Thornton adds professors to its music industry staff

After working at Apple Records, Trudy Green decided to shift her goals from fashion to music. Photo courtesy of Trudy Green.

This fall, the USC Thornton School of Music welcomes two new hires from the Los Angeles music business to its music industry program as associate professors: music manager Trudy Green and event producer Kevin Lyman.

Despite having more than 40 years of industry experience managing clients including The Rolling Stones, Michael Jackson and Aerosmith, Green never planned to work in the music industry.

“Nothing ever made me think about anything to do with being in music,” said Green, who studied business at Queen’s College. “I always wanted to be the fashion editor of Vogue magazine. I wanted to be Anna Wintour.”

Lyman, best known for founding the Vans Warped Tour and revolutionizing event promotion, got his start in live production by organizing events to raise money for his school’s ski team when he was a student at California Polytechnic University, Pomona.

Lyman has spent 24 years producing Vans Warped Tour, a “punk rock summer camp” that has featured artists such as Eminem, Blink-182 and Katy Perry. After completing the festival’s final year in August, Lyman is ready to pass on his knowledge to the next generation of event producers and create long term relationships and impact on students.

“With [the Vans] Warped Tour we sell over 550,000 tickets, and I have contact with people for very short-term bases out here,” Lyman said. “[As] a Trojan Family member teacher, I get to spend 15 weeks in the class with people really digging deep and help them find their way.”

Green fell in love with USC when her son attended the University but it wasn’t until she got a call from a Thornton adjunct professor and friend that she became excited about joining the school as a professor.

“Now I have the job,” Green said. “Like everything in my life, it wasn’t planned.”

Since he was in college, Kevin Lyman has been involved in live production, and will continue to work with event producers at USC Thornton. Photo courtesy of Lisa Johnson.

Green became involved with the music industry after her initial job in public relations in fashion led her to work at Apple Records — a job that was supposed to be temporary while she searched for an opportunity in fashion. When she was eventually offered a fashion position, she turned it down.

“You’ve got to love what you do, and you won’t know until you test it out,” Green said. “I didn’t know I loved management until I tried it out. I’ve done all the record company stuff. That wasn’t something I wanted to do.”

Green went on to work for Crunch promotions, Fly Records, Gibson and Stromberg and founded her own company, Trudy Management Group. This fall, she will teach a master’s class on live touring in addition to two undergraduate courses.

Both Green and Lyman are joining the music industry program to prepare students for what they call a rapidly evolving music industry. Thornton dean Robert Cutietta says their impressive careers and experience are a good fit for the Trojan Family.

“We are thrilled to welcome Trudy and Kevin to the USC Thornton faculty,” Cutietta said in a Thornton press release. “They are both unquestioned leaders in their fields, and their expertise will be an incredible addition to the Music Industry program.”