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USC Thornton artists nominated in eight Grammy Award categories

Nominations go to renowned alums like Michael Tilson Thomas and faculty members such as Jazz Studies teacher Vince Mendoza

by USC Thornton staff
Michael Tilson Thomas conducting the San Francisco Symphony
Michael Tilson Thomas and the San Francisco Symphony’s all-Debussy album is nominated for a Grammy. (Photo/Bill Swerbenski)

USC Thornton School of Music artists made their mark on the 60th Grammy Award nominations, with faculty and alumni receiving nods across eight categories.

Composition alumnus Billy Childs ’79 has received a best jazz instrumental album nomination for his album Rebirth — the track “Dance of Shiva” will also compete in the category of best improvised jazz solo.

Jazz Studies faculty member Vince Mendoza also received two nominations for work with the WDR Big Band of Cologne Germany. Homecoming is nominated for best large jazz ensemble album, while the track “Choros #3” is up for best instrumental composition.

A number of Jazz Studies faculty and alumni — Alan Chang ’02, Jason Goldman MM ’02, Erik Kertes ’04 and trumpeter Bryan Lipps — contributed to tracks on Michael Bublé’s albumNobody But Me, which has been nominated for best traditional pop vocal album.

Also featured on the album are performances by Alex Hahn MM ’16, Erik Hughes ’13, Walt Simonsen MM ’06, DMA ’10, master’s candidate Michael LeBrun and non-degreed alumni Lemar Guillary and Garrett Smith.

Zhou Tian DMA ’11, an alumnus of the Thornton Composition program, received a nomination for Concerto for Orchestra in the category of best contemporary classical composition. Tian’s concerto was recorded by Louis Langrée and the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra on their Concertos for Orchestra album.

Michael Tilson Thomas ’67, MM ’76, longtime music director of the San Francisco Symphony and Judge Widney Professor of Music at USC, has been nominated with the San Francisco Symphony for best orchestral performance with the all-Debussy album Images – Jeux – La plus que lente.

And USC Thornton collaborator and honorary alumnus John Williams has received a nomination for “‘Escapades for Alto Saxophone and Orchestra’ from Catch Me If You Can” in the category of best arrangement, instrumental or a cappella.

The 60th Grammy Awards show will be broadcast live on Jan. 28 on CBS.

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USC Thornton artists nominated in eight Grammy Award categories

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