Band Skypes with Emmy Awarding Composer

  Band director Jason R. Smith directs the North Lamar band as they skype with the composer of the piece they are working on for contest.

Band director Jason R. Smith directs the North Lamar band as they skype with the composer of the piece they are working on for contest.

North Lamar’s high school band is gearing up for their UIL Concert and Sight-Reading Competition by receiving constructive criticism from the composer of the piece they have chosen to play for contest.  Julie Ann Giroux, who has published over 80 pieces for concert bands, listened to the band using the internet software application Skype.

The students were given time to talk with Giroux and asked questions as to how much music she writes and her favorite written piece.   They learned Giroux was a big video game enthusiast and has written numerous works for band from video games.

“We will be performing a piece of hers (Giroux) entitled “Khan” written in 2008,” said NL Band Director Jason R. Smith.  “It depicts the conquest and expansion of the Genghis Khan army on the move.”

Continuing Smith explains, “UIL evaluates music and places it in their ‘Prescribed Music List.’  They rank the difficulty level of the music into grades with ‘1’ being easy and ‘5’ being the most difficult.  Our non-varsity band is required for contest to play from the grade 2 list.  This piece is on the grade 4 list.”  The band will compete on April 2

Giroux was born 1961 in Massachusetts then raised in Arizona and Monroe, LA.  She received her formal education from LSU and Boston University where she studied composition with John Williams (Star Wars, Superman, and Indiana Jones), Bill Conti, and Jerry Goldsmith (Star Trek), to name a few.  She begin playing the piano at age three, had her first composition published by age nine, and plays the French horn. 

In 1985, Giroux began writing and conducting music for TV and film.  Within three hours of arriving in Los Angeles, she was at work on the set of the mini-series “North and South.”  Other television series she worked on included “Dynasty” and “The Colbys” as well as movies like “Karate Kid II” and “White Men Can’t Jump” plus doing music for broadcast news.  She has over 100 film and television credits and been nominated for an Emmy several times.  She was the first woman and youngest to win an Emmy in the category of “Outstanding Individual Achievement in Music Direction” (1992).  Giroux has had the privilege of arranging music for Celine Dion, Paula Abdual, Dudley Moore, Liza Minnelli, Reba McEntire, Little Richard, Billy Crystal, Michael Jackson and many others. 

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