The film music composition graduate program at UNCSA is ranked No. 12 in the world by The Hollywood Reporter (THR), up from No. 16 a year ago. The list of top 20 music schools for composing for film and TV in 2020 includes 19 schools in the United States and one in the United Kingdom.
The film music composition program is located in the School of Filmmaking at UNCSA.
THR noted UNCSA’s two-year Master of Fine Arts program allows “students to score live-action drama, documentaries and animation produced by student filmmakers. First-year students have weekly lessons from a faculty mentor in composition and receive instruction in postproduction, spotting, the dramatic function of music, and different stylistic and instrumental approaches.”
The recognition of the film music composition program is the latest in a series of accolades for the School of Filmmaking by prominent industry publications. In August, The Hollywood Reporter ranked the film school at No. 10 in the country, while MovieMaker included the school in its list of 39 of the best film schools in the U.S. and Canada. In April, Variety ranked the school in its list of top 50 entertainment programs worldwide, and Backstage ranked UNCSA in the top eight film programs for aspiring cinematographers.
The film music composition program at UNCSA offers an advanced education in music composition, integrated directly into a top film school. That makes us truly one of a kind, even among the other schools on this list.Chris Heckman
“Music is such an important part of every film or television program, inviting us to engage with the characters and the story,” said Interim Dean of Filmmaking Henry Grillo. “It’s great to see our film music composition program get the recognition it deserves for training artists who contribute in such a meaningful way to the stories we’re telling.”
Headed by UNCSA alumnus Chris Heckman, the film music composition program boasts such alumni as Atli Örvarsson, composer for “The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard” slated for release in August 2021, and more than 250 episodes of “Chicago Med,” “Chicago P.D.” and “Chicago Fire”; Kim Planert, composer for “Skid Row Marathon” and more than 200 episodes of prime-time television, including “Castle,” “Timeless” and “Missing”; Benjamin Hoff, who was orchestrator for “Outlander” and “Mrs. America” and composer for “The Arbors,” which premiered at the Austin Film Festival in October; Keith Horn, who has composed for several animated Disney Channel shows, including “Muppet Babies”; and Christina Trinity Velez-Justo, nominated for a Top Indie Film Award in 2019 for “The Farmhand.”
"The film music composition program at UNCSA offers an advanced education in music composition, integrated directly into a top film school,” Heckman said. “That makes us truly one of a kind, even among the other schools on this list. It's exciting to see the many ways that the School of Filmmaking is increasingly recognized as one of the top institutions in the world."
The UNCSA School of Filmmaking has trained some of today’s most creative storytellers, including Danny McBride, David Gordon Green, Will Files, Rebecca Green, Brett Haley, Vera Herbert, Jeff Nichols, Martha Stephens and Zoë White. The award-winning faculty have decades of real-world experience and a passion for mentoring undergraduate and graduate students in concentrations that include animation, cinematography, directing, film music composition, picture editing and sound design, producing, production design and visual effects, and screenwriting. The film school’s Media and Emerging Technology Lab (METL) is dedicated to the exploration and production of immersive storytelling content.
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November 19, 2020