Quincy Jones (268139)

The USC Thornton School of Music has partnered with Sony/ATV Music Publishing and Bleeding Fingers Music to announce the USC Screen Scoring Diversity Scholarship for Black composition students to enroll in the school’s celebrated Screen Scoring program.

The scholarship, which is part of Sony Music Group’s Social Justice Fund efforts, aims to encourage inclusivity and expand opportunities for Black composers, who are vastly underrepresented throughout the film and scoring community.

The USC Screen Scoring Diversity Scholarship will cover the entire cost of USC Thornton’s Screen Scoring Master’s program, including tuition, housing and meals, application fee reimbursement, equipment, applicable relocation costs, and software purchases. It will also include an apprenticeship opportunity at Bleeding Fingers Music, the leading custom scoring company in the film and television industry, founded by Hans Zimmer, Steve Kofsky and Russell Emanuel.

Notable USC Thornton Screen Scoring alumni includes Bleeding Fingers composer Austin Hammonds. Since graduating from the program and joining Bleeding Fingers as a composer, Hammonds has quickly made a name for himself within the film and scoring community.

“We are proud to partner with Bleeding Fingers and USC Thornton to establish this scholarship as we work to break down barriers for Black composers,” said Sony/ATV Chairman and CEO Jon Platt. “We look forward to bringing a wide range of new creative voices to the film and scoring community, and throughout the music industry.”

Composer and producer Quincy Jones said, “I’ve wanted to score films since I was 15 years old, but it didn’t seem likely at that age. Now, as the first African American to have been nominated twice in the same year for the Best Song and Best Score Academy Award, I know that ‘first’ often means ‘only.’ To help change that narrative, I’m honored to support the new Screen Scoring Diversity Scholarship for Black Composers at USC’s Thornton School of Music. We’ve got to inspire these rugrats to know that their talents are valuable, help provide access to the tools they need, and show them that there is PLENTY of room for Black composers…and it makes my soul smile to know that’s exactly what this scholarship serves to achieve!”

Prospective applicants can learn more and apply for the program at https://music.usc.edu/admission/appreqs/scoring/.

Eligible applicants will be automatically considered for the scholarship. All applicants must possess an undergraduate degree and will be assessed based on strong academic standing and musical excellence. If the undergraduate degree is not in music composition or screen scoring, equivalent professional experience will be considered. The application fee is $115 (to be reimbursed to the candidate who is ultimately awarded the scholarship), and the submission deadline for the 2021-22 academic year is Dec. 1.