Marginalia, Graduate Blog

Cohort: Part 3

Steven Spiel

This is the last set of introductions for Music Composition for the Screen MFA students admitted in 2012! If you haven’t checked out part one or part two, do it now!

David Mitchell

David was born and raised in Country Club Hills and Olympia Fields, Illinois. He attended Marian Catholic High School and Merit School of Music. During that time, he was a pianist for the high school Gospel Choir. David received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Film and Video from Grand Valley State University and will be receiving his Master of Fine Arts degree in Music Composition for the Screen from Columbia College Chicago.

What do you love most about film composing? 

The most amazing thing about writing music for films is that fact that it forces you to think outside the box and has the potential to constantly put you outside of your comfort zone, which is great if you want to create something brand new. I’ve written a lot of music in the past, mainly for spoken word, vocals, etc, but none of those have required the same amount of brainpower it takes to write an effective score.

Where do you find your inspiration?

Speaking of outside the box, I find inspiration through the oddest of things: the sound of a ringing phone, a bird soaring through the air, a car horn, the rumbling of a train rolling by my apartment. Anything audio or visual, I tend to borrow from.

What advice do you have for those putting together applications right now?

My only advice to those putting in there applications is this: be yourself and have confidence in your work. I think it’s self-explanatory, so there’s no need to delve into it any further. You are unique, there is no one like you—take advantage of that! And confidence is a huge part of success in any area of life, especially for an artist.

Check out David’s website!


Paul Bedal

Paul Bedal, a native of the Chicago area, has been playing piano since the spry young age of 6. As a high school senior, Paul won Illinois All-State jazz pianist and was awarded the Bertha Frost Scholarship by the University of Miami’s Frost School of Music. At the university, he studied under Doug Bickel and Shelly Berg and played in Miami’s prestigious CJB Jazz Band and Miami Sextet. Since graduating from school, Paul now performs regularly around the Chicago area playing in various musical settings. Recently, he has been touring in Italy with “El Portal” and recorded an album with the group under the CAM Jazz record label. He is currently earning his MFA in Music Composition for the Screen at Columbia College Chicago. He has performed with such notables as Jim Black, Maria Schneider, Ira Sullivan, Bobby Broom, Pharez Whitted, and Von Freeman.

What is your favorite thing about the program so far?

The classes are well balanced, each addressing different skills and conceptual knowledge that will help us form our sound.

What do you love most about film composing?

Film composing is a big challenge in that you need to shape your music for what is going on. I enjoy the task of interpreting what the movie calls for and then translating it into a musical idea.

Check out Paul’s website!

Cohort: Part 3

This is the last set of introductions for Music Composition for the Screen MFA students admitted in 2012! If you haven’t checked out part one or part two, do it now! David Mitchell David …

Music Composition for the Screen MFA Steven Spiel, steven.spiel@loop.colum.edu
600 S. Michigan Ave. Chicago, IL 60605

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