Professor McHugh received a BS in Music Education from SUNY Fredonia and an MA in Composition from CUNY Queens. While at Fredonia, he won 1st. 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 expended 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 Film Scoring 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, which was premiered at a concert for the 100th. Anniversary of the Arts Council of America, written 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 is currently being circulated to orchestras. 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 raised three children, two boys and a girl.
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.
Originally from Flint, Michigan, Chris graduated from Western Michigan University in 2006 with degrees in Music and the Spanish Language, and completed his Masters of Fine Arts in the first graduating class of the Music Composition for the Screen from Columbia College Chicago. Now a part of that very program as staff, Chris teaches Music Technology Labs and runs the Film Scoring Lab. The MFA program's resident 'Logic Ninja', Chris acquaints students with the ins and outs of composing using the latest generation of computer technology.
His musical tastes range a wide spectrum from flamenco to electronica, hip-hop to arabic music, klezmer to funk, R&B to jazz to latin and south american musics. Performing in a tremendous range of styles on a wide range of instruments (including saxophones, organ, clarinets, piano, accordion, and percussion) Chris is an in-demand multi-instrumentalist, composer, producer, copyist, orchestrator, "ethnic music" enthusiast, and all around musical character. For more information, visit chrisbeckstrom.com.