February 04, 2013

John Debney Mentors Students in USC Scoring Program

Most young film and TV composers could only dream of being mentored one-on-one by one of the giants of the scoring community. 20 students got to live the dream thanks to The ASCAP Foundation Composer-in-Residence Program at USC.

The 2012 edition of the Composer-in-Residence program brought Emmy-winning, Oscar-nominated ASCAP composer John Debney together with students from USC’s Scoring for Motion Pictures and Television (SMPTV) graduate program for three intensive workshop sessions.

Students re-scored clips from three of Debney’s previous projects, Dreamer, Hatfields & McCoys and Dream House. Debney worked with the students over the first two sessions (November 7th and 14th) to conceive and refine their cues. In the final session (November 30th), the participants went to the famous Capitol Studios in Hollywood to record their cues. The recording sessions were helmed by Bobby Fernandez, with live studio musicians contracted by Peter Rotter Music Services.

The 2012 student composers were David Bertok, Grant Fonda, Gautier Galard, Steven Gernes, Jackson Greenberg, Brian Grider, Christine Hals, Ramesh Kannan, Pantawit Kiangsiri, Michelle Lee, Tao Liu, Max Loh, Sebastian Örnemark, Dash Reed, Erick Schroder, Nicholas Soole, Sean Sumwalt, Duncan Thum, Lance Treviño and Benjamin Young.

The Composer-in-Residence Program was once again made possible by The ASCAP Foundation Bart Howard Fund. Bart Howard was a prolific composer who wrote more than 200 songs, most notably the famous standard "Fly Me to the Moon," which has been performed by hundreds of singers including Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald, Peggy Lee, Nancy Wilson and Diana Krall. Howard began his career as an accompanist at the age of 16 and played for Mabel Mercer, Johnny Mathis and Eartha Kitt among others. He died in 2004.

For more information about USC's Scoring for Motion Picture and Television program, visit www.smptv.net.

John Debney is an Academy Award-nominated composer hailed as one of the most prolific and successful composers in Hollywood. Debney has over 100 scores to his credit, ranging from the critically acclaimed Cutthroat Island soundtrack to certified gold soundtrack, The Passion of the Christ. In 2005, Debney became the youngest recipient of ASCAP's prestigious Henry Mancini Lifetime Achievement Award. He recently completed the score to the upcoming Steve Jobs biopic, jOBS. He is also set to score The Hive, starring Halle Berry and directed by Brad Anderson (The Machinist), due out in 2013. Find out more on John Debney’s Facebook page.