M.; Thom Mason, D.M.A.; Ronald McCurdy, Ph.D.; Donald McInnes, M.M.; Erica Muhl, D.M.A.; John Perry, M.M.*; Daniel Pollack, M.S.*; Frank Potenza, M.M.; Bryan Simms, Ph.D.*; Richard Smith, M.M.; Ladd Thomas, D.Mus.; Frank Ticheli, D.M.A.

Associate Professors: Ken Cazan, B.F.A.; Kevin Fitz-Gerald, Art.Dipl.; Erik Forrester, M.M.; Yehuda Gilad, Dipl.; Elizabeth Hynes, B.M.; Janet Johnson, Ph.D.; Norman Krieger, Dipl.; Peter Lightfoot, M.M.; Gwendolyn McGraw, D.M.A.; Richard McIlvery, M.M.; Robert Moore, Ph.D.; Cynthia Munzer, B.M.; Giulio Ongaro, Ph.D.; Alan Smith, D.M.A.; James Smith, M.M.; James Thatcher, B.A.; John Thomas, M.M.

Assistant Professors: Joanna Demers, Ph.D.; Adam Gilbert, Ph.D.; Brent McMunn, M.M.; Alan Pasqua, B.M.; Richard Schmunk, D.M.A.; Hagai Shaham, Dipl.; Brian Shepard, D.M.A.; Magen Solomon, D.M.A.; Nick Strimple, D.M.A.; Sheila Woodward, Ph.D.; Mina Yang, Ph.D.

Professor of Clinical: Gerard Del Colliano

Assistant Professors of Clinical: Andrew Garver; Mark Goldstein; Brian King; Ken Lopez; Jack Smalley; John Whitener

Adjunct Professors: Martin Chalifour; Peter Erskine; Pamela Goldsmith; Endre Granat; Don Green; Richard Kraft; Ronald Leonard; Robert Lipsett; H. Robert Reynolds; Cherry Rhodes; Pepe Romero; Carl St. Clair; Dennis Trembly; Allan Vogel; Bill Watrous; David Weiss; Suli Xue; Michele Zukovsky

Adjunct Associate Professors: David Howard; Scott Tennant; Jo Ann Turovsky

Adjunct Assistant Professors: Nico Abondolo; David Anglin; David Arnay; Margaret Batjer; Elizabeth Blumenstock; Jon Burlingame; Polli Chambers-Salazar; Leon Ndugu Chancler; Rose Corrigan; Neal Desby; Judith Farmer; Anne Farnsworth; Russell Ferrante; Angel Figueroa; Parmer Fuller; John Hayhurst; Lucina Hubbard; Paul Huybrechts; Monica Kaenzig; Adam Kofler; Miran Kojian; Shigemi Matsumoto; Vincent Mendoza; David Moore; Kristy Morrell; Leah Morrison; John Paton; Elizabeth Pitcairn; Mary Rawcliffe; Kim Richmond; Daniel Rothmuller; James Rötter; James Self; Aaron Serfaty; Robert Sheppard; Chris Stone; Tierney Sutton; Lisa Sylvester; Jacques Voyemant; Gary Woodward; Chris Young

Adjunct Instructors: Ted Ancona; Peter Anthony; Janet Beazley; Amy Bowers; Jayne Campbell; Gilbert Castellanos; Joel Clifft; Christina DeMore; Bruce Forman; Steve Gates; Rotem Gilbert; Jason Goldman; Kathleen Grace; Susan Helfter; Yih-Mei Hu; Dean Immel; Alphonso Johnson; Steve Juliani; Patrick Kirst; Tim Kobza; Kristen Korb; Charles Koster; Jonathan Mack; Roy McCurdy; Lennie Moore; Vicki Muto; Sung-Hwa Park; Michael Powers; Christopher Sampson; Eric Schmidt; William Skeen; Topper Smith; Douglas Tornquist; Tina Vartanian; Jacques Voyemant; David Wilkinson; Shannon Zusman

Senior Lecturers: William Biersach; Bernadene Blaha; Lucinda Carver; John Clayton; Steve Cunningham; Brian Head; Boyde Hood; William Kanengiser; Pat Kelley; Sharon Lavery; Peter Marsh; Janice McVeigh; Antoinette Perry; Nick Stoubis; Dennis Thurmond; Joel Timm; Stephen Trovato; James Walker

Full-Time Lecturers: Joe Diorio; David Fick; Veronika Krausas; Chris Roze; Mark Weiser

Emeritus Professors: Nancy Bricard, M.M.*; James Hopkins, Ph.D.; Arend Koole, D.Litt. et Phil.; Mitchell Lurie; William A. Schaefer, M.A.; Margaret Schaper, M.M.*; Alice Schoenfeld*; Eudice Shapiro; William Thomson, Ph.D.; James Tyler; James Vail, D.M.A.

*Recipient of university-wide or school teaching award.

Degree Programs

The Thornton School of Music offers professional and academic degrees at the bachelor's, master's and doctoral levels. These degrees are summarized below.

Bachelor of Music: Students working toward this professional degree have a wide choice of specializations: composition, music industry, instrumental performance, jazz studies, and vocal arts. Students can take either a single major program or double majors in several combinations such as piano and composition, string, or percussion instrument. The two majors must be offered by different departments but lead to the same degree (for example, Bachelor of Music). Double majors consisting of two majors in the same department are not permitted. The degree is granted by the Thornton School of Music.

Bachelor of Arts: This degree is for students with a strong music background but who wish to combine professional music training with substantial study in other disciplines.

Bachelor of Science: Offered by the Thornton School of Music in the specialized area of music industry.

