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Talented Trojans Wow The Crowd At The Santa Monica Pier

Cynthia Balderas |
September 25, 2010 | 1:01 p.m. PDT

Staff Reporter


USC student's performed Friday night at Rusty's Surf Ranch (Photo by Cynthia Balderas)
USC student's performed Friday night at Rusty's Surf Ranch (Photo by Cynthia Balderas)
Students from the University of Southern California Thornton School of Music put on a spectacular show at Rusty’s Surf Ranch on the Santa Monica Pier Friday night.   

The Derik Nelson Band, Rozzi Crane, and the Luke Walton Band all showed the crowd at Rusty’s their talent and dedication to music. 

The students that make up the bands are all in the Popular Music Program at the School of Thornton pursuing studies in contemporary pop/rock, folk/rock, R&B/Urban, Latin/Salsa and many more popular styles. The students also focus on small ensemble performances, live performances, and film and studio scoring sessions. 

Excitement, high expectations, and the urge to play vibrated through the air as the bands set up to play on stage.

The first group up was The Derik Nelson Band. Lead singer, Derik Nelson, is a USC alumni, but still came out and supported his fellow Trojans with his pop and jazz themed tunes. Nelson’s soothing voice was a great hit as he encouraged the audience to join in as he sung his original tunes. 

Born and raised in San Francisco, Rozzi Crane got the crowd going with her jaw-dropping vocals at last night’s performance. Enjoying the rhythm that soul and R&B has to offer, Rozzi shared with the audience some all time favorites and the revelation of new songs.  Among the songs were No Words, a requested favorite "How Does It Feel," "Know Your Name," "Fool For You," "Can’t Choose" and many more. For the first time, Rozzi played the keyboard in front of a live audience and did not disappoint. Rozzi once more confirmed her unique style and passion to sing and perform. Rozzi Crane’s performance Friday night brought together very talented musicians on the saxophone, percussion, violin, keyboard, guitar and bass. Be sure to check out this talented singer as she continues to grow and create catchy, well written tunes. 

As the show came down to its final performance, the crowd was in for a treat. The Luke Walton Band was the final group to astonish the audience to some great, soothing pop/rock music. Lead singer, Luke Walton brought his own spin to the table, playing original songs from his newly released album, "Goodbye/Hello." Luke Walton’s insightful and heartening lyrics brought the songs alive in a way that any individual in any age group could appeal to them. Last night, Luke played "Goodbye," "Heart In Hand," his cover of "Crossroads," tear starting "Stay The Same," "A Good Girl," "Where We’re Going To (Go)," and many more. Luke also shared his acoustic cover version of "Love Song" by Taylor Swift and added his own twist to it as he incorporated his own spin-off, "Hello Beautiful." As Luke continues on his journey growing as a singer and writing about new experiences, be sure to follow every step he takes, he sure will not disappoint. 

Rusty’s Surf Ranch was the venue to be Friday night as the talented young musicians showed off what it is that made USC accept them into the competitive music program. The Popular Music Program only accepts a total of fourteen freshmen per year into the School of Thornton. 

Be sure to check out each bands next live performance and to buy one of their CDs that you will be playing nonstop on your ride to work and school. 

SLIDESHOW: Thornton School Trojans treat the crowd to some great music on Santa Monica Pier.

Reach reporter Cynthia Balderas here and follow her on Twitter @CVBalderas



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