Scoring for Film and Multimedia

Film Scoring Competition Winners 2011

NYU Steinhardt/Tisch collaborations featuring films with live orchestral accompaniment by the NYU Symphony Orchestra, Gerald Steichen conductor, New York City, March 7, 2011.



Director: Matt Christensen
Composer: Dylan Glatthorn

Matt Christensen, a senior at the NYU Tisch School of the Arts, is a stop motion animation filmmaker from Detroit, Michigan. When asked to submit his film he felt honored, confused, nervous, and anxious; nervous and anxious being two very similar feelings that Matt is not sure what the distinction between the two is. Matt’s film A Rant is just that, a rant - - a compilation of thoughts, fears, weaknesses, confusions, and unjustified attacks inspired by independent comic artists such as Joe Matt and Harvey Pekar. Matt’s animation heroes include Don Hertzfeldt, Bill Plympton, Ralph Bakshi, and Nick Park. Recently he has been listening to a lot of Randy Newman and Harry Nilsson, both of whom he considers to be geniuses, possibly gods. Matt, and you will find this ironic upon seeing his film, is not very good at talking about himself. He is, however, honored to have Dylan J. Glatthorn compose the music for his film.

Dylan Glatthorn is a NYC-based composer and lyricist currently pursuing his master’s degree in film scoring at NYU Steinhardt. Dylan is the recipient of the Alan Menken Award, Walker’s Rising Stars Scholarship, and the Mensa Education and Research Foundation’s Grosswirth-Salny Scholarship. His music has been performed by the Quintet of the Americas, the Lumina String Quartet, and the PRISM Brass Quintet. His original musical, Republic, became a finalist for the Eugene O’Neill Music Theatre Conference this summer. He recently composed a song for the short film, White, that will premiere on the PBS web series FUTURESTATES in Spring 2011. Dylan is a founding member of Circles and Lines, the NYC composers collective that has received favorable reviews in the New York Times. Dylan is a member of ASCAP and The Dramatists Guild of America, Inc.


Director: Ran Jing
Composer: Dosia McKay

Ran Jing is a senior Undergrad student studying Film and TV in Tisch School of the Arts. Passionate about telling stories, Ran communicates with people through the visual language. Bubble Tree is a short film made while he was a Junior. In an imaginary town, there is a kid whose head can grow magical bubbles that contain happiness. But what will happen if the darkness in other people gets into him while he's aging? Will he remain the same?

Dosia McKay composes with a diverse palette drawn from classical harmonies, jazz, pop, avant-garde, ambient soundscapes, and the lyricism of folk melodies from her native Poland. Her portfolio includes scores for film, dance, multimedia, and the concert hall that have been featured at the National Gallery of Art, the Knoxville Museum of Art, and at NYU in a variety of short TSOA films. Her concert music has been performed throughout the US and Spain. Her Farewell Dream Garden was a top-prize winner in the “2010 International Music in the Garden Composers’ Competition Wroclaw” in Kraków, and will be performed by The Orpheus Orchestra. Her composition Unveiling will be premiered in June by the North/South Consonance in New York City.


Director: Michael Dougherty
Composer: John Jesensky

Michael Doughterty, born and raised in Columbus, Ohio, is a screenwriter who is known for his work with Dan Harris on the scripts for Bryan Singer's films X2 (2003, Marvel / 20th Century Fox) and Superman Returns (2006, Warner Bros.). Dougherty attended the Tisch School of Art’s Animation Area, in the Maurice Kanbar Institute of Film and Television, which is where he produced Season's Greetings in 1996. His feature directorial debut, Trick 'r Treat (2009, Warner Bros.), is based on his own script, and was produced by Bryan Singer (House M.D., Valkyrie). Dougherty is also an accomplished artist and animator and some of his artwork is displayed on his official website,

John Jesensky is a NYC based composer and screenwriter, and holds a BM in composition from the Hartt School of Music where he studied with Larry Alan Smith and Joseph Turrin. At Steinhardt, John has studied with Sonny Kompanek and Ira Newborn. Jesensky’s concert works include Time Dances, September, Plan 9, Song Cycle for Soprano and String Quintet, Images of New England and Fanfare for Tuba Ensemble. His film scores include El Sueño (Cannes Film Festival), Take Out (Best Short – La Gona Film Festival), and Panacea (Best Student Film – Barebones Film Festival), Beautiful Addiction, Peeping Tom, Santa’s Last Stop and The Test. Currently, John is preparing to score the feature film, Containment, which he co-authored with Joe Russo.


