Doris Cosic Strums Her Way to Success: An Interview With A Guitar Aficionado

USC Thornton sophomore Doris Cosic is no newcomer to music: a student at music school in her native Slovenia since the age of 4, she first picked up her guitar at age 6, and began competing just three years later. Although most Slovenian students choose not to pursue music school after their first few years, Doris knew that music affected her differently from her peers. She had fallen completely in love, and guitar was now a big part of her life.

Doris initially had other plans. In high school, she prepared to enter the medical field. However, she realized she wanted to pursue music full-time when in her final year of high school, she performed two concerts for children with special needs and said it was her “best experience as a musician”. Not wanting to simply teach guitar to students in Slovenia, she explored international options. At a guitar festival, she met fellow guitarist and USC Thornton student Mak Grgic, which is when she decided to apply to the classical music program. The only people who knew of this decision were her parents, and she was accepted into USC Thornton with a full scholarship. Shortly after, she arrived in Los Angeles.

Recently, Doris encountered a tragic event in her personal life, and entered a music competition at Cal State LA as a way to motivate herself. She believes that she only regrets the opportunities she doesn’t undertake, and didn’t hesitate when signing up. At the age of 20, she competed against doctoral students and placed second in the competition overall. For someone who admits to struggling with self-confidence, this win definitely helped!

In Los Angeles, Doris is in touch with other Slovenian natives enrolled at USC Thornton. She loves the city and can see herself settling down here. She believes she has found her own home, and fits in well with the California vibe. She does her best to represent her country while simultaneously adapting to American culture. She finds it amusing that people often do not know Slovenia is a country, and enjoys clearing up misconceptions about its location. If she was stranded on a desert island with only one piece of music to play, sing, or listen to, it would be The Funeral by Band of Horses.

Ambitious in nature, Doris does not like to be defined by one single thing. In high school, she used to play in a rock band. She recently started her minor in jazz, and is currently practicing jazz guitar. She is also currently undertaking composition classes, as she wants to make the most of her USC experience. Next semester, she will be studying biology of the brain as she looks into music therapy. She hopes to encourage an appreciation for music and life, and show that music is all about meaning.

In her spare time, she collaborates with a nonprofit for children with special needs, and helps organize events near the Coliseum. These children are why she undertook music, after all, and she enjoys playing music for them. She is currently trying to organize a Christmas concert for the nonprofit, and is interested in creating an outreach program allowing USC music students to work with children with special needs. In order to stay fit, she practices a multitude of sports, and is an avid boxer and former member of USC Trojan Boxing Club – which she plans to rejoin. She also enjoys taking photos for the club.

Recently, she overheard her doctoral friend talking about his job at Live at the Fig, which he described as a “graduate student job”. He was looking for someone to take over from him, and Doris was immediately interested. Upon the encouragement from her professor and other USC Thornton faculty, she decided to apply despite her sophomore class standing. Her friend wrote her a recommendation letter, she submitted her resume, and a short while later she had the job! She believes this to be a major accomplishment, as she has never been paid for playing music before. Keep an eye (and an ear) out for Doris at Live at the Fig, where she is scheduled to perform every other Thursday from 4:00 PM to 6:00 PM.

Written by: Deeksha Lal, OIS Communications Editor, Master of Communication Management, USC Annenberg 2020