Here in Los Angeles we said goodbye to 2013 with another cozy alumni holiday party at Rive Gauche. Some 250 alumni and guests mixed and mingled to music by singer/songwriter SamanthaSchultz ’13, backed by Trey Macias ’13 (percussion) and Mitchell Owens ’10 (keyboards).
For composer Sharon Farber ’97, 2013 was an exhilarating year. In addition to scoring five films, Farber composed a full-length orchestral album for West One Group music library (UK) and was a guest lecturer and performer in Israel and Colorado, and at University of California, Los Angeles. Farber is composing for the long-running CBS daytime drama The Young and the Restless and for two new online series.
In the concert music realm, Farber’s work was performed at Disney Concert Hall and her new cello concerto, commissioned by the Glendale Philharmonic, had its world premiere in January. Farber signed with two new agents last year, one representing her film work; and the other, her concert music. In December 2013, the Society of Composers and Lyricists (SCL) honored her as an inaugural emerging composer, alongside fellow honorees Alan Silvestri ’70, Randy Newman, and Bill Conti.
Jessica Rae Huber ’12 was promoted to scoring manager at Sparks & Shadows, Bear McCreary’s scoring company and soundtrack label. McCreary is responsible for music for The Walking Dead and Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D, among others. Huber originally interned with Sparks & Shadows in the summer of 2011 through Berklee’s L.A. Internship Program. After returning to Berklee to finish her studies, she relocated to Los Angeles and was offered a position at the company as a scoring assistant. Recently, she also began writing music as an assistant composer. After working with Huber, McCreary hired two more alumni: recording artist and songwriter Melissa Axel ’02 and Dana Kyle ’13 as scoring assistants.
Composer Roger Bellon ’75 completed the score to two theatrical productions. Open House, his fifth collaboration with writer Shem Bitterman and director Steven Zuckerman, had a successful four-month run at the Skylight Theatre Company in Los Angeles. As well, Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Bellon’s seventh collaboration with the New American Theatre, was staged at L.A.’s Odyssey Theatre. Bellon is currently scoring Cookie Mobster, his 17th movie for Hallmark. The score features Peter Gordon ’78 on woodwinds.
Arturo Cardelús ’11 recorded “Con Aire de Tango” at Berlin’s Philharmonie. Laurentius Dinca, a first violinist with the Berlin Philharmonic, commissioned the piece for solo violin and string quintet.
Alumni are on the move at Guitar Center headquarters in Westlake Village, CA. Troy Richardson ’90 was promoted to senior copywriter in the Creative Services division at Guitar Center Inc. Previously a staff writer for Line 6 and other musical product companies before joining Guitar Center, Richardson will lead new promotions and initiatives in addition to continuing his existing responsibilities of creating and editing content for print and electronic mediums.
As well, Jordan Barth ’02 has been promoted to category manager for drum accessories for all 256 Guitar Center retail stores and on the Guitar Center website. He manages and buys all drum heads, sticks, stands and pedals, cases and bags, electronic drum and, world percussion accessories, and other drum parts and accessories.
Chris Hansen ’05, who has been at Guitar Center for 10 years, was recently promoted to category manager for recording equipment.
As we do every year, we offer congratulations to all alumni nominated for the Latin Grammy and American Grammy awards. The Berklee community celebrates your achievements.
See you at the next alumni event.
A Strong Showing
—Peter Gordon ’78
Director of Berklee Center in L.A.
In November 2013, The Hollywood Reporter published its roster of the “Industry’s Top Music Schools.” Berklee was ranked number one on a list that included such renowned institutions as Juilliard, University of Southern California, University of California, Los Angeles, Eastman School of Music, New England Conservatory of Music, California Institute of the Arts, Curtis, and the Royal College of Music in London. Based on a survey of entertainment industry insiders, they ranked the top 10 schools in terms of the talent from each school working in the L.A. music industry. It indicates the industry’s perception of each school and its impact in this major market.
One key ingredient that contributes to Berklee’s strong alumni presence in Los Angeles is a tangible sense of community. This is evident in the alumni-to-alumni sharing of opportunities and the prevalence of established alumni hiring recent graduates. It’s reflected in the alumni who represent the college as members of professional groups and societies within their career fields. In the world of composers and songwriters, one example of this is the Society of Composers & Lyricists (SCL).
The SCL was formed in Los Angeles in 1983, and the list of inaugural members included such icons as Henry Mancini, Jerry Goldsmith, John Williams, David Raksin, and Quincy Jones. Over the past two decades, Berklee alumni have had a growing presence in this society—often in leadership roles among their peers. The membership now numbers more than 1,000, with chapters in Los Angeles and New York.
The organization presents special recognition awards each year, and Berklee was well represented among the 2013 honorees. In December, Film Scoring Chair George S. Clinton was named an SCL ambassador by the New York Chapter, along with fellow composer Mark Snow. The SCL Ambassador Award was created to recognize a select group of composers and lyricists whose valuable contributions have helped establish the ultimate standard for future generations of media composers and songwriters. This elite group includes such legends as Burt Bacharach, Johnny Mandel, Dave Grusin, Earle Hagen, and James Newton Howard.
The four honorees at the SCL Los Angeles holiday party included alumni Alan Silvestri ’70 and Sharon Farber ’97, along with Bill Conti and Randy Newman. Silvestri was honored as an SCL ambassador, while Farber received the Emerging Composer Award as the capacity audience—including numerous Berklee alumni—celebrated their achievements. Discussions are under way for expanded collaborations between the Berklee Film Scoring program, its alumni, and the SCL. Stay tuned.