Thornton School of Music to install songwriter venue

USC’s Thornton School of Music is set to introduce the first-ever venue designed to cater to the needs of songwriters.

The new Songwriter’s Theater is a face-lift of a small 50-seat site built by the School of Cinematic Arts as a sound mixing stage in the early 1980s, according to USC News.

This venue comes in light of the rapid growth of the popular music program over the past few years, from a small elective taken by 13 students to a nationally known program.

The new 981-square-foot space will house state-of-the-art acoustics and lighting, as well as intricate curtains and lights to give it a retro feel.

The theater will also include musical instruments such as a grand piano, a drum set and guitars donated by Taylor Guitars.

Vice Dean of the Division of Contemporary Music and founder of the Popular Music Program Chris Sampson said the new venue was needed because of the importance that songwriting has in the study of music at Thornton.

“For me, this room symbolizes the way that songwriting has become accepted within an educational environment,” Sampson told USC News. “We value the importance of the song as the place where it all starts. Without a great song, there’s nothing to record. There’s nothing to share with an audience.”

Sampson is hoping that the theater will solidify the idea that all elements of the modern-day music industry begin with writing a song, and students’ time in the theater will further their passion for songwriting.

The Songwriter’s Theater will open its doors to USC students and alumni from the popular music program, such as singer-songwriter Rozzi Crane, for its inauguration at 6 p.m. on March 24.