Tag: “John Muir in the New World

“And the Emmy Award goes to…Garth Neustadter ’10!”

UPDATE: Garth Neustadter ’10 talked to Lawrence this afternoon about what it was like to hear his name called at the Emmy Awards, and also how Lawrence prepared him for a career in scoring films.

*****     *****     *****

Garth Neustadter’s young career has already earned its share of accolades, but none bigger than the 2010-11 Primetime Creative Arts Emmy Award he received Saturday (9/10) at the Nokia Theater in Los Angeles.

Garth Neustadter ’10

The 2010 Lawrence graduate was honored in the Outstanding Music Composition for a Series category for his original score used in the American Masters documentary “John Muir in the New World,” which was written, directed and produced by Catherine Tatge, a 1972 Lawrence graduate.  The film, which chronicles the life and legacy of naturalist, author and scientist John Muir, was broadcast last spring by PBS on Earth Day.

Neustadter, 25, who earned a degree with majors in violin and voice performance, wrote the score while still a student. The music was performed by students in the Lawrence Conservatory of Music.

“Of  course I was shocked when I heard my name called and it took a few seconds for it to sink in,” Neustadter said from Los Angeles. “Then I realized I only had a limited amount of time to go up to the stage, accept the award and make a short speech. They only give you 45 seconds from the time they announced the award, so you have to think fast and hurry up to the stage. Everything was kind of a blur, I couldn’t think very clearly.”

In addition to thanking the Lawrence musicians who performed the score, Neustadter said he thanked people he worked with at PBS and Global Media Village, which is Tatge’s production company.

“I also mentioned John Muir because I thought it was important to recognize the legacy that he has left,” he said.

Neustadter’s parents joined him for the ceremony. He was seated at a table that included Rickey Minor, musical director of   the band for “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.” Minor also was an Emmy nominee (he didn’t win).

“I had a great time talking to him,” Neustadter said of Minor. “He was very nice and offered his congratulations.”

Garth Neustadter at the 2010-11 Emmy Awards ceremony

He said he was surprised by how heavy the Emmy Award actually is. He’s planning on taking it back to Yale University with him, where he is a graduate student pursuing a master’s degree in music composition.  Assuming he can get it by TSA officials.

“I have to make sure I can bring it back on the airplane,” he explained. “It comes with two very sharp and pointy wings and I guess it could be perceived as a weapon by the security folks. I have to figure that out yet.”

In addition to his course work at Yale, Neustadter is currently working on a score for a silent film for Turner Classic Movies and Warner Brothers, 1925’s “The Circle,” which featured legendary actress Joan Crawford’s film debut. He plans to have the score completed by next January.

“It’s just been a really amazing experience. It was such an honor to be included among the other composers who were nominated. They’ve all been in the business so long. The win is definitely the icing on the cake for me.”

The Emmy Award is just the latest accolade in a growing list of accomplishments for the Manitowoc native. He earned first-prize honors (second place behind the grand prize winner) in the 2007 Young Film Composers Competition sponsored by Turner Classic Movies. A year later he was commissioned by TCM to write an original score for a restored version of the 1923 silent film “The White Sister.” In April 2010, he was named one of 37 national winners of the ASCAP Foundation Morton Gould Young Composer Awards for his 15-minute composition written for full orchestra and choir based on a Spanish text entitled “Oh llama de amor viva.”

Earlier this year, Neustadter was recognized with his fifth Downbeat award in the magazine’s annual student music competition for a five-minute arrangement of the 1946 Walter Gross jazz classic “Tenderly” he wrote for studio orchestra and vocalist in 2010.

Founded in 1847, Lawrence University uniquely integrates a college of liberal arts and sciences with a world-class conservatory of music, both devoted exclusively to undergraduate education. Ranked among America’s best colleges, it was selected for inclusion in the book “Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About College.” Individualized learning, the development of multiple interests and community engagement are central to the Lawrence experience. Lawrence draws its 1,520 students from 44 states and 56 countries.

Read more about Garth’s award in his hometown paper.

Emmy Award Nomination Latest Triumph for Lawrence University Grad Garth Neustadter

The budding film composing career of Lawrence University graduate Garth Neustadter received a major boost Thursday (7/14) when the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences announced its 63rd annual Primetime Emmy nominations.

Neustadter was among five nominees for original dramatic score in the Outstanding Music Composition category for his work on the American Masters documentary “John Muir in The New World,” which aired on PBS in April. Neustadter’s score was performed by Lawrence Conservatory of Music students.

Brian Pertl ’86, dean of the conservatory, said this is a proud moment.   (Click on the arrow to listen.)

Unlike all of the other Emmy Award categories, in which the production company submits materials for the Academy’s consideration, the composition category requires the composer to submit the proper materials.

“I felt that it would be good experience to go through process of submitting, but I never expected these results,” said Neustadter, who earned a bachelor of music degree summa cum laude in violin and voice performance from Lawrence in 2010. He currently is pursuing graduate studies in music composition at Yale University.

The Emmy nominations are typically revealed in a live television broadcast at 5:30 a.m. Pacific time and also posted on the official Emmy Awards website. Neustadter was attending a film scoring session in Aspen, Colo., at the time and had to improvise.

“I didn’t have regular internet access, so I drove 10 miles to find WiFi access to read about the results,” he said. “It was a surreal experience to see my name. I am incredibly honored and humbled to be in the company of the veteran and talented composers in this category. I’m excited to meet the other nominees, including composer Alf Clausen of ‘The Simpsons,’ who has earned 30 nominations in his career.”

The 2011 documentary on the life and legacy of naturalist, author and scientist John Muir was written, produced and directed by Emmy Award-winning filmmaker Catherine Tatge, a 1972 Lawrence graduate. During the filmmaking process, Tatge turned to her alma mater, reaching out to Brian Pertl, dean of the conservatory, for a student to possibly write the film’s score. Pertl recommended Neustadter.

“Writing the score for the John Muir documentary has been an incredible opportunity and learning experience,” said Neustadter, a native of Manitowoc. “I am grateful to everyone involved in the project.”

Kimberly Clark Professor of Music Fred Sturm, who served as Neustadter’s faculty composition mentor as a Lawrence student, said he was elated but not surprised at his protege’s latest triumph.

“I’ve admired Garth’s music for several years now and I know the effort and artistry he dedicates to his work. I’m also familiar with the composing of each of his fellow nominees and though it may seem a stretch for a college graduate student to be included in that elite group, Garth absolutely deserves to be there. I won’t be surprised if he takes home the gold on this one.”

The Emmy nomination is the latest in an ever-growing list of accomplishments for Neustadter. He earned first-prize honors (second place behind the grand prize winner) in the 2007 Young Film Composers Competition sponsored by Turner Classic Movies. A year later he was commissioned by TCM to write an original score for a restored version of the 1923 silent film “The White Sister.” In April 2010, he was named one of 37 national winners of the 2010 ASCAP Foundation Morton Gould Young Composer Award for his 15-minute composition written for full orchestra and choir based on a Spanish text entitled “Oh llama de amor viva.”

This past April, Neustadter earned his fifth Downbeat award in the magazine’s annual student music competition for a five-minute arrangement of the 1946 Walter Gross jazz classic “Tenderly” he wrote for studio orchestra and vocalist in 2010.

The Emmy awards will be broadcast live on Fox Sunday, Sept. 18 from Los Angeles with actress Jane Lynch of “Glee” as host.

The soundtrack can be bought at KKs Store.