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Scoring Animaniacs 2020/21: A Master Class with Julie and Steve Bernstein
Join composers Julie and Steve Bernstein as we follow the evolution of music cues created for the 2020-21 season of Animaniacs.
Follow the process from the spotting session to music composition and orchestration, synth mockups, session preparation, orchestra session and mix.
Four-time Emmy-award-winning composer Julie Bernstein spent her earliest years in Fair Lawn, New Jersey before moving with her family to Southern California. Studying classical piano as a young child, she began composing for the piano well before learning notation. Hearing Bernard Herrmann’s score to The Ghost and Mrs. Muir was Julie’s inspiration for wanting to write music to picture.
Julie received a BA in music theory and composition from UCSB and became a grad student in music composition at CSUN. She completed the Film Scoring Program with Allyn Ferguson and the Composing and Arranging Program with Dick Grove at the Dick Grove School of Music. She also attended the Lehman-Engel Musical Workshop and studied film scoring with Don Ray at UCLA Extension School.
A wonderful and fulfilling decade with Warner Brothers Animation began for Julie as orchestrator for the late Richard Stone. She went on to write music for Animaniacs, Pinky and the Brain, Freakazoid, Pinky, Elmyra and the Brain, Histeria! and The Sylvester and Tweety Mysteries. In addition to underscore, Julie wrote and arranged hundreds of songs for these shows, many of them parodies. She was co-composer on the Animaniacs feature Wakko’s Wish and wrote the songs and orchestrated for Tiny Toon Adventures: Spring Break Special and Tiny Toon Adventures: Night Ghoulery. Julie has also written songs for Warner Brothers’ Batman Beyond, Universal’s Sitting Ducks and Dreamworks’ Toonsylvania. She was co-producer of two Animaniacs CDs, Yakko’s World and Animaniacs, writing, arranging and orchestrating many of the songs. Julie arranged and orchestrated the Warner Brothers theatrical shorts I’m Mad and Carrotblanca. In addition, she orchestrated the Hanna-Barbera animated television movies Scooby Doo: Arabian Nights and A Flintstones Christmas Carol. Her orchestrations can also be heard on several commercials for Energizer Battery.
Initially working in separate capacities for the same series, Julie and her husband Steven began collaborating in earnest on one of Europe’s favorite animated children’s series Make Way for Noddy, writing both music and lyrics for the hit show. Currently, Julie and Steven are writing the scores for 2 new seasons of Animaniacs for streaming on Hulu. Other notable collaborations include songs and arrangements for BYU-TV’s sketch comedy show Studio C, the score for Tom and Jerry: Blast Off to Mars and for Baby Looney Tunes (nominated for a Daytime Emmy Award), the score, songs and lyrics for Baby Looney Tunes: Eggs-traordinary Adventure and the main title songs for Dig Into History and Toonsylvania. They co-wrote music for Disney’s One Saturday Morning, several Noddy specials, and a CD of songs commissioned by Kid Rhino Records, inspired by the feature Tweety’s High-Flying Adventure on which they were co-producers. Also co-written with her husband are scores for the motion pictures Song of David, Pooh’s Prayer and Would I Lie to You?.
The Young Musicians Foundation commissioned Julie and Steven to create a work to honor (the late) David Weiss, the first recipient of their “Living the Legacy” award. The work, Snapshots, was performed by YMF Debut Orchestra members at their annual gala and was a semi-finalist in The American Prize competition, receiving Honorable Mention in the IAWM competition. Julie and Steven did all the arrangements and orchestrations for the Colorado Symphony’s Animaniacs Live! concert as well as the recent performance of Animanicas Live! by the La Mirada Symphony. Julie’s music was performed by the Kentucky Symphony in a concert of music for animation.
Julie has written string quartet arrangements to accompany numerous vocal artists. Recordings include cuts on After Blue by eight-time Grammy-nominee Tierney Sutton with the Turtle Island String Quartet and Pictures of America by world-renowned opera star Natalie Dessay with the Paris Mozart Orchestra. Julie’s choral works include original compositions as well as arrangements of Christmas carols and spirituals. Her work for the stage includes the incidental music for Canadian performance artist Erica Batdorf’s one-woman shows Mr. Raisin Head and Kid. The River, written for string orchestra, oboe and bassoon was premiered by the COTA Symphony.
