Alumni Nominated for Emmy Awards as Mj Rodriguez Makes History

Rodriguez ’11, the first trans woman to be nominated in a lead acting category, is one of 26 Berklee alumni who received nominations. 

July 14, 2021

The National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences nominated 26 Berklee alumni for Emmy Awards on Tuesday, July 13. Mj Rodriguez ’11 made history, becoming the first trans woman to be nominated in a lead acting category, while other alumni were recognized for their sound mixing, sound editing, music composition, music direction, and more for many of the industry’s biggest programs and events.

Rodriguez was nominated in the Lead Actress in a Drama Series category for her role as Blanca in the third and final season of the acclaimed FX drama Pose. A winner of the 2011 Clive Barnes Award, Rodriguez previously starred as Angel in the 2011 off-Broadway revival of Rent after she was discovered by Fredi Walker-Browne, one of the original cast members in Jonathan Larsen’s production. She went on to become a breakout star in Pose, which features the largest-ever cast of transgender actors on a scripted show in television history. Pose’s third season earned nine total nominations, including in the categories of Outstanding Drama Series and Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series for Rodriguez’s costar Billy Porter, who received an honorary doctorate from Boston Conservatory at Berklee in 2018.

Branford Marsalis ’80 ’06H received a nomination for his work as composer on Hulu’s Tulsa Burning: The 1921 Race Massacre in the Outstanding Music Composition for a Documentary Series or Special (Original Dramatic Score) category. Richard Gould B.M. ’13 received three total nominations for his work on WandaVision (sound editor), The Mandalorian (Foley editor), and The Social Dilemma (supervising sound editor/sound designer); and alumnus Phil McGowan received two nominations for his work on Cobra Kai (score mixer) and TINA (scoring mixer), the HBO Max documentary about Tina Turner. 

Five Berklee alumni were nominated in the Outstanding Sound Editing for a Limited or Anthology Series, Movie or Special category, including Matt Temple B.M. ’89 for Fargo; Bryan Parker B.M. ’89, Jay Jennings B.M. ’92, and Luke Gibleon B.M. ’07 for The Underground Railroad; and Gould and Jordan Myers (Berklee Online) for WandaVision. Six alumni were nominated in the Outstanding Sound Editing for a Comedy or Drama Series (One Hour) category, including Jeff Lingle ’95 and Jason Lingle B.M. ’99 for Lovecraft Country; Gould and Stephanie McNally ’10 for The Mandalorian; Lindsay Pepper (Berklee Online) for The Umbrella Academy; and Darrin Mann ’91 for Star Trek: Discovery

Elmo Ponsdomenech ’83 and Shawn Kennelly ’89 received nominations for their sound work on the Apple TV+ documentary Billie Eilish: The World’s a Little Blurry. Karl Mansfield B.M. ’81 was nominated in the Outstanding Music Direction category for David Byrne’s American Utopia. William Horberg ’78 received a nomination in the Outstanding Original Music and Lyrics category for “I Can’t Remember Love” from Netflix’s miniseries The Queen’s Gambit. Other alumni nominees include Sean Byrne B.M. ’93 (Ted Lasso); Chris Ashworth B.M. ’04 (The Crown); Tim Latham ’89 (Hamilton); Pierre de Laforcade ’82 (The Late Show with Stephen Colbert); Andres Locsey B.M. ’13 (Cobra Kai); Joe Deveau ’98 (Mythic Quest); James Singleton B.M. ’15 (Star Trek: Lower Decks); and Tim Owens ’88 (David Attenborough: A Life on Our Planet).

Several alumni of the College and Conservatory were involved in Emmy-nominated programs. Celebrating America: An Inauguration Night Special, on which Shelbie Rassler (B.M. ’20, composition) worked as an audio mixer for the performance of “Seasons of Love/Let the Sunshine In,” was nominated in the Variety Special (Live) category. Alex Lacamoire B.M. ’95 ’19H and Jasmine Cephas Jones ’09 worked on Hamilton, nominated in the Variety Special (Pre-recorded) category; and Angie Swan '05 was the lead guitarist for the Emmy-nominated production David Byrne’s American Utopia.

