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Columbia College Chicago
Program Faculty

Program Faculty

MFA Composition for the Screen

David McHugh    Professor, Director of Music Composition for the Screen  
Gary Chang Associate Professor
Richard McHugh MFA Lab Technician, Adjunct Faculty - Technology
Andrew Edwards Adjunct Faculty - Gaming and Film History
Allen Tinkham Adjunct Faculty - Conducting
David McHugh

David McHugh

Professor, Director of Music Composition for the Screen

Professor McHugh received a BS in Music Education from SUNY Fredonia and an MA in Composition from CUNY Queens. While at Fredonia, he won first place in the MENC composition contest two years in a row. After graduating from Fredonia he studied composition with Jacob Druckman, head of the composition department at Yale. Before beginning graduate school he was drafted and served two years in the US Army. As a graduate student he studied with George Perle, Henry Weinberg and Leo Kraft. While in graduate school he composed a concerto in three-movements for tuba and orchestra for the Louisville Symphony.   

McHugh first ventured into the entertainment industry composing TV and radio commercials, penning such well-known jingles as Burger King, Schaeffer Beer, Coppertone, Mr. Coffee, US Steel, Maxwell House Coffee, Chevy Trucks, Finnair, CIE Perfume, and many more, and worked as an arranger/orchestrator/conductor for dozens of McDonald jingles, State Farm Insurance, and conceived and arranged the ABC World News music which has run for thirty-three years.  

He began writing songs, performing in clubs in NYC and on college campuses in Kentucky and Tennessee in the 70s.  During this period, he recorded an album of original songs produced by Bob Ezrin, of Pink Floyd’s The Wall fame.  He also began composing music for theater, scoring a number of productions including Maggie and the Blue Hotel, Merton of the Movies, Naomi Court, Charlemagne, Dracula, Yerma, directed by Gerald Freedman, The Miracle Worker, The First Day of Us, Estelle and Angelo, with book, music and lyrics by McHugh, Bamboo, the follow-up musical to Ken Harper’s The Wiz, and most recently, My Mother the Fish, a dark comedy.  One of the songs from Bamboo was performed on Roberta Flack’s Blue Lights in the Basement album, earning him a Gold Record.  While living in NYC he continued to write concert music, completing an orchestral piece for the Louisville Youth Symphony, “An Overture for Immigrants, Sojourners, and Settlers,” performed in 1976.  

His first venture into extended scoring for film was for a 60-minute documentary, Jockeys.  He moved to Los Angeles in 1981 and immediately began scoring films.  His first score was for the movie, Nobody’s Perfekt, followed by Moscow on the Hudson, Mystic Pizza, Three Fugitives, The Dream Team, Prisoners of the Sun, Daddy’s Dyin’, Who’s Got the Will, and many more.  He produced Chaka Khan for the end title song, “Freedom”, for Moscow on the Hudson.  It was covered by the Pointer Sisters and earned a platinum record. He has also scored many Movies of the Week for TV, as well as the music for a number of episodic TV shows, including Brooklyn Bridge, A Year in the Life, Sisters, and most recently, Strong Medicine.  He orchestrated and conducted all of his scores and often played and conducted from the piano if his favorite studio pianist was not available.

In 1995 he left Los Angeles to create and head the MFA Film Scoring Program at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts.  He taught there sixteen years before coming to Columbia College to head the MFA Music Composition for the Screen program.  While at UNCSA he composed numerous works for modern dance, published two essays on aesthetics, had a sonata for alto flute and cello performed by faculty, was commissioned to compose a twenty-minute piece for orchestra and chorus in celebration of the new millennium, entitled “Prelude and Overture to the Third Millennium”, premiered at a concert for the 100th Anniversary of the Arts Council of America, wrote two plays, one of which, Estelle and Angelo, was staged at UNCSA in 1997.