As a singer, Julie can be heard on numerous animated series including Animaniacs, Pinky and the Brain, Freakazoid, Histeria! and Make Way for Noddy as well as the animated features Wakko’s Wish and Baby Looney Tunes: Eggs-traordinary Adventure. Julie has worked extensively with voice actors, teaching and conducting her songs in preparation for recording. She has performed with the Los Angeles Chamber Singers, the Hollywood Chorale and Mastersingers Holiday Entertainment, and has sung backup on several jazz albums. She is proud to have taken part in “Circle Singing” with Tierney Sutton, bringing music and improvisation to under-served schools in the hopes of effecting positive social change.
Julie has been nominated for two Annie Awards and 16 Emmys, winning four Emmys for her work on Animaniacs and Histeria! She won the 1996 Network Award for Music Package/Sound Design as arranger and orchestrator of the Warner Brothers interstitial Crazy Careers.
Colorado native and five-time Emmy-award-winner Steven Bernstein started his formal music training studying piano at the age of five. After considerably more training and a move to Los Angeles, he has become a multi-hyphenated composer-orchestrator-arranger-conductor-singer…and occasional -actor.
Bernstein began his professional music career in Los Angeles, receiving commissions to reconstruct and re-orchestrate some of the world’s most beloved film music, the scores of which have been lost or destroyed. The reconstructions include music from such classics as The Wizard of Oz, Gone With the Wind, It’s a Wonderful Life, A Christmas Carol, Around the World in 80 Days, The Searchers and The Bride of Frankenstein. Because of this work, he was featured in a PBS News report on the preservation of film music.
He is perhaps best known for his music for animation. To date, he has written the scores for over 250 episodes of animated television series and feature-length films. The series include such titles as Animaniacs (including 2 new seasons streaming on Hulu), Pinky and the Brain, Freakazoid!, Histeria! and Taz-mania! He wrote the scores for the features Scooby-Doo Arabian Nights and A Flintstones Christmas Carol and co-wrote the scores for Wakko’s Wish, A Pinky and the Brain Christmas, and the Tiny Toons specials It’s a Wonderful Christmas, Night Ghoulery and Spring Break.
Collaborations with his wife, composer Julie Bernstein, (besides their awesome kids) include songs and arrangements for Studio C, score and songs for the Make Way for Noddy series and specials, the Baby Looney Tunes series and Easter special and the theme song for Toonsylvania. For Kid Rhino Records, they co-produced a CD of songs inspired by the feature Tweety’s High-Flying Adventure, performing on, and writing music and lyrics for, much of the album.
His film scores span genres from horror (Blood Lake and Pernicious) to documentary (the award-winning Mr. Fish: Cartooning from the Deep End) to romantic comedy (Would I Lie to You?). His orchestrations can be heard in such features as Skyfall, The Amazing Spiderman, Supernova, The Spiderwick Chronicles, Millions, Windtalkers, The Perfect Storm and How the Grinch Stole Christmas. He has conducted for many film and TV productions including He Named Me Malala, Spiderman 3, Supernova, Winchell, A Glimpse of Hell and Phantoms. He was the guest conductor for the Kentucky Symphony’s concert of music for animation and for the Colorado Symphony’s Animaniacs Live! concert for which he and Julie provided the arrangements and orchestrations.
Besides his music for the media, Bernstein has received recognition for his concert music. His oratorio To Speed Them All won second place in The American Prize competition in 2015. Also recognized by The American Prize are his song cycle Emeralds: Poems from Medieval Ireland and Hashkiveinu for a cappella chorus. His duet for violins, Suite 16, was a semi-finalist for the 2017 competition in the chamber music category. Snapshots, a commission by the YMF Debut Orchestra and co-written with Julie, was also a semi-finalist and received Honorable Mention in the IAWM competition.
As a performer, Steve served as music director and accompanist for Gotta Sing, Gotta Dance II, the revue starring Broadway performers Beverly & Kirby Ward and played piano and conducted in the orchestral version of Animaniacs Live! He provided vocals for episodes of Make Way for Noddy, Animaniacs, Pinky and the Brain, Pinky Elmyra and the Brain, Batman Beyond and Histeria!, as well as the features Wakko’s Wish and Baby Looney Tunes: Eggs-straordinary Adventure and the CDs Tweety’s High-Flying Adventure and jazz pianist Liz Kinnon’s Ms. Behavin’. His enthusiastic but limited acting credits include a cameo in the Wayans Brothers’ Dance Flick and three productions with the Joynt Theater Comedy Improv Troupe.
|Event Date||Saturday, April 24, 2021 12:00 pm|
|Registration Start Date||Thursday, April 15, 2021 12:00 pm|
|Cut off date||Saturday, April 24, 2021 3:00 pm|
|Individual Price||ASMAC members: free/SCL, Maestra, ASA, AWFC Members: $5.00/General Admission: $10.00|