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USC Thornton to launch a new master sessions series

Music producer David Foster (Photo/Karl Simone)

A collaboration between two longtime institutions has led to The Songwriters Hall of Fame (SHOF) Master Sessions at the USC Thornton School of Music.

Music producer, songwriter and SHOF inductee David Foster will appear as the first guest at the inaugural session on April 19. Throughout his four-decade career, Foster has won 16 Grammy Awards and has been nominated for three Academy Awards. Foster has also worked with Michael Jackson, Madonna, Celine Dion, Barbra Streisand and Whitney Houston, among many other luminaries.

The event will be moderated at the Carson Sound Stage by Chris Sampson, USC Thornton’s vice dean of contemporary music and founding director of the Popular Music program.

“The SHOF Master Sessions will provide truly unique access for our students,” Sampson said. “The series will present extraordinary creative and professional role models who will provide invaluable insights in the art, craft and profession of songwriting. I couldn’t imagine a better person to kick off this series than David Foster.”

The new master sessions series will be ongoing as part of USC Thornton’s Popular Music program. Since 2009, Popular Music students have secured recording and publishing contracts, had their songs placed in films and television, launched successful national and international tours, won nationally televised competitions, and received a Latin Grammy nomination. The first class from the program will graduate in May.

The sessions originally began in New York City with a focus on the work of such greats as SHOF Chairman Emeritus Hal David and current Chairman Jimmy Webb.

“David Foster truly has a musical Midas touch,” said Linda Moran, president and CEO of the SHOF. “He has worn almost every hat in the business over the last four decades, each one equally and extraordinarily successful. There is no one more appropriate to be the inaugural guest of the Songwriters Hall of Fame Master Session at USC than inductee David Foster.”

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