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USC Thornton's Pop Showcase Highlights Seniors At The Troubadour

Katie Chen |
April 10, 2014 | 2:53 p.m. PDT

Staff Reporter

USC Thornton Pop Music's graduating class of 2014 on stage for the finale of the show and their time at USC. (courtesy of Kylie Nicholson)
USC Thornton Pop Music's graduating class of 2014 on stage for the finale of the show and their time at USC. (courtesy of Kylie Nicholson)

On Monday night, USC Thornton's senior class of the Popular Music major program performed at The Troubadour for their 2014 Senior Showcase, the culmination of their artistic journeys at USC.

The graduating class of 26 seniors performed solo and in groups in West Hollywood as a coming into their artistic identities as a full-fledged artists and no longer a student of USC Thornton School of Music.

Open to the public, event attendees included faculty, family, and garnered a lot of industry interest including producers, executives, publishers and other industry professionals.

Vice Dean of the Division of Contemporary Music and Founding Director of the Popular Music Program, Chris Sampson, who helped in putting on the show, said that the night was "all about creativity." The event presented each senior's individual musical character, yet showed the senior class's, as Sampson put it, "attitude in the best possible way."

MC'ed by Pop Music major senior Madison Scheckel (who performed her song, "Sentimental" later on in the night), the 3-hour event started off with the Aaron Childs Band, which was made up of senior Aaron Childs. Check out more Aaron Childs at his YouTube channel here.

Here's his cover of Mike Posner's "Cooler Than Me":

Collaboration between the pop music majors is huge in the program and it was really apparent when seniors Devon Eisenbarger, Josh Goldberg, Anna Shulze and Brett Fromson got on stage. Their eclectic country sound ranged from girl power rock, soft, mellow country guitar coupled with home sweet home lyrics and "making it in this town." During each of their sets, they all played different instruments as each one rotated performing their set. Check out Josh Goldberg's "Fly" below:

Nina Francis, "resident senior" of Normal Heights, performed their song, "London in the Rain," which featured a trombone component, which offered a unique, sound in that you don't hear in pop music. Francis is also pursuing her solo career alongside the band, as she just released her solo debut EP. Listen to one of the songs on her album, "Wary," here.

Another stand-out band was inspired by the haunting beauty of "Brave New World" by Aldous Huxley. Similarly named, Huxlee is the product of senior Caitlin Notey. The indie band offered up a folksy, vintage vibe with incredible vocals by Notey. You can listen to their full EP here, but here's their music video of "Olivia":

"It [the showcase] represented the character of this class, and they truly have their own personality. As a class, the personality's got a little bit of an edge to it," continued Sampson. "What's exciting about [the showcase] is that it was entirely different from last year's showcase. So, I fully expect that next year's showcase will also be entirely different."

Needless to say, there was incredible talent in Thornton's Pop Music Major Class of 2014, and this definitely won't be the last time we hear any of these names as they enter the music world.

The Lineup:

1. The Aaron Childs Band

2. FEiN

3. Ghost in the Canyon

4. Devon Jane

5. Josh Goldberg

6. Anna Schulze

7. Brett Fromson 

8. Hearty Har

9. Madison Scheckel

10. Normal Heights

11. Lael Summer

12. Maddie Ross 

13. Brienne Moore

14. Huxlee

15. House Fire

16. Grady Righthand

17. Nick Belcher

Reach Staff Reporter Katie Chen here. Follow her on Twitter here.



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