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News                 For Immediate Release:   April 9, 2008

                Contact:   Lisa O. Fitch, Public Relations Specialist
                (323) 953-4000 ext. 2375  |  fitchlo@lacitycollege.edu
               
Los Angeles City College:  855 N. Vermont Ave, L.A., CA 90029

Maestro John Williams
Visits Alma Mater – LACC

Photo:  John Williams Photo:  John Williams visits LACC

Photo Credit: Karen Oswald

 

Stellar LACC Alumnus John Williams paid a special visit to the campus of Los Angeles City College (LACC) on April 2nd as part of the LACC Composers’ Club Concert series.  The Music Department and the LACC Foundation sponsored the invitation only “Friendraiser,” where, per Williams’ request, a limited number of music students, emeriti, alumni, board members and guests were treated to a Q&A session with the maestro before enjoying the student composers’ concert. 

His words inspired many students, as he explained how after first composing music at North Hollywood High School, he left UCLA to come to LACC’s music department because we had a jazz stage band.

            “The instructors were fantastic,” he said of LACCs music and history department faculty.  “They really turned me on.”

            Williams only attended one semester at LACC before he was drafted, but chose to go into the Air Force during the Korean War.  He played in the Air Force band and scored his first movie there.  After the war, he played contract orchestra for Colombia Pictures and scored commercials, bad films and television shows for 20 years before an auspicious lunch meeting with Steven Spielberg, who was working on “Sugarland Express,” the film that proceeded “Jaws” and its famous music score.

            Williams admitted that in the 20 years preceding that lunch, he was discouraged many times.  He told LACC musicians to “be prepared for a tough, long grind...and don’t give up!”

            Know other stellar LACC alums? Call the Foundation at 323.953.4000 ext. 2081.

Founded in 1929, Los Angeles City College transfers hundreds of students to competitive universities each year, is home to the number one Math team in the nation and has received 10 state Journalism awards.  Career programs include health care, computer science, graphics, television production and more.  Many students qualify for fee waivers.  Visit www.lacitycollege.edu or call 323.953.4000 for more information on LACC.

 

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