Skip to main content
News Post

Behind the Scenes of BYU’s Historic ‘King Kong Live!’

Music composition major Kalysha Chandler and commercial music major Zach Griffin headed up technical aspects of the project, which culminated in the 2019 live screening

Behind the Scenes of BYU's Historic 'King Kong Live!'

School of Music

The BYU Philharmonic made history when they presented “King Kong Live!” — the School of Music’s first movie in concert — during the Fall 2019 semester, but the performance was just one facet of an extensive ongoing research project centered on the Harold B. Lee Library’s Max Steiner collection and a broader movement to preserve and celebrate movie music.

“We want our students to branch out from classical music and be conversant in a lot of musical styles,” said music theory professor Brent Yorgason, who headed up the ambitious project of transcribing Max Steiner’s beloved “King Kong” score and preparing it for the Philharmonic performance. “Film music is a major musical style that has been overlooked by concert musicians until recently, despite great public interest. We want our performance majors to enjoy and understand this kind of music, our commercial music students to develop the skills they might need to work in the movie music industry and our student composers to be inspired from working with these scores.”

One such student composer — Max Steiner research assistant and ALMA Lab TA Kalysha Chandler — found herself in the thick of a musical labor of love as she coordinated and managed a team of students in translating Steiner’s handwritten score and transcribing it on digital notation software Finale.READ MORE