Cody Bursch (JC Studio 2010) headed to Chapman University

By Randall - Posted on 30 January 2011

January 25 (Hopkins, MN) -- This is the time of year when seniors in high school are waiting to hear about their acceptance to the college of their choice. It can be a hair-raising experience for both parents and students. In the case of 2010 JC alum, Cody Bursch, it's not just a matter of getting into college...he want to go to an undergraduate program that will give him the opportunity to composer scores for films.

"I have wanted to score for films since 9th grade. I first realized what a film score was when I found out that not all CD's had words. That was when I got the Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone soundtrack. That opened my ears and my mind to film scoring. I obsessively listened to the Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest soundtrack.

There are very few undergraduate colleges that have programs in film scoring, but Cody found THE one for him at Chapman University in Orange, California. It has all the things he's looking for: an undergraduate program at a college of film and media arts, a conservatory of music, and proximity to Hollywood.

So far, so good. The application process was a challenge.

"The application for Chapman University was, as for nearly every college out there, brutal and complicated. It could not have been better practice for making decisions in the real world. There was no set list of guidelines to follow -- it was very open-ended or circular rather than getting to a "yes or no." Of course, once the application is sent in, the waiting becomes a whole new ordeal! It's like knowing you want to go out for ice cream in the evening and realizing you've only just woken up. Ugh!"

For Cody, he got word this week that he got his ice cream -- exactly the kind he had hoped for. He looks back at his time at Junior Composers as one that opened up a whole new world of musical choices.

"What the Studio did for me was teach me how varied scores can truly be. It also helped me get in touch with more advanced chords rather than just using major or minor ones. So, throughout the school year I have been experimenting greatly with such things! I have been using seventh chords, basic, and altered chords. Another thing I've been playing with has been chromaticism and dissonance in a quartet I labeled Quartet No. 1 (the schizophrenic)." 

Cody's happy ending is really just a beginning. He will be attending Chapman University in Fall 2011 but, like any good film score, the best opportunities for extended musical expressions come during the opening and closing credits. We'll hope to see his name name up on the silver screen at one of our annual alumni celebrations, EVERYEAR.


For more information, contact Randall Davidson.


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