Beom "Ben" Hong Awarded BMI Film Scoring Scholarship

Nick Balkin
April 26, 2010
(from left) Jerome Leroy, Dan Carlin, Roger Brown, Beom "Ben" Hong, Doreen Ringer-Ross, and William Ross
Photo by Jennifer Shanley

Composer Beom "Ben" Hong was named the 2010 BMI Film Scoring Scholarship recipient at the annual BMI Day at Berklee on April 14. Hong, working on a dual major in film scoring and music business/management, received the scholarship at a presentation by BMI composer William Ross, in whose name this year's scholarship is given; Doreen Ringer-Ross, BMI vice president of film/TV relations; Berklee president Roger H. Brown; and Berklee Film Scoring Department chair Dan Carlin.

The BMI Film Scoring Scholarship is a yearly tuition scholarship awarded on the basis of compositional maturity and talent, as well as financial need. Each year, the scholarship is given in the name of a noted BMI composer. Ross, this year's honored composer, taught a master class on film scoring as part of the ceremony.

Ben Hong, born in Seoul, Korea on May 10, 1989, began with accompanying piano for worship services at his father's church. He moved to Vancouver, Canada as an exchange student in 2002 and was exposed to various musical activities in high school, including course work in music composition, recording, and engineering. Currently, Hong is a 7th-semester student at Berklee. His compositions have earned praise around the Berklee community, and two of his string works were selected to be performed by two highly respected ensembles: the Kalistos Chamber Orchestra in spring and fall 2009 and the Esterhazy String Quartet in October 2009. Hong's piano pieces were also performed in February 2009 at the Harmony Too Concert, as well as the New Piano Music Concert in February 2010. Before being selected for the BMI award this semester, Hong was also the Film Scoring Department's Barnes & Noble Books Award winner for 2008–2009. In the face of the recording industry's ongoing disruptions and the need for a new business model that will better enable Hong and his fellow composers the opportunity to earn a living in music, he plans to pursue graduate studies in intellectual property law, so that individual artists will have a secure foundation in the management of their own intellectual property. 

William Ross is a prolific award-winning composer and arranger whose work has spanned feature films, the recording industry, and television. He has served as music director and conductor for many artists and occasions, including Barbara Streisand's historic 2006 and 2007 concert tours and the 79th Academy Awards ceremony in 2007, for which he received his second Emmy Award. Arrangements by Ross have been a part of the opening ceremonies of several Super Bowls and the opening and closing ceremonies of five Olympic Games.

"This scholarship continues our mission of supporting young and emerging composers at the college level," stated BMI's Ringer-Ross. "We support Berklee's commitment to excellence in music and film scoring and their determination to further the growth of talented, trained, and educated composers."

Broadcast Music, Inc. (BMI) is an American performing rights organization that represents more than 400,000 songwriters, composers, and music publishers in all genres of music and more than 6.5 million works. The company reported $905 million for its 2009 fiscal year in performing rights collections. BMI has represented the most popular and beloved music from around the world for 70 years. The U.S. corporation collects license fees from businesses that use music, which it then distributes as royalties to the musical creators and copyright owners it represents.