The composers on the USC Thornton faculty are outstanding members of the international musical community; major commissions, awards, recordings and residencies have been granted to all. Composition students, among the finest in the country, regularly win national awards and commissions, including ASCAP and BMI awards, New York Symphony Orchestra First Music commissions, Aspen fellowships, American Composers Orchestra and Minnesota Orchestra reading sessions, among many others.
Performance opportunities for student composers are emphasized by the composition department, including the annual New Music for Orchestra concert, which has premiered over 200 USC Thornton student orchestral works; student compositions at Contemporary Music Ensemble concerts; and regular composition department student recitals, as well as reading and performance opportunities by the USC Thornton choruses, Wind Ensemble, Percussion Ensemble and chamber music program.
Our department's curriculum offers thorough training in composition, musicianship, theory, analysis, orchestration and counterpoint, with electives in electronic and computer music, all taught by active, professional composers. Students who successfully complete our BM degree are guaranteed acceptance into the graduate certificate program in Scoring for Motion Pictures and Television.
For a calendar of events, student achievements, and other resources, please visit the Composition Department Home Page.
BM, MM, DMA
The BM in composition is a four-year, 132-unit program consisting of course work in the major (composition, orchestration, counterpoint), core music studies (theory, aural skills, music history, keyboard instruction, conducting, large ensemble) and USC's general education and writing program. A senior recital is required.
The MM in composition is a two-year, 30-unit program consisting of individual instruction in composition, special topics in graduate composition, course work in music history, ensemble participation and individual instruction in any performance medium. A graduate recital and thesis are required.
The DMA in composition requires a minimum of 65 units beyond the bachelor's degree and consists of five areas of study: the basic DMA curriculum, course work in the major, an academic field and two elective fields. A doctoral recital and a dissertation are required.
USC Thornton Contemporary Music Ensemble, Donald Crockett, director
Department of Composition
USC Thornton School of Music
Los Angeles, California 90089-0851