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THE USC THORNTON SYMPHONY, under the direction of principal conductor and artistic leader Carl St.Clair and resident conductor Sharon Lavery, is highly praised as one of the leading university orchestras in the nation. This is exemplified by the prominent guest conductors who have lead the symphony, including Thomas  Adès, James Conlon, Jorge Mester, Helmuth Rilling, Joseph Silverstein, Stanislaw Skrowaczewski, Michael Tilson Thomas, and John Williams to name a few.  The orchestra has also showcased some of today's most notable artists such as Sarah Chang, Midori Goto, Lynn Harrell, Yo-Yo Ma, Itzhak Perlman, Pepe Romero, Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg, Isaac Stern, and André Watts.  Prior conductors of the USC Thornton School orchestras include nationally acclaimed conductors and pedagogues Sergiu Commissiona, Walter Ducloux  (Maestro St.Clair¹s former teacher), Ingolf Dahl, Yehuda Gilad, Jung-Ho Pak, Daniel Lewis, Larry Livingston, and Larry Reichleff. The orchestra has performed at Walt Disney Concert Hall and throughout the Los Angeles region to wide acclaim.  When Maestro St.Clair isn't providing artistic direction and conducting the orchestra, he is the Music Director of the renowned Pacific Symphony in Orange County.  Ms. Lavery is also the Music Director of the Downey Symphony.  In contrast to the fixed performance ensembles at most music schools, the USC Thornton orchestra members rotate between various ensembles, multiplying students opportunities to experience everything from symphonic and opera orchestras as well as chamber groups.  Through this unique performance training system, students are prepared to play any position in their sections in various settings, a requirement of almost all professional musicians.