wdav staff

The Score of a Lifetime: WDAV Staff Picks for National Film Score Day

Some of the world’s most thrilling, evocative, and captivating music can be heard in surround sound at your local movie theatre.  Great film scores not only have the power to keep us on the edge of our seats, but they can also spark emotion and resonate with us in ways we never expected. In celebration of National Film Score Day (April 3), we asked members of our staff to answer the question, “If you could choose one original film score to be the ‘soundtrack to your life,’ which would you choose and why?”

Amarcord promotion poster with characters of the film clapping (upper right) and art renderings in lower left corner.

Doug Rubel,

“Nino Rota’s Amarcord. Translated, the title means ‘I remember,’ and at this point in my life, I remember everything – the good, the bad, and the ugly (which was a close second). The music is hauntingly melancholic and beautifully nostalgic. I first became aware of Rota’s music when, as a young teen, I saw the Albert Brooks film short – with Gilda Radner as the femme fatale – on Saturday Night Live.

The music Brooks used was from Amarcord, a film I would not see until I was in college. The main character, Titta, came from a dysfunctional family, as did I, had some pretty out there friends, as did I, and engaged in some risky behavior, as did I. I could honestly relate, and the music throughout the film only served to embellish Fellini’s stream-of-consciousness plot.”

Movie poster for An American in Paris with the names of the lead actors and "the music of George Gershwin"

Myelita Melton,
Associate Producer of Concierto & Afternoon Host 

“The film score that’s the soundtrack to my life would be An American in Paris by George Gershwin. I still remember hearing my first words in French in elementary school. The French language, the country, and its people became my passion, and I went on to earn my Master’s degree in French. Every time I hear An American in Paris, it takes me back to the ‘City of Lights.’  C’est fantastique!”

Still from movie Rushmore with Jason Schwartzman standing at chalkboard with arm extended holding chalk in his right hand, staring menacingly into camera.

Will Keible,
Director of Marketing and Corporate Support

“Without a doubt, it has got to be Mark Mothersbaugh’s score for the Wes Anderson film Rushmore. Most will remember Mothersbaugh as the bespectacled, whip wielding, flower-pot dome hat wearing frontman of the band Devo. What they may not know is that he is also one of the great film and TV score composers of our time.

The opening scene of Rushmore with Mothersbaugh’s music sets the stage for a magically hilarious romp through adolescence. It’s Mothersbaugh’s ability to express the optimism, magic, and naïveté of youth through music that makes it the soundtrack to my life.”

Still from 1917 with two solidiers talking to each other in front of outdoor stone doorway.

Jay Ahuja,
Corporate Sponsorship Representative

“Oddly enough, two war film scores recently knocked me out: 1917 and Dunkirk. I don’t believe either won an Oscar [for Best Original Score], but each time, I remember leaving the theater and thinking the score made the movie even more dramatic. At the risk of showing my age, Prince’s Purple Rain was another score that made a big impression. If I had to pick one, it would be 1917.”

Still from "Brief Encounter" with Celia Johnson and Trevor Howard.

Rodger Clark,
Director of Philanthropy & Special Projects

“No film score history would be complete without a mention of the 1945 British romantic drama Brief Encounter. It is based on a play by Noel Coward (Still Life) and tells the story of two people – both married – who fall in love after a chance meeting at a railroad station.

The musical score of the film is mostly Sergei Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 2. It is prominent throughout the movie. The film was awarded the Palme d’Or at the 1946 Cannes Film Festival and was nominated for an Oscar in several categories in 1947 but did not win.”

Still from Lord of the Rings with Frodo (Elijah Wood) reaching for a ring.

Heidi North,
Administrative Assistant
“LORD. OF. THE. RINGS. It’s all I ask for in life.”

WDAV Announces New Hires, Focuses on Multi-Media

August 7, 2009 – WDAV 89.9 Classical Public Radio today announced two new staff appointments aimed at strengthening the station’s use of multi-media to engage new listeners. Lisa V. Gray has joined WDAV as Director of Marketing & Communications, and Jeffrey Freymann-Weyr has been hired as the station’s first multi-media producer.