Creating a New Song – Music Travels from Hartland to LA

Bethany Brinton (LCL 2012) graduated from Belmont University in Nashville with two degrees in Film and Commercial Music Composition. She brought that education to Los Angeles, CA, where she works as a music copyist and proofreader for film and television scoring sessions and live shows at JoAnn Kane Music Service. She is given the score from a composer, and turns it into parts for instruments, making them easy enough to read and master in the one or two sessions they have to record.

A multi-talented musician, she plays piano, French horn, and trumpet. Combined with many unexpected music influences and chance encounters, she has already reached a great position in her industry. The first encounter came from her senior thesis for music composition at Belmont University. She arranged a 30-minute recital of her favorite film music arranged for piano, horn section, and a vocalist. Bethany played piano, her fellow classmates filled in the instrument and vocal sections.

One of the songs in the recital was from the animated television show, Phineas and Ferb, called “Summer Belongs to You.” The creators of the show, Jeffrey “Swampy” Marsh and Dan Povenmire, saw her arrangement on Youtube, and were blown away by her work on it. They invited her to meet them and work on an event in LA. She was able to arrange a short set of classic songs from the show and did a one night only performance at Musi-Cal, in Rockwell Table & Stage on August 8, 2016. Bethany played piano again, and the creators played and sang with several other musicians on a tight stage in front of a wide range of viewers.

A few months later, Bethany was invited to be interviewed on a podcast session called Movies Made Me, which focuses on the inspiration of film. She was able to share her top five movies that influenced her and why. Her most memorable one was Ratatouille. She went to see it in theaters with her family when it came out in 2007. The music, plot, and imagery all combined to form a lightbulb moment. She bought the soundtrack right away, and started picking out instrumental parts. Already excelling at the French horn, she thought “this is really cool, maybe I could do this!”

Since the industry for film orchestra has shifted away from being a solid career, Bethany turned her attention to film composition. Being a part of the Milwaukee Youth Symphony Orchestra for three years gave her a much larger band experience, coming from the then 26-piece band at Lake Country. Meanwhile, she kept watching movies, like The Hunchback of Notre Dame and How to Train Your Dragon, and listening to all the nuances in the soundtracks, such as the voice actors, lyrics, musical correlation with the action, and key modulations.

Today, she is enjoying life in LA and learning more about the business everyday. She has been creatively involved in several films and television shows such as Netfix’s Orange is the New Black, ABC’s Nashville, and AMC’s Hell on Wheels. Her aspiration is to be a film composer. We look forward to hearing her compositions in the future! You can listen to her podcast session and find links to her youtube videos at www.mmmpodcast.com, episode 44.