Students at the helm

Composer Prateek Rajagopal reviews a score alongside program chair Daniel Carlin (left), and engineer Bobby Fernandez (right).

Daniel Carlin, Chair of the Screen Scoring program, thanks the orchestra for their performance.

Donor Colette Delerue, in USC colors, follows along with a score by her husband, film composer Georges Delerue.

Pete Anthony discusses a composer's revisions with the orchestra.

In the recording booth, program chair Daniel Carlin points out a phrase to composers Michael Wilson (right) and Nuowen Tu-Wang (left).

Aki Cao reviews her score.

Winds & Percussion graduate student Sarah Meidel (left) plays flute with two session musicians.

Pete Anthony conducts the orchestra.

Jazz Studies graduate student Yafeu Tyhimba (BM ’19) plays bass with two session musicians.

In the recording booth, (left to right) Nuowen Tu-Wang, Theron Kay, and engineer Bobby Fernandez.

Faculty member Pete Anthony conducts the orchestra with composers observing the session.

(From left to right) Isaac Mailach, Emiliano Mazzenga, Austin Hammonds, and faculty member Sean Dougall observe a recording session.

Students in the recording booth applauding at the conclusion of a session.

Conductor and faculty member Pete Anthony takes a break alongside composers (left to right) Justin Schornstein, Julia Newman, Michael Wilson, and David Lewis.

Emiliano Mazzenga and Prateek Rajagopal between sessions in the recording booth.

Students, faculty, and donor Colette Delerue celebrating at the end of the session.

USC Thornton Screen Scoring students had their work performed in a professional recording session with a live orchestra at Warner Bros. Studios.


It’s not every day you hear your work performed by a professional orchestra—and at Warner Bros. Studios, no less. But this past weekend, 20 graduate students of USC Thornton’s Screen Scoring program had the opportunity to lead a live recording session of their work at the Clint Eastwood Scoring Stage at Warner Bros.

“This was such a great day for our students,” said Daniel Carlin, Chair of the Screen Scoring program. “And it’s not just the student composers, but student performers as well who benefit.”

The session came complete with a 53-piece orchestra comprised of 14 Thornton student instrumentalists sharing music stands with – and being mentored by – 39 professional studio musicians, all conducted by Screen Scoring faculty member Pete Anthony.

“Recording with an orchestra of professional musicians is something no other screen scoring program offers,” he added.

A recently endowed gift has ensured that the amazing day will continue every year. Colette Delerue, whose husband Georges Delerue was an Academy Award-winning film composer, has established the Georges and Colette Delerue Screen Scoring Endowed Fund to enable the program to continue offering the large-scale recording session to all future graduate students.

For two years prior, a previous gift by Delerue allowed Screen Scoring students the opportunity to conduct a similar session in smaller studios, and with smaller orchestras. With the establishment of the new endowment, the program was able to expand the recording sessions to a full scoring stage, and increase the size of the orchestra from 35 to 53 players, allowing the composers to experience what it’s like to record their original scores with a full orchestra.

For most of the participating student composers, it was the first time they had recorded in a full-sized scoring stage, but it won’t be the last. For their capstone project, Screen Scoring students will return to Warner Bros. to apply the lessons they’ve learned for their final scoring session – only this time, as conductors as well.