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Composer Larry Groupe appointed to IU Jacobs School of Music faculty in collaboration with IU Media School on new minor in music scoring for visual media

July 22, 2016

Larry Groupe

Larry Groupé

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BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- The Indiana University Jacobs School of Music is pleased to announce the appointment of composer Larry Groupé as adjunct professor of music (composition; scoring for visual media), effective Aug. 1, then visiting professor of music (composition; scoring for visual media), effective Jan. 1.

“With his highly successful, extensive and varied experience writing music for film, television and the concert stage, including work with the rock band YES, Larry Groupé is just the right person to coordinate and mentor the ever growing activity in music scoring at IU,” said David Dzubay, chair of the Jacobs Composition Department. “Along with shepherding our new courses and minors in music scoring for visual media, he will guide projects involving students from the Jacobs School’s composition, jazz studies and audio engineering programs along with students from The Media School, often working in collaboration with the IU Cinema. With IU’s newly formed Media School, the IU Cinema and new recording facilities currently being finished at the Jacobs School, this new venture is particularly timely. I am thrilled to welcome Larry to IU and look forward to many exciting things to come over the next few years.”

“I’m very pleased that esteemed composer Larry Groupé will be joining us,” said Jim Krause, senior lecturer in The Media School. “Students in The Media School and the Jacobs School of Music have been working together for years on short films, features, documentaries, exhibitions and notable festivals such as ‘Double Exposure.’ This collaboration has been largely informal, driven by the passion of our students and faculty to create art, tell stories and shape the world through sounds and sights.”

Some of Groupé’s most recent film scores include “Straw Dogs,” directed by Rod Lurie and starring James Marsden, Kate Bosworth and Alexander Skarsgård, which won a Global Music Award (2012); “Nothing but the Truth,” starring Kate Beckinsale, Matt Dillon and Alan Alda, a compelling political drama about first-amendment rights; and “Resurrecting the Champ,” starring Samuel L. Jackson and Josh Hartnett. All collaborations were with writer-director Rod Lurie. Currently, Groupé is composing a new score about the John Hinkley assassination attempt of Ronald Reagan.

Most notably, Groupé wrote the score for “The Contender,” starring Joan Allen, Gary Oldman and Jeff Bridges, a highly regarded political drama written and directed by Rod Lurie which received multiple Academy Award nominations. This led to “Commander in Chief,” which became the most successful new TV series when launched by ABC. Groupé also enjoyed special recognition when he teamed with the classic rock group YES, co-composing 10 original songs on the CD “Magnification” as well as writing overtures and arrangements, and conducting the YES Symphonic Orchestra on its 2002 world tour.

“We couldn't be more pleased with the hiring of Larry Groupé and the Jacobs School of Music’s initiative to launch this new minor,” said Jon Vickers, director of the IU Cinema. “For us, it is a validation that the collaborative programs over the past several years with film students in The Media School and Jacobs composition students have been a success and of value to students. Larry Groupé will build upon these programs by adding his wealth of composition, industry and teaching experience along with sharing the love for what he does. We envision nothing but great success for this program.”

In 2004, Groupé was nominated for a primetime Emmy as the composer of best original score for ABC’s drama series “Line of Fire.” He wrote the music for Mike Binder's comedy series “The Mind of the Married Man” on HBO as well as for “Man About Town,” starring Ben Affleck. Groupé received special recognition for his score of Lurie’s early release “Deterrence,” a doomsday thriller starring Kevin Pollack and Timothy Hutton.

Prior to this, a project based on Ed Wood’s last script, “I Woke Up Early the Day I Died,” gave him an opportunity to write a score for a silent movie produced by and starring Billy Zane. Groupé recorded his original score for the docudrama “Missions” with the London Philharmonic Orchestra at Abbey Road Studios. The series launched in Europe in 2005.

Groupé has received three Emmy Awards: Best Original Documentary Score, for “Under the Boardwalk: The Monopoly Story” (2013), Best Original Score–Short Subject, for “Residue” (2009), a short-subject film about the early U.S. involvement in Cambodia; and Best Original Documentary Score, for “Jonas Salk: Personally Speaking” (1998). He’s composed the music for a variety of features that have shown at the Sundance, Berlin and Toronto international film festivals.

A graduate of the Conservatory of Music at the University of the Pacific, he began his senior year as the recipient of the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers award for student composers. He went on to earn his Master of Music in Composition at the University of California at San Diego, where he studied with Roger Reynolds, Toru Takemitsu and Pauline Oliveros. Subsequently, his composing, orchestrating and conducting skills took him to the world of film scoring, where he won the New York Film Award for Best Score.

Groupé has composed, conducted and produced over 80 CD recordings. His music has been performed by a number of symphony orchestras, and his “Water Unfolding,” a fantasy for orchestra commissioned by the San Diego Symphony, was warmly received by the public and critics alike. “Menagerie,” a suite for solo organ, was commissioned by the Spreckels Organ Society for its 85th birthday and performed at the world’s largest outdoor organ pavilion, in San Diego’s Balboa Park.

Currently, Groupé is preparing for the world premiere of his commissioned string quartet “Prometheus Unwound” for the California Institute of Technology, to be performed inside the Palomar Observatory in San Diego, Calif.

“Larry Groupé’s presence coupled with the new minor in music scoring for visual media represents a significant change,” said Krause. “Our students will now be able to study music scoring for visual media with one of the most recognized composers in the film industry. This will certainly lead to more opportunities for our students and more opportunities for cross collaboration. Music scoring is a rich and multi-faceted area of art and study, and perfectly represents the crossroads of where our two schools intersect.”