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BMI Announces Film Scoring Scholarship Winner at Berklee

Posted in News on March 6, 2003

Stephen Neale-Oestreicher, a film scoring major from St. Louis, has been named the 2003 BMI Film Scoring Scholarship recipient at Berklee College of Music in Boston.


Christopher Young, Stephen Neale-Oestreicher and BMI’s Doreen Ringer-Ross


The BMI Film Scoring Scholarship at Berklee is a yearly tuition scholarship chosen on compositional maturity, talent and financial need, and each year is given in the name of a BMI composer. This year’s scholarship was awarded in the name of Christopher Young.


Berklee College of Music President Lee Eliot Berk; BMI Film Scoring Scholarship recipient Stephen Neale-Oestreicher; film composer Christopher Young; BMI’s Doreen Ringer-Ross; and Berklee Film Scoring Department Chair Don Wilkins


Neale-Oestreicher was presented as the scholarship recipient by Young and BMI Vice President, Film/TV Relations Doreen Ringer-Ross during a ceremony February 28 at the school.

“This scholarship continues our mission of supporting young and emerging composers at the college level,” said Ringer-Ross. “We support Berklee’s commitment to excellence in music and film scoring and their determination to further the growth of talented, trained, and educated composers.” Berklee is the only college in the world that offers an undergraduate degree in Film Scoring, one of the fastest growing departments in the college.


Christopher Young speaks to Berklee students

Berklee Film Scoring Department Chair Don Wilkins said, “From his scoring assignments and in our conversations, Steve impresses me as having a mature understanding of dramatic scoring. He demonstrates substantial musical range along with the resourcefulness needed to provide effective emotional support.” As part of the ceremonies, Young taught a master class on film scoring and composition and fielded roughly two hours of questions. Young offered honest guidance on the realities of a career in film music, and shared a few keys to his own success, namely passion, confidence, and discipline. A Golden Globe and Emmy-nominated composer, Young has scored over 70 films in virtually every genre. His credits range from Hellraiser to Swordfish and the Celtic-influenced The Shipping News, for which he received both Critics’ Choice and Golden Globe nominations. His score for the thriller Copycat earned Young a BMI Film Award and Species garnered him a Motion Picture Sound Editors Golden Reel nomination.

Neale-Oestreicher will graduate from Berklee in May 2003. Creating soundscapes for theater gave him the impetus to pursue writing music for film. He has worked as a performer, composer, sound designer, and music director for theater productions in Edwardsville, St. Louis, and Arrow Rock, Missouri. His passion to pursue his dream job of writing music for movies led Neale-Oestreicher to Berklee to study film scoring. Prior to attending Berklee, Neale-Oestreicher toured the U.S. for five years with the acapella octet Pieces of 8, with whom he sang bass and recorded two CDs, and illustrated a children’s book and cassette. He has played piano since the age of six. Photos: Farnsworth Blalock Photography