Student Spotlight

Thornton Student Honored With Prestigious Award For Music

Saad Haddad Will Receive James Newton Howard Scholarship At Thornton Banquet

Download SEO TSS Press Release, Composer Saad

Saad's bio pic

Junior Saad Haddad has scored over 20 films.

Saad Haddad knows the keys to musical success. The junior at the USC Thornton School Of Music has composed over thirty pieces and his work has been featured by the Los Angeles Times and played by the LA Philharmonic at the world-famous Walt Disney Concert Hall. Haddad is attending the Thornton School on a Trustee Scholarship, a full merit-based scholarship awarded by the university to students distinguished in their field of study.

Saad Conducting

Haddad has recorded eight scores live with Thornton School of Music at the John Williams Scoring Stage.

On December 14, Haddad will be honored once again for his visionary composing as the recipient of the James Newton Howard Scholarship, one of the most prestigious awards for scoring soundtracks for motion pictures and television. The Thornton School of Music commissioned Haddad to write a new orchestral piece, entitled “On the Hearth,” to be premiered by the Thornton Symphony at the Charles Dickens Dinner at the Millennium Biltmore Hotel in Downtown Los Angeles

“I am so very honored to receive a scholarship named after one of the greatest composers of all time and a true Trojan alumnus,” said Haddad, “It is also such a privilege to have the Thornton Symphony play my work. I am very thankful.”

Composer and USC alumnus James Newton Howard has received eight Academy Award nominations and has scored over 100 films, including Batman Begins, King Kong, I Am Legend, and the Sixth Sense. Howard will be attending the dinner to receive the USC Thornton Legacy Award.

Trustee Scholar Wins Prestigious Award For Blending Art and Math 

Kylie Nicholson Receives Scholarship From The Association for Women in Technology

Trustee Scholar Kylie Nicholson

Kylie Nicholson has followed her love for photography and math at USC.

Trustee Scholar Kylie Nicholson is pursuing a unique major: no major. Instead, Nicholson is working with the USC School of Cinematic Arts’ Institute for Multimedia Literacy (IML) to pursue an education that blends digital photography with math.

This November, Nicholson received a prestigious award in recognition of her contributions to the developing field. The Association for Women in Technology is awarding their 2012 scholarship to Nicholson to help her pursue her dreams of merging two seemingly divergent worlds.

“I am very honored to receive this scholarship. I am encouraged to continue my work and know that I have support from some of the kindest, most visionary people in the world,” said Nicholson.

For her innovative work and research, Nicholson received the Provost’s Award to work with IML Associate Director Virginia Kuhn on the Large Scale Video Analytics Project. Nicholson spent her summer utilizing computer algorithms to analyze digital images.

“Kylie is an exciting student to work with because of her bright personality and innovative ideas. She has a unique understanding and interest in what will be the future of communications in this technological era,” said Virginia Kuhn, who supervised Nicholson during her research.

Nicholson came to USC not knowing her specific field of study, but had been pursuing her interest in photography throughout high school. She founded her own photography company, Kylie Nic Photography, in 2009 and continues her work in college where she became the photographer for the Thornton School of Music.  Her photography has won numerous awards, from winning first place in county fairs to winning art shows.

“I love photography and digital imaging,” explained Nicholson. “I also love math. I came to USC not sure how to combine these two different fields, but I figured I should continue to pursue my passions.”

At USC, Nicholson took classes in the Institute for Multimedia Literacy in the School of Cinematic Arts (SCA). The institute is unique in its cutting-edge research on understanding the rapidly changing technological communication landscape. The institute was created by SCA Dean Elizabeth Daley with legendary film maker, George Lucas. The university leadership is planning to create a new college for multimedia literacy studies, but until the college is created, Nicholson is blazing her own path on the frontier of a new field.

“I’ve learned that it’s not about your major. It’s more about identifying your passions and pursuing them,” said Nicholson.


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