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November 14, 2003
Branching Out
The Film Music Society expands to the East Coast at NYU
by Ron Sadoff, Director of the Film Scoring Program at New York University

Effective November 1st, The Film Music Society's Board of Directors voted to form an East Coast branch, to reside at New York University's Department of Music and Performing Arts. The branch will be under the co-direction of FMS Board member Gillian B. Anderson and myself as Director of NYU's Film Scoring Program.

Two East Coast FMS Conferences have been previously hosted at NYU – in 1994 and 1997. Future East Coast conferences will aim to develop an increased awareness of the Society among composers and filmmakers.

One of the objectives of the East Coast branch is to attract new members, not only from NYU but from the entertainment industry and from filmmakers throughout the eastern seaboard. There is a thirst here for understanding the practices in present-day film scoring, but also in preserving the protocols and importance of the past and its ground-breaking and innovative composers. The Fales Special Collection in NYU's Bobst Libray is actively attracting film scores and currently houses the collection of NYU's Director of Animation and author of Walt Disney's Nine Old Men, John Canemaker. It contains a veritable microcosm of animation's history, including Disney artifacts.

In 1999, Disney music legend Buddy Baker and I created the NYU/ASCAP Intensive Film Scoring Summer Workshops, featuring a faculty and staff drawn from the top echelons, including Baker, Marco Beltrami, and Mark Snow. As part of this program, students record their original music cues with orchestras comprised of musicians from the New York Philharmonic and Metropolitan Opera. These workshops continue to preserve through the teaching of the film scoring practices of the past as a bridge to present-day practices. Since 1998, in an ongoing collaboration with The Film Society of Lincoln Center, the NYU Film Scoring Program has produced nine productions of Toons, Tunes and Trikfilms at Lincoln Center's Walter Reade Theatre – a series featuring silent films accompanied by live ensembles.

In 2001, Gillan Anderson and I spearheaded the "Music/Image in Film & Multimedia: Cliché or Emerging Language" conference at NYU, which featured roundtables by top-industry practitioners and the field's best scholars. This spawned a dedicated issue and articles for the upcoming Spring 2004 peer-reviewed journal American Music as well as a downloadable film music bibliography, available now at the on-line journal Film International.

NYU's Music Department is delighted to be chosen as the East Coast branch of FMS, and we look forward to a long and fruitful relationship.

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