Throughout his career he has given seminars and has been a guest speaker at many college campuses including Bowling Green University, the University of Louisville, the Peabody Institute, SUNY Fredonia and Lamar University. He received an Alumni Award from SUNY Fredonia in 1992. He has been a music panelist at the River Run Film Festival in Winston Salem, NC, the Ashville Film Festival in Ashville, NC, the Pittsburg Film Festival, Pittsburg, PA, and the Charlottesville Film Festival, Charlottesville, VA. He continues to compose concert music having recently completed a quartet for violin, clarinet, piano and cello, performed at the University of Louisville, April 2011, and a flute concerto in 3-movements which had its premiere in Bogata, Columbia. He is an active songwriter, an inventor holding patents, a playwright, an essayist, short story writer, photographer, furniture maker, and poet.  His book, Wake Up, We’re In Heaven, can be downloaded from his website, davidmchugh.com, where much of his writing and music can be found.  He has three children, two boys and a girl.

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Gary Chang

Associate ProfessorGary Chang

Gary Chang has been scoring films since 1984, and has over 100 film music projects, including nineteen feature films to his credit. Named by Variety Magazine as one of “The 50 Composer Champs of the 90’s,” Chang has led a long and varied career.  In the early 1980’s, Chang worked as a studio musician with artists such as Robbie Robertson, Al Jarreau, Weather Report, and Herbie Hancock. He has also worked with film composers and on projects that include Henry Mancini (Breakfast at Tiffany’s, The Pink Panther); Patrick Williams (Mary Tyler Moore, That Old Feeling); and Giorgio Moroder (Midnight Express, American Gigolo, and Flashdance).

He has scored films for numerous directors including John Frankenheimer (The Island of Dr. Moreau, Andersonville, 52 Pickup); Andrew Davis (Under Seige); Jonathan Demme (Miami Blues); John Hughes (The Breakfast Club); and Jan Egleson (A Shock to the System with Michael Caine). His work also encompasses television, including multiple collaborations with Stephen King and John Frankenheimer on projects such as Kingdom Hospital (dramatic series for ABC), Rose Red and Storm of the Century (Emmy Award-winning six-hour mini-series for ABC), Against the Wall and The Burning Season (Emmy Award-winning cable features directed by John Frankenheimer for HBO), George Wallace and Andersonville (Emmy Award-winning cable miniseries, directed by John Frankenheimer for TNT) and The Crossing (award-winning cable feature for A&E).

As a guest lecturer in film music and music technology, Chang has been a visiting artist at many prestigious institutions, including The American Film Institute, University of Southern California, California Institute of the Arts, Oberlin Conservatory, Carnegie Mellon University, University of California San Diego, and the Berklee College of Music. 

Chang was born in Minneapolis and grew up in Pittsburgh, PA. He attended Carnegie-Mellon University, receiving his BFA in music composition, and California Institute of Arts, where he earned his MFA and studied with Mel Powell and Morton Subotnick (Silver Apples of the Moon, The Wild Bull). 

Chang received a National Endowment of the Arts Grant for jazz composers in 1976 for his work Mr. Slick. Chang continues his interest in ambient electro-acoustic music. In 2006, Chang was involved in bringing his electronic music to Italy during the Sanctuaries tour, which involved 5.1 performances of his ambient electronic music in churches in La Spezia, Portovenere, Rome, Benevento, and San Galgano. Since then, Sanctuaries has also been performed at Scream 2007, Los Angeles, and Club21 – Remaking the Scene, London, 2010.