The 73rd annual Primetime Emmy Awards ceremony will be held on Sunday, September 19, at 8:00 p.m. on Paramount+ and CBS. 

Below is the full list of Berklee alumni Emmy Award nominees. Please note the list is subject to change as we receive updated information.

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series

  • Mj Rodriguez, Pose (FX) 

Outstanding Sound Mixing for a Comedy or Drama Series (Half-Hour) and Animation

  • Sean Byrne, rerecording mixer, Ted Lasso (Apple TV+)
  • Phil McGowan, score mixer, Cobra Kai (Netflix)

Outstanding Sound Mixing for a Comedy or Drama Series (One Hour) 

  • Chris Ashworth, production mixer, The Crown (Netflix) 

Outstanding Sound Mixing for a Nonfiction or Reality Program (Single or Multi-Camera)

  • Phil McGowan, scoring mixer, TINA (HBO Max) 
  • Elmo Ponsdomenech, rerecording mixer, Billie Eilish: The World’s a Little Blurry (Apple TV+)

Outstanding Sound Mixing for a Variety Series or Special

  • Pierre de Laforcade, production mixer, The Late Show with Stephen Colbert (CBS) 
  • Tim Latham, rerecording mixer, Hamilton (Disney+) 

Outstanding Sound Editing for a Comedy or Drama Series (Half-Hour) and Animation

  • Joe Deveau, music editor, Mythic Quest, "Everlight" (Apple TV+)
  • Andres Locsey, music editor, Cobra Kai, "December 19" (Netflix) 
  • James Singleton, sound effects editor, Star Trek: Lower Decks, "No Small Parts" (CBS)

Outstanding Sound Editing for a Limited or Anthology Series, Movie or Special

  • Luke Gibleon, sound effects editor, The Underground Railroad, "Chapter 9: Indiana Winter” (Amazon Prime) 
  • Richard Gould, sound effects editor, WandaVision, "The Series Finale" (Disney+)
  • Jay Jennings, sound designer, The Underground Railroad, "Chapter 9: Indiana Winter" (Amazon Prime)
  • Jordan Myers, sound editor, WandaVision, "The Series Finale" (Disney+)
  • Bryan Parker, dialogue/ADR editor, The Underground Railroad, "Chapter 9: Indiana Winter" (Amazon Prime) 
  • Matt Temple, sound effects editor, Fargo, "East/West" (FX)

Outstanding Sound Editing for a Nonfiction or Reality Program (Single or Multi-Camera)

  • Richard Gould, supervising sound editor/sound designer, The Social Dilemma (Netflix)  
  • Shawn Kennelly, Foley editor, Billie Eilish: The World’s a Little Blurry (Apple TV+)
  • Tim Owens, sound supervisor, David Attenborough: A Life On Our Planet (Netflix) 

Outstanding Music Composition for a Documentary Series or Special (Original Dramatic Score) 

  • Branford Marsalis, composer, Tulsa Burning: The 1921 Race Massacre (Hulu)

Outstanding Music Direction

  • Karl Mansfield, music director, David Byrne's American Utopia (HBO Max) 

Outstanding Original Music and Lyrics 

  • William Horberg, lyrics, The Queen's Gambit, "Adjournment / Song Title: I Can't Remember Love" (Netflix) 

Outstanding Sound Editing for a Comedy or Drama Series (One Hour)

  • Richard Gould, Foley editor, The Mandalorian, "Chapter 13: The Jedi" (Disney+)
  • Jeff Lingle, music editor, Lovecraft Country, "Sundown" (HBO Max) 
  • Jason Lingle, music editor, Lovecraft Country, "Sundown" (HBO Max)
  • Darrin Mann, Foley editor, Star Trek: Discovery, "That Hope Is You (Part 1)" (CBS)
  • Stephanie McNally, music editor, The Mandalorian, "Chapter 13: The Jedi" (Disney+)
  • Lindsay Pepper, Foley artist, The Umbrella Academy, "The End of Something" (Netflix)
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