Smiling faces of composers and musicians inside of film strips against an illustrated background featuring an Emmy Award statuette.

Five Thornton Alumni Receive 2023 Emmy Nominations

By Deanna Gasparyan

Leo Birenberg, Eli Brueggemann, Holly Amber Church, Allyson Newman and James Newton Howard garnered Emmy nominations across five categories. 

Nominees for the 75th Primetime Emmy Awards were announced on July 12, and five of the nominees are USC Thornton alumni. Recognizing outstanding artistry across multiple platforms, the nominations ceremony was hosted by actor Yvette Nicole Brown and Television Academy Chair Frank Scherma at the famed Hollywood Athletic Club.

First on the list is Leo Birenberg (GCRT ’11), a film and television composer and Screen Scoring program alumnus. Birenberg was nominated for Outstanding Music Composition for a Limited or Anthology Series, Movie or Special for Weird: The Al Yankovic Story, alongside co-composer Zach Robinson.

Jazz Studies program alumnus Eli Brueggemann (MM ’03) was nominated as Outstanding Music Director for an episode of Saturday Night Live, hosted by Austin Butler. Brueggemann has received eight prior nominations for his work as musical director and composer on the hit show, and in 2018, he won the Emmy for Outstanding Original Music and Lyrics. 

Holly Amber Church (GCRT ’01), a composer and Screen Scoring program alumna, was nominated for her first Emmy this year in the category of Outstanding Original Main Title Theme Music for her work on the Netflix horror series, Guillermo Del Toro’s Cabinet of Curiosities.

Film and television composer Allyson Newman (GCRT ’05) has also earned her first Emmy nomination this year for Outstanding Original Music and Lyrics with the song, “All About Me,” produced for the Showtime series The L Word: Generation Q.

Finally, in the category of Outstanding Music Composition for a Documentary Series or Special, prolific composer and non-degreed alumnus James Newton Howard received a solo nomination for music from the first episode of Light & Magic, a Disney+ docuseries starring George Lucas.

The 75th Emmy Awards ceremony is scheduled to broadcast live on FOX on Monday, September 18, (8:00-11:00 p.m. EDT/5:00-8:00 p.m. PDT) from the Peacock Theater at L.A. LIVE.

TAGS: Composition, Jazz Studies, Screen Scoring,

Never miss a story

Subscribe to USC Thornton’s e-newsletter