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Richard McHugh

Richard McHugh
MFA Lab Technician, Adjunct Faculty - Technology

Richard McHugh was born and raised in New York City. Exposed to music at an early age, he started playing piano and drums at 5 years old. As he matured and his skills ripened he had the opportunity to study with Elvin Jones and Bernard Purdie.  He assisted with busy studio drummer, Jimmy Young.  This relationship ultimately landed him a 27-country touring gig with James Brown and Silver Convention. Upon returning from tour he became a jingle studio drummer playing with The Brecker Brothers, Marcus Miller, Kenny Kirkland, Will Lee and Josh Sklair, to name a few. Next he landed a position drumming for the hit Broadway show A Chorus Line.  Continuing his education, he then studied at Rhode Island School of Music, in addition to training with Paul Price at Julliard and Buster Bailey at the Manhattan School of Music. Richard was an active performer and gained an immense amount of experience performing throughout the New York City nightclub scene.

As his career blossomed, he made the jump and moved to Los Angeles. There he found himself writing songs and discovering a love for scoring. His talent was noticed and he was offered a contract with Columbia Pictures as an in-house staff writer.  His works can be heard on projects such as Tom Hanks’ A Punch Line and various Columbia Pictures movies. At this point, Richard began to focus on composing for TV and film. His concentration paid off and he earned the opportunity to score for a 75-piece orchestra for the prestigious ASCAP film and TV workshop. Simultaneously, he began working as a Los Angeles studio musician performing on Brooklyn Bridge, A Year in a Life, Three Fugitives, Mannequin on the Move, Moscow on the Hudson and various network shows. Richard was fortunate to work side by side with L.A. studio musicians and jazz legends Charlie Hayden, Victor Feldman, Ralph Grearson, Ian Underwood, Snuffy Walden, Robin Ford, Jeff Porcaro, Richard Elliot, Reverend Dave and Tim Landers.

As a result of his evolving and developing career, Richard then landed a deal with the United Film Organization, writing for the Syfy channel. Becoming their in-house composer he scored 15 movies.  In addition to scoring film, his talent led him to score for TV in Paramount’s Jake 2.0 and Disney’s animation Bratz.  His passion for scoring landed him work with American World Pictures and HBO.  He was always looking for ways to expand his career and during this period, and he scored over a hundred episodes for dance shows and videos, as well as TV series for Cinemax, Showtime and TMC.

Richard realized early on the significance of technology and its relationship to scoring.  He started working with Midi, Pro Tools, Digital Performer and Logic, and shared his love of technology and composition by lecturing and teaching privately in Los Angeles. One of his top students was starting a library company, and their chemistry and friendship lead them to become partners in Vision 1 Music. 

Richard and Vision 1 Music  have written for NCIS, CSI, 2 Broke Girls, Anger Management, Two an a Half Men, Access Hollywood, Hawaii Five-0, Big Brother, Mike and Molly, Persons of Interest, Grimm, Blue Bloods, As the World Turns, How I Met Your Mother, Rules of Engagement, The Big Bang Theory, The Young an the Restless, The Late Late Show starring Craig Ferguson, Criminal Minds, A Gifted Man, Melrose Place, American Idol, and Dancing With the Stars. In the first three months 2013, he has already written for over 104 CBS promos.

Richard is an accomplished technician and is proficient in Logic, Pro Tools, Sibelius, Abelton Live Suite 9, Digital Performer 8 and 5.1 Surround mixing.  He enjoys sharing his talent, knowledge and experience with the Columbia College students (see Industry Connections).

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Andrew Edwards

Andrew Edwards
Adjunct Faculty - Gaming and Film History

Andrew Edwards is a Chicago-based film and theatre composer. He is the owner of the Blue Police Box Music studio on Chicago’s north side, and an adjunct professor of film music in Columbia College Chicago’s MFA Music Composition for the Screen program.

As a film composer, Drew has scored a number of short and feature length films and documentaries, including: Nancy Picks & Chooses (2008), A Message from the East (2009), Single Waltz (2010), Fate Accompli (2012), Bailout (2012), and the indie coming-of-age film, Scary Normal (2013). He just completed work on the anticipated feature documentary Alex & Ali (Dir.: Malachi Leopold), and Mike India Alpha, a short film with director and Columbia alumnus Melissa Marlette.

