In celebration of the life and artistry of famed film composer, conductor and orchestrator James Horner (M.A. ’76), The UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music has received a generous gift of $100,000 from Sara Horner (’79) to establish the James Horner Composition Endowed Scholarship. The scholarship pays tribute to James’ musical legacy and will support promising undergraduate school of music students who are pursuing a degree in Music Composition.
Equally famous in the symphony house as in Hollywood, James came to UCLA to earn his master’s degree. He studied with faculty member Paul Chihara in the 1970s before becoming one of Hollywood’s most melodic composers. Horner stayed at UCLA to teach music theory and went on to score over 100 films for directors such as James Cameron, Mel Gibson and Ron Howard. Acclaimed for his lush orchestrations—featured in Field of Dreams, Avatar and A Beautiful Mind—Horner won two Academy Awards for scoring Titanic and co-writing that movie’s iconic power ballad, “My Heart Will Go On.” He also won 12 GRAMMY Awards for his film composition and scoring work between 1988 and 2011.
Sara made the inspiring gift to honor her late husband, and to recognize the importance of scholarship support in James’ own life. During his time as a graduate student, James received the Henry Mancini Scholarship Award to assist with the cost of his studies. He held a deep appreciation for the impact a scholarship can have on a student, and Sara, along with their daughter Emily, is proud to be able to pay it forward to support UCLA students in James’ memory.