5 great film composers who served in the military

Military service members have and will continue to contribute to society upon completion of their active duty obligation. Some will enter the workforce, start their own business, or even pursue a career in the arts. These musically inclined veterans followed their passions to compose songs and gave back to society with their wonderful gifts.

1. John Williams

Williams during his time in the USAF. Photo courtesy of jwfan.com.

John Williams is known to film and music fans for his breathtaking and inspiring works. He created some of the greatest film scores of all time, including jurassic parkthe star wars saga, Schindler’s listthe IndianaJones series, HEY, Superman and The Cowboys. Williams’ work fills concert halls around the world with people eager to hear his work live. You might be interested to know that he served in the US Air Force in the 1950s as a bandleader and music arranger for the Air Force Band. He was stationed at Lackland Air Force Base and attended the prestigious Juilliard School after completing his service. His career continued after his studies working for film studios alongside great composers to score films. Williams has been nominated for an Oscar 52 times and won five times.

2. Elmer Bernstein

5 great film composers who served in the military
Guest artist Elmer Bernstein leads the US Air Force Band in the latest in a series of spring concerts at Constitution Hall. Photo courtesy of wikipedia.org.

Elmer Bernstein is most associated with his film scores such as The Magnificent Seven, The great Escape, Kill a mockingbird, The real courage, The ten Commandments, ghost hunters and Cape fear. His compositions have a distinct style and sound that fit elegantly with every genre he wrote for. Bernstein began his career as a child prodigy at Julliard and played the piano. His works are greatly influenced by another American composer, Aaron Copland, and some of Copland’s inspiration in Bernstein’s works is evident in his scores. He served in the US Army Air Corps during World War II and composed music for the Armed Forces Radio Network. He has won numerous awards throughout his career and received an Oscar for his work on Resolutely modern Milliealthough he received 14 Oscar nominations during his lifetime.

3. Henry Mancini

5 great film composers who served in the military
Henry Mancini with the Pink Panther. Photo courtesy of infobae.com.

Henry Mancini has a wide range of work over his long and award-winning career. His repertoire includes The pink Panther theme, which has been used in all movies and cartoons, and the theme of the famous TV show Peter Gunn. He won four Oscars during his career and has composed scores for famous directors such as Alfred Hitchcock, Howard Hawks, Norman Jewison and Paul Newman (best known for his acting and fellow veteran). Mancini first served in the US Army Air Corps with the 128th Air Force Band and was recruited by fellow veteran and great musician Glenn Miller. He was then transferred to the 1306th Engineer Brigade and took part in the liberation of the Mauthausen-Gusen concentration camp.

4. John Barry

5 great film composers who served in the military
John Barry is doing his life’s work. Photo courtesy of bbc.com.

John Barry’s most impressive and enduring work is the james bond theme. Its theme has been used in almost every Bond film (Never say never is one exception) and it scored nearly every Bond film starring Connery and Moore. His final score for a Bond film was for Living daylights, which was a first for new Bond star Timothy Dalton. Barry did his military service in the British Army as a trumpeter. He wrote the scores for dance with wolves and Outside of Africawhich won both an Oscar and a Grammy.

5. Alex North

5 great film composers who served in the military
North received his Lifetime Achievement Oscar in 1986. Photo courtesy of blogs.loc.gov.

Alex North has composed scores for some of the golden eras of Hollywood’s top films, including Spartacus, A tram called Désir, Cleopatra, The misfits, Death of a seller and even 2001: A Space Odyssey, which was not used by Stanley Kubrick. North won an Oscar for his life’s work as a composer on so many important films and his contribution to cinema. During World War II, North served as a captain, first in charge of “self-entertainment” groups in mental hospitals, then composing the scores for 26 War Department documentaries.

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