Drew studied film music with former Disney music executive Andy Hill; Civic Orchestra Conductor Cliff Colnot; Composers Mike Reagan, Ilya Levinson, Lennie Moore, Sebastian Huydts, and Jeff Rona; and conducting with acclaimed conductor of The Legend of Zelda: The Symphony of the Goddesses, Eimear Noone. His orchestral scores have been recorded at the LA Sound Gallery and The Bridge Recording in Los Angeles, and - in Chicago - Wall2Wall Studios and the Chicago Recording Company.

Mr. Edwards is the composer for the web series Trep Life (Left Brain Right Brain Productions/Inc. Magazine) and Dorkumentary TV (Tarleton/Dawn Productions), and his work has been heard on television and in theatres across the country in the trailers for Bride Flight (Dir.: Ben Sombogaart, 2008) and Promised Land (Dir: Gus Van Sant, 2012), as well as in many national commercials. Drew was also the composer and sound designer for the original audio dramas Doctor Who: The Companion Chronicles – The Wanderer (Big Finish Productions/BBC), and Graceless II (Big Finish).

From 2008-2012, he was the Composer-in-Residence for Chicago Tap Theatre. In collaboration with the company – and award-winning Artistic Director Mark Yonally – he wrote the music for three full-length “Tap Opera” story shows: Little Dead Riding Hood (2009), Love Taps (2010), and Eyes without a Face (2012). Additionally, he provided original music and sound design for The Hourglass and the Poisoned Pen (2008) and Changes (2011), as well as several original pieces for holiday and concert performances. In his final year with CTT, he established and music directed their first live touring ensemble, performing regularly (and rocking out) with them across the country.

His concert piece, The Glacier Sequence, was premiered at the Kennedy Center in 2011 by the US Army Band “Pershing’s Own” Contemporary Chamber Ensemble, and continues to be a staple of their repertoire.

Drew’s music has been heard on the theatre stage for many years, including two original full-length musicals with Jennifer Bechtel, Scarlet Lines: A Gothic Musical (1997) and Kala: A Musical Faerie Tale (2003). He composed the incidental music for Athena Theatre’s productions of Metamorphoses (2008, LA) and True West (2010, NYC), as well as original music for productions of The Laramie Project (NYC, 2006), The Skriker (UIUC, 1995), Wait until Dark (UIUC, 1996), and many more.

The Blue Police Box Music studio is home to the General Admission podcast, and has been privileged to receive some of the most talented musicians in Chicago for recording sessions and cocktails, including Sirena, Duo Controverso, Ryan Muncy, Habib Wardak, Kim Sopata, Robert Reinhart, Samantha O’Connell, Annette Bjorling, Phillip W. Serna, Zeshan Bagewadi, and many others.

Mr. Edwards holds a Bachelor of Arts in Music Composition/Theory from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and an MFA in Music Composition for the Screen from Columbia College Chicago.

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Allen Tinkham

Adjunct Faculty - Conducting


Allen Tinkham is increasingly recognized as one of the most gifted conductors and teachers of his generation. He is hailed by the Chicago Tribune as one of Chicago's most important "educators, mentors and inspirational guides in the training of tomorrow's orchestral professionals" and with the prediction that he will "one day...garner a major U.S. podium of his own".

Currently Music Director of the Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestras, Tinkham oversees artistic programming and faculty for the institution whose ensembles include five orchestras and an extensive chamber music program. Tinkham leads the Symphony Orchestra and Encore Chamber Orchestra of CYSO each season in performances throughout Chicago at Symphony Center's Orchestra Hall, Millenium Park's Pritzker Pavilion, and Ravinia. He has led the Symphony Orchestra to wide acclaim in domestic and international tours to Europe and South America including performances in some of the world's greatest halls, from New York's Carnegie Hall to Leipzig's Gewandhaus to Montevideo's Teatro Solis. Under his leadership, applicants for CYSO have more than doubled and The Chicago Tribune has praised Tinkham for working "wonders" leading youth performances at a "professional-level." Under his baton, The Chicago Tribune has compared the Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestra’s “ferocity and theatricality” to that of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Upcoming 2012-2013 season highlights with CYSO include concerts at Orchestra Hall including Poulenc's Gloria, Debussy's La Mer, and Strauss' Also Sprach Zarathustra.

