History and Alumni
Los Angeles Junior College was established on September 9, 1929 by the Los Angeles Board of Education. The college offered "semi-professional courses" for students who wanted to limit their college education to two year, and "certificate courses" for those looking to continue toward university work. The first Associate in Arts degrees were conferred June 19, 1931.
Leslie P. Clausen, member of the Music Department from 1931-1972 and Department Chair for the last 26 years of his career, organized the weekly concert series in 1932, a series still in existence as Music 152. He also helped establish the Commercial Music curriculum. The Music Department currently inhabits the building that honors his name.
With the establishment of its Commercial Music curriculum in 1946, LA City College became the first college in the nation to offer a degree in jazz. Indeed, numerous important jazz musicians attended LA City College, including Chet Baker, Irving Bush, Eric Dolphy, Bob Florence, Herb Geller, Jerry Goldsmith, Les McCann, Charlie Mingus, Lennie Niehaus, Tommy Oliver, Jack Sheldon, Julius Wechter and Hal Owen.
The Studio Jazz Band has been in existence since 1946 under the direction of Bob MacDonald, Robert Wilkinson, Woodrow James, Don Simpson, Laszlo Cser, Lori Stuntz and Barbara Laronga.
Over the years, the Department gradually expanded its certificates to its current offerings of Instrumental Performer (in either Brass, Guitar, Percussion, Piano, Strings or Woodwinds), Vocal Performer, Orchestrator/Arranger, and Music Technology.
Many talented musicians have studied at Los Angeles City College, including:David Alpert, musician/co-owner of A&M Records
Roy Ayers, jazz musician
Chet Baker, jazz musician
Robert Bradley, blues musician
Irving Bush, jazz musician
Eric Dolphy, jazz musician
Jean Fenn, Metropolitan Opera Company
Bob Florence, jazz musician/composer
Don Friedman, jazz pianist
Herb Geller, jazz musician
Jerry Goldsmith, composer, Academy Award® recipient
Jerry Lieber and Mike Stoller, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame songwriters
M.C. Hammer, R&B musician, Grammy® recipient
Howard Leese, rock musician and producer
George London, opera star/ Director of the Kennedy Center
Lebo M, composer
Les McCann, jazz pianist/singer
Charlie Mingus, jazz musician
Lennie Niehaus, jazz musician
Odetta, folk singer
Tommy Oliver, jazz musician
Hal Owen, jazz musician
Dianne Reeves, jazz singer, Grammy® recipient
Robin Russell, drummer - member of New Birth/Nite-Liters
Jack Sheldon, jazz musician
Leonard Slatkin, conductor
Ed Thigpen, jazz musician
Russ Titelman, music producer, Grammy® recipient, songwriter
John Williams, Academy Award®–winning composer
La Monte Young, composer
WE NEED YOUR HELP! You can help us compile our list by submitting your name! If you attended the LACC Music Department in the past and would like your name on our list, send in your Alumni Information Form today.
You may complete the form on your computer. Once complete, please print it out and mail it to:
Music Department Alumni Response
Attn: Lori Musicant
855 North Vermont Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90029
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