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ELA to Host Second Annual Guild of Music Supervisors Conference

Emerson College Los Angeles (ELA) will host some of the biggest music supervisors in the industry on September 17, 2016, during the second annual Guild of Music Supervisors State of Music in Media Conference.

“The Guild of Music Supervisors is honored to partner with Emerson College LA and Berklee College of Music for this important media industry conference,” said John Houlihan, president of the Guild of Music Supervisors. “Emerson’s Los Angeles center is an incredible facility and ideal venue—literally at the center of Hollywood industry action. Collaborating with the faculty and alumni has added a lot of value to our event. We’re thrilled.”

John Houlihan, president of the Guild of Music Supervisors, speaks during the first Guild of Music Supervisors State of Music in Meda Conference. 

ELA hosted the first conference last year after Jon Clayden, ELA’s director of Post-Graduate and Professional Studies, developed a relationship with the guild. Hundreds of music supervisors and industry bigwigs attended last year’s conference. This year, for the first time, ELA will partner with the Boston-based Berklee College of Music for a panel on “Breaking In: Embracing Change and Opportunity.” The panelists will discuss career shift opportunities and strategies in a music industry that is constantly changing.

“Emerson College Los Angeles is delighted to once again partner with the Guild of Music Supervisors and fellow ProArts Consortium member, Berklee College of Music, for the State of Music in Media Conference,” said Clayden, ELA’s director of Post-Graduate and Professional Studies. “With a combined 10,000 alumni in the LA area and an Emerson–Berklee ‘Breaking Into the Business’ panel at this year’s conference, we are thrilled to participate in this exciting event.”

Dan Viafore MA '09

Participating in the “Breaking In: Embracing Change and Opportunity” panel are alumni Gary Lister ’81, senior vice president and executive creative director at the media company XAV, and Dan Viafore, MA ’09, an adjunct professor at ELA and audio engineer who’s worked with Sam Smith, Bastille, and on NBC’s The Voice. Rounding out the panel are Joel Goodman, an Emmy Award–winning composer; Eve Nelson, a songwriter/producer/composer whose songs can be heard in TV shows like Modern Family and Grey’s Anatomy; Tim Luckow, co-founder and president of the startup Stem Disintermedia; Jessica Rae Huber, film composer; and Peter Gordon, director of the Berklee Center in Los Angeles, who will moderate.

“I’m so happy to participate in this conference and to be on a panel filled with amazing talent,” said Lister. “Emerson played a big part in my life and career and it’s great to be able to give back in this way.”

Gary Lister '81

Two other alumni will participate in panels during the conference: Danny Exum '05, director of music at the entertainment marketing agency Workshop Creative, and Jackie Shuman '09, music supervisor at the curation company Good Ear Music Supervision. Alumna Charvelle Holder '13, ELA's business operations coordinator, will conduct on-air interviews during the event. 

Among the highlights at this year’s conference: “Commercial Beast: The Suicide Squad Music Team Breaks Down Their Creative and Business Process” featuring Season Kent (music supervisor for Suicide Squad, The Fault In Our Stars, Luke Cage); Gabe Hilfer (music supervisor for Suicide Squad, Vice Principals, Sausage Party); Darren Higman (senior vice president, music, at Warner Bros Pictures); and Kevin Weaver (president, film and TV at Atlantic Records); a panel on “The Journey of a Song Placement,” featuring Houlihan (music supervisor for Deadpool, Southpaw, The Peanuts Movie); Jackie Shuman (Good Ear Music Supervision); and Jabari Ali (president of Paragon Film Music); a music supervisor roundtable featuring Ann Kline (music supervisor for Shameless, Blunt Talk, The Goldbergs); Danny Exum (director of music, Workshop Creative), and Amanda Krieg Thomas (music supervisor for The Americans, Life In Pieces, Fake Off).

For more information on the conference and to purchase tickets, visit

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