As Music Director of the Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestras (CYSO), Tinkham has won Illinois Council of Orchestras’ Programming and Youth Orchestra of the Year awards twice each. A champion of contemporary music, Tinkham has won eight American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers National Awards for Adventurous Programming of Contemporary Music (ASCAP) with CYSO. He has premiered many new works for orchestra, including works of Augusta Reed Thomas and Marc Anthony Turnage. Tinkham recently initiated the new CYSO Composer-in-Residence post currently with Joel Puckett and also has frequently premiered and performed the works of Jonathon Newman.

Allen Tinkham led the first live broadcast performance for CYSO from the studios of WFMT as well as the orchestra’s first recording of Tchaikovsky's 4th Symphony. CYSO live performances conducted by Tinkham are now selected regularly for broadcast on WFMT and other classical radio stations. Notable recent live performances selected for broadcast have included Stravinsky's The Rite of Spring and Mahler's 5th Symphony.

In addition to his post with the Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestras, Tinkham serves as Assistant Conductor of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra for the Welcome Yule! series. Tinkham's other guest engagements this season include the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and Colorado Symphony. Guest conducting engagements have included the Amarillo Symphony, Dubuque Symphony, Racine Symphony Orchestra, Elmhurst Symphony Orchestra, and Kansas City Symphony Orchestra.

Tinkham is also a regular guest conductor and educator at the New York Summer Music Festival, is on faculty at Columbia College of Chicago, and is in high demand as a guest teacher, artistic advisor, and speaker for local and national music education organizations. He regularly conducts All-State Festival Orchestras, including those in Florida, Kentucky, Maryland, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, and Minnesota. This season he conducts the Texas All-State Philharmonic Orchestra. Tinkham has also been a seminar faculty member for the League of American Orchestra’s Orchestra Leadership Academy.

Recognized as one of Chicago's most versatile musicians, Tinkham has collaborated with other Chicago area youth and professional organizations, including the Chicago Children’s Choir, Salt Creek Ballet, Chicago Sinfonietta, Chicago College of Performing Arts Roosevelt University, and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Outside of the classical music scene, Tinkham and the Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestra have collaborated with My Morning Jacket and My Brightest Diamond.

Born in Rhode Island to parents of Lebanese and English descent who were both music teachers, Tinkham received early music training from his parents and began the French horn at age eleven and the Double Bass at age fifteen. He received a Bachelor of Music with Distinction in a Double-Major of Theory and Double Bass Performance from the Eastman School of Music.

He began conducting studies at Eastman School of Music under David Effron and continued conducting studies under Kenneth Kiesler at the University of Michigan where he received a Master of Music in Orchestral Conducting. At the University of Michigan he was appointed Music Director of both the Campus Symphony and Philharmonia orchestras and received the Helen and Clyde Wu Conducting Fellowship, the youngest conductor to receive these distinctions. Tinkham continued studies by attending two summers at the American Academy of Conducting in Aspen, several summers at the Conductors Retreat at Medomak, and a summer at the International Institute for Conductors in Kiev, Ukraine.

Tinkham was invited to two of the world's top conducting competitions, the International Conductors’ Competition Sir Georg Solti in Frankfurt, Germany and the International Nicolai Malko Competition in Copenhagen, Denmark.

His principal teachers include David Effron, Murry Sidlin, and Kenneth Kiesler. He has also studied under David Zinman and James DePriest, and has received coaching from Gerard Schwarz, Christoph Eschenbach, Michael Tilson-Thomas, Gustav Meier, Jorma Panula, and David Robertson.

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