Minors in Music: Five different minors in music are offered, each approaching the discipline from a unique perspective and with a distinct curriculum: Jazz Studies, Musical Studies (Performance), Musical Theatre, Music Industry, and Music Recording.

Master of Music: This is a professional degree that represents proficiency in one area of musical practice and relevant knowledge in musical literature, performance and technique. It requires a minimum of 30 graduate units, of which 15 must be at the 500 level or higher. Students complete either a thesis or recital(s) as part of the degree requirements. The degree can be earned in choral music, composition, conducting, music education, keyboard collaborative arts, guitar, jazz studies, organ, piano, voice or instrumental performance. The degree is granted by the Thornton School of Music.

Master of Arts: This degree, offered through the Graduate School in conjunction with the Thornton School of Music, stresses music history or early music performance, with emphasis on scholarly research.

Doctor of Musical Arts: This is a professional degree that represents the highest level of expertise in a major field of musical practice and competence in several additional areas. Students may specialize in choral music, composition, jazz studies, music education, vocal or instrumental performance.

Doctor of Philosophy: Offered through the Graduate School, this is an academic degree in the field of historical musicology. A substantial background in music, research and languages is required.

Entrance to the Degree Programs

Admission to a degree program is granted through USC's admission process, described in the Admission section of this catalogue. A supplementary application form is also required for students seeking admission to the Thornton School of Music, which can be obtained from the School of Music Office of Admission.

Applicants to a program within the school are screened by appropriate faculty selection committees that hold auditions, interviews and examine supportive materials. Letters of acceptance are issued by the USC Office of Admission.

A performance audition is required of applicants to most degree and certificate programs in the Thornton School of Music. Refer to individual curriculum listings for details.

Graduate Record Examinations
Scores from the General Test of the Graduate Record Examinations (GRE) are required for application and admission to the Master of Arts, Doctor of Musical Arts and Doctor of Philosophy degrees. (The Music Subject Test is not required.) Test scores on the GRE that are more than five years old at the time of application are not accepted.

Placement Tests
Undergraduate transfer students who have had formal study in any of the following areas must take the appropriate placement examination prior to their first registration: aural skills, theory, music history, conducting, analysis, orchestration and performance. The results of these examinations determine placement in appropriate sequential courses.

Admission to Graduate Standing
Achievement tests in basic musical skills and areas of study (Music Graduate Entrance Examinations) are required of all entering graduate students during the first semester or summer session in residence. If all examinations are not passed by the end of two semesters of course work, then further registration must include remedial courses in all areas where deficiencies exist. In degree programs in which one recital is required, all entrance examinations must be passed or corresponding remedial course work completed with a minimum grade of B- before permission to present a graduate recital is given. In programs with two or more recitals, only the first may be given prior to passing all entrance examinations or completing corresponding remedial courses.

Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)
All applicants whose native language is not English are required to submit scores from the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). Test scores that are more than two years old at the time of application are not accepted.

Advanced Standing Credit for Music Taken in Accredited Schools of Music
Music courses completed with satisfactory grades in a member institution of the National Association of Schools of Music are acceptable for transfer. The university reserves the right, however, to require a student to take a placement test (at no cost) to determine the level of achievement in any given aspect of music, and to review the student's credentials at the end of one semester at USC to determine what credit will in fact be transferred.

Advanced Standing Credit for Music Not Taken in Accredited Schools of Music
Students who wish credit for music taken in institutions not accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music must provide the Office of Admission with information on their prior work, showing the subjects studied, the number of lessons in each subject, the length of each lesson, number of years of study and the names of instructors. Such special requests are dealt with on an individual basis. Examinations or continuation work or both may be required before credit allowance is considered.

General Requirements

All curricula leading to the Bachelor of Music, Master of Music and Doctor of Musical Arts degrees require proficiency in performance. This is accomplished by individual instruction in the areas best suited to the student's ability and interests.

Proficiency in piano is required in all curricula and may be achieved through class and/or individual instruction. Some curricula require competency in one additional performance medium.

Attendance at recitals in the field of the student's major is a regular part of the work in applied music for all music majors. Attendance at recitals is recommended for non-music majors who take individual instruction as an elective.

Curriculum Requirements

The curriculum requirements for each major are listed under each degree. The USC course classification and numbering system is explained here. In addition, music courses sometimes carry the following abbreviations: CD = Conducting; CG = Classical Guitar; HC = Harpsichord; OR = Organ; P = Piano; SG = Studio Guitar; VA = Viola; VC = Voice Coaching; VO = Voice.

Change of Curriculum

To change from one curriculum to another, a student must obtain written approval of all of the following: the department chair in the curriculum which the student is leaving, the department chair for the new curriculum and the dean of the Thornton School of Music.

Non-Degree Programs

Students who have highly specialized interests which may not be met through degree programs may apply for admission to one of the following non-degree programs.

Artist Diploma Program
This program is designed for young artists of exceptional ability and musical sensitivity who plan careers as solo performers. The Artist Diploma Program provides young artists the opportunity to devote their full time to concentrated study and practice for the duration of their assigned programs. This program typically requires two to three consecutive years of study for completion.

Graduate Certificate Program in Performance
This two-year graduate-level program is designed for students who have completed their undergraduate education in music, or its equivalent, and intend to concentrate their energies on the full-time development of their discipline.

Graduate Certificate Program in Scoring for Motion Pictures and Television
This one-year program is designed for students who hold the Bachelor of Music in Composition or its equivalent.

Honor Society

Pi Kappa Lambda
Pi Kappa Lambda is a national honor society established in 1918 for the promotion and recognition of scholarship and performance in music. Students of the School of Music are eligible for election to Eta chapter at the University of Southern California, established in 1923.