“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.”

“There are many barriers to becoming a composer, not least is the expense of studying at a top school,” added Zimmer. “We want to break down this wall and find some truly gifted individuals that will become role models of the future.”

All applicants to the scholarship program must have an undergraduate degree and will be assessed based on their academic standing and musical abilities. If an applicant’s undergraduate degree is not in music composition or screen scoring, equivalent professional experience will be considered. The application fee is $115 (reimbursed to the candidate who is awarded the scholarship) and the submission deadline for the 2021-22 academic year is Dec. 1, 2020.

Quincy Jones, composer and producer at Bleeding Fingers Music, said in a statement, “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!”

Added Sean Holt, vice dean of the division of contemporary music at USC, “USC Thornton’s Division of Contemporary Music and Screen Scoring program are so encouraged by the commitment and generosity of our colleagues at Sony/ATV and Bleeding Fingers. We are enthusiastic about the opportunity and the lasting impact this scholarship will have on our efforts to build a more inclusive screen music community.”

Those interested can learn more and apply here.

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