Director: Jacoc Kafka
Composer (version 1): Andrés Soto
Composer (version 2): Gabriel Hays

Jacob Kafka is a junior at TSOA studying film and animation. Born in 1989, he is the son of a rabbi and a seismologist. He grew up in Massachusetts and has been making movies one way or another since he was five years old. He has made movies about penguins, sandwiches, light sabers, magic light switches and rubber ducks, time travel, dinosaurs, and many other things. More information can be found on his website at

Andrés Soto (Giraffestronaut 1), a Costa Rican composer currently based in New York City, has composed concert music for the El Paso Youth Symphony (Danza Boba) and the Bohuslav Martinu Philharmonic in Prague (Inocencias). His tracks Olympia, Melia, and Ministry, with acclaimed British violinist Jane Hunt, were performed at the New York Fashion Week and the US Open. A scholarship recipient of the National Hispanic Foundation for the Arts, Andre is pursuing an MM in Film Scoring, having studied with Ira Newborn and David Spear. He holds a BM from Hofstra University, where he studied with Kenneth Lampl and Chandler Carter. He has been invited to give a Film Scoring workshop at the University of Costa Rica’s International Seminar of Composition. Andre is working on his first feature film, Switchback, directed by Lori Bailey and starring Paul Sorvino.

Gabriel Hays (Giraffestronaut 2) composes songs, music for media, and concert music. He scored the upcoming indie feature A Girl, A Guy a Space Helmet. He contributed music to an episode of Oprah Winfrey’s new series Masterclass on her OWN network, featuring Maya Angelou. His band and songwriting outlet Shortwave Sunshine completed a new CD The Breakers (June 2010) that explores the contradictions of a New Mexican living in Brooklyn. Gabriel has toured North America, Europe and Australia as a keyboardist and songwriter playing in a diverse range of styles. Venues include The Montreal Jazz Festival, The Joshua Tree Music Festival, Webster Hall, and Symphony Space among others. He has performed/recorded with artists Tamarama (Universal Motown), Mieka Pauley, Akoya, and Kaleta (King Sunny Aide and Fela Kuti).


Story and Animation: Bethany Heimbigner  
Composer: Marsha Bowe

"Inspired by my family’s newly acquired puppy, Sucker tells a story of jealousy, greed, and inevitably, pain. A little yellow dog discovers a bone just out of reach beneath the couch. His effort to retrieve his prize is violently interrupted by an old, haughty vacuum cleaner more intent on tormenting the runt than maintaining a clean household. The battle between canine and machine ensues, leaving but one the ultimate victor and possessor of the bone." — Bethany Heimbigner 

Bethany Heimbigner was born in San Diego and raised in a nearby town called Poway. She acquired a passion for art at a young age, desiring since preschool to illustrate her first children’s book in Alaska. After much deliberation, she chose to pursue live action filmmaking at NYU Tisch School of the
Arts, where she unexpectedly fell in love with animation. Sucker, a 2010 Fusion Film Festival finalist, was Bethany’s first completed short animation. Since graduating, she is working as an illustrator and animator in California with Traffic Geyser’s creative team. Outside of her career, she is actively engaged in painting, designing murals, and leading an occasional art and animation workshop for younger students through Wheatstone Academy. Bethany is grateful to her family, professors, and educators; they continue to kindle her creativity and encourage her to share her passion with others. Currently, she is busily animating another hand-drawn film and keeping a quick trip to Alaska in mind.

Marsha Bowe is a composer, arranger, and flutist from Philadelphia. She holds a B.M. in Jazz/Music Education from Temple University where she was the David M. Katz Jazz Scholar. Marsha has been commissioned by world-renowned trumpeter Terell Stafford to premiere her original big band music alongside composers Dennis Mackrel and John Clayton, of the Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra. Bridging classically influenced music and jazz, Marsha created The Marsha Bowe Project, an ensemble that performs her original compositions. After a sponsored trip to LA to apprentice with John Clayton, Marsha’s If I Were a Bell arrangement was performed at the Kimmel Center in Philadelphia. Marsha studies with Ira Newborn in Steinhardt, and has an affinity for composing cartoon music.