From Where We Are

Thornton Building closed due to winter storm

Powerful L.A. storms shut down USC’s Thornton School of Music.

"A photo of a sign outside of USC Thornton School of Music that says the building is closed temporarily."

The rain is coming for Thornton students. Due to damage from recent weather, the School of Music has been forced to conduct classes online. Here is Nataly Lozano with the story.

While Los Angeles attempts to recover from the unusually powerful winter storms, all electricity is out at the main building of the Thornton School of Music called The Music Complex building. The building is expected to be closed for at least a week, perhaps longer. The beat goes on — classes have been moved online, but Zoom is not optimal for music students. You know, the audio on Zoom is not exactly high fidelity music quality.

With the building closed, Thornton students are concerned about missing rehearsal and class time. They need to prepare and practice for their upcoming midterms.

Fiona Kessler: I actually was supposed to have my drumming midterm this week,

Sophomore music industries major Fiona Kessler plays electric drums! But not at Thornton this week!

Fiona Kessler: but because they are an electrical drum kit, we’re unable to use them and therefore unable to prepare and actually play for my midterm and. That class specifically two was held on Zoom and. It’s very challenging to learn drums and progress in the class when you can’t physically play the instrument.

Kessler has lived in L.A. all her life.

Fiona Kessler: We’ve never really been able to take on these extreme weather conditions. The city really isn’t built for such strong conditions and it usually doesn’t have to deal with it. So that’s why I think we were seeing a lot of flooding this past weekend.

Water got into the circuits at Thornton. That’s what caused the electricity to go out.

Much of L.A.’s sewage system is 80 years old, and not built to accommodate the millions of people who live here today.

Performance majors have been the most affected since the building closed.

Asia Fuqua studies popular music performance, but not for now in the Thornton building.

Asia Fuqua: I’m just surprised, honestly, that the storm took it down because I feel like it wasn’t that big of a storm and the building probably should have been better prepared for that. And that maybe says something about the amount of money that they’ve put into certain renovations and things like that.

Although not all majors and classes at Thornton have been affected, USC is coming up with alternative spaces that music students can use. More rain is expected this week, but despite these weather conditions, Thornton students play on

For Annenberg Media, I’m Nataly Lozano.