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This is part 2 of a spotlight on Richard McHugh, the newest member of the team in the Music Composition for the Screen MFA program. If you haven’t already, be sure to read my part 1 introduction first.
Richard McHugh was born in Brooklyn, NY in 1953 as the third boy in the McHugh family. His older brother David was 12 years old at the time, and they have always had a great connection. Multiple times I have heard him say David is like a father to him. He has always been there for Rich — practically raising him. David would play things on the piano, keep a close look out for him, and taught him all he knew, even at an early age.
Rich moved in with David when he was 17, and from there, David helped him set the stage for the rest of his life.
He taught me honesty and work ethic in being the best musician I could be.
He has been taught from notable composers and institutions including the Rhode Island School of Music, with Elvin Jones, Buster Bailey, and privately at Juilliard School of Music. He performed on Broadway as drummer for “A Chorus Line” and from there became a touring musician doing a 27-country world tour an as an opening act for James Brown.
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When his brother David started scoring studio films, Richard came to LA to be a recording artist playing drums, percussion, and keyboards. Soon, he was writing songs for Columbia Pictures and then scoring for Paramount in a network series and many more movies and TV shows.
He then got in touch with the owner of Vision 1 Music, who was looking for an orchestral composer. He picked up the job and became co-owner of the company.
We have written 100s of promos for NCIS, CSI, 2 BROKE GIRLS, ANGER MANGEMENT, HAWAII 5 O, TWO AND A HALF MEN, PERSONS OF INTEREST, BLUE BLOODS, plus many more. We have just signed a contract for providing music for the CRAIG FERGUSON LATE NIGHT SHOW, have the ID music for the entire season for PERSONS OF INTEREST, provide music for ACCESS HOLLYWOOD and write additional music for GRIMM.
He now lives in Chicago, where his wife and baby boy will soon be moving to live with him. He also has 3 grown children.
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He is an extremely talented artist, and Columbia is lucky to have him. I, personally, am looking forward to a GREAT two years with him!
To close, here is some parting advice from his own words:
My advise for budding composers is to listen to scores constantly, dissect the form and harmony structure, and study their movements. Expand your ears. My philosophy is if you don’t hear a style, you will not know it exists, and it will limit your influences. Be honest. Honesty is what makes me have an edge in this highly competitive field.