On Thursday, the university’s Thornton School of Music said that Mr. Miller, the guitarist and front man of the Steve Miller Band, will serve as an artist in residence starting in the current term. In that capacity, he will present master classes for undergraduates enrolled in its popular-music and music-industry programs, and lead seminars on tour planning and record production as well as workshops on more specific topics like guitar tone. (Dude, ask him how he got that wah-wah sound on “The Joker”!)
“Every time he comes into contact with students, he just comes away energized and wants to work with them on more of a sustained basis,” Chris Sampson, associate dean of the Thornton School, said in a telephone interview. “I just thought, well, let’s make this happen. Let’s find an outlet and an avenue to get you involved.”
Mr. Sampson said Mr. Miller has been connected to U.S.C. for several years, as a guest artist who worked with the school’s jazz studies students and helped them create arrangements of his songs, and as a guest speaker in Mr. Sampson’s songwriting class. More recently, Mr. Sampson said, Mr. Miller consulted on the Thornton School’s curriculum for its two-year-old popular-music program, which now enrolls 55 students.
Mr. Miller is expected to be on campus at least twice a semester, following a schedule similar to the Thornton School’s other artists in residence, Patrice Rushen, the pianist and singer, and Lamont Dozier, the songwriter and producer.
“What we’ve agreed upon,” Mr. Sampson said, “is that any time he is in Los Angeles, he will just add an extra day, and he will make that his U.S.C. day, and we will build out a full day of activities for him.”
This should soften the blow of having those victories from the Reggie Bush years erased.
Friday, August 20, 2010