2021-2022 SCL New York Mentor Program Class Announced


The SCL New York Mentor Program serves as an introduction to the screen music industry for selected SCL Associate members. The SCL New York Mentor Committee has made its final selections from a large number of applicants, and welcomes the following Associate members into the New York Mentor Program 2021-2022. The committee would also like to thank the many applicants who took the time to submit, and encourages them to do so again in the future, should they remain eligible.

The program runs from November 2021 through May 2022, with a break for the holidays. 

Our East Coast-based mentors are thoroughly looking forward to sharing their experience and expertise with the SCL New York Mentee Class of 2021-2022.

Congratulations to all!  
Aaron Berkson is an award-winning composer and digital designer. He graduated with a Master’s in Composition for Screen from the Royal College of Music, London (2019). He obtained the Juilliard Evening Division Certificate in Core Musical Skills, and holds a B.S. in Computer Science with a Minor in Music from Carnegie Mellon University. His music has been licensed for television and independent film. He was a winner in the Jazz genre of the John Lennon Songwriting Contest. He was a participant in the NYU / ASCAP Foundation Film Scoring Workshop in Memory of Buddy Baker. He was selected to compose a chamber piece which was performed for the RCM’s first collaborative program with the Shanghai Conservatory of Music. He was chosen in the Composer Spotlight for the 2020 ASCAP Foundation / Columbia University Film Scoring Workshop. He has worked as a sound designer and music editor in video games, and has also spearheaded the sonification of enterprise business applications. He has worked with a variety of musical textures from guitars to synthesizers to classical instrumentation, to create thematically based music and atmospheres for storytelling.
Sam Bishoff is a saxophonist, multi-instrumentalist, and composer. Sam earned a Bachelor’s degree in Jazz Performance at Temple University, where he studied under the renowned saxophonist Dick Oatts. Following graduation, Sam worked as a gigging musician, teacher, and venue talent buyer in the Philadelphia area for several years. Sam has led and composed for multiple original groups, both in the jazz and pop world as well as arranged for a number of studio albums. As of 2021, he completed the score for Slaughter Beach, which has placed at several horror film festivals. He is currently pursuing his Masters in Media Scoring from Brooklyn College’s Feirstein Graduate School of Cinema. 
Pano Fountas is a film composer, pianist, and orchestrator whose music combines the symphonic tradition with contemporary soundscapes and textures. A recipient of the prestigious Alan Menken Scholarship, Pano earned his Master’s Degree in Screen Scoring from NYU Steinhardt, where he studied with Ira Newborn, Mark Suozzo, and Chris Hajian. He was also awarded the “Friends of Music” Society Grant in memory of Theodore Antoniou and was a runner-up in the ASMAC Pat Williams Contest. Pano graduated with Distinction from the Gnesin Academy of Music in Moscow, where he studied classical piano performance.

Driven by his passion for musical storytelling through the orchestra, Pano’s recent projects include the upcoming short drama 1805, which tells the story of two runaway slaves and their dangerous journey to freedom. He also contributed orchestrations to the Ability Beyond Disabilities concert that took place in Pasadena, CA, in October 2021. Pano resides in Westchester County, New York. 
Based in New York City, Imani Garner was born in Washington DC, where she was reared in the non-for-profit arts world. She earned a Bachelor of Music from New York University in Music Business and Technology and is an M.F.A candidate in the Media Scoring program at Brooklyn College, Feirstein Graduate School of Cinema, with focus on music supervision and composition.  

In the recorded music industry, she has worked in varying capacities at Columbia Records, Warner Music Group, Motown Records, Capitol Music Group, WBLS FM, and Def Jam Recordings. She conducted a music research study as a pro bono consultant for Jazz at Lincoln Center and serves as Board Member and Vice-Chairman at Beats By Girlz. She is currently the Administrator for the General Counsel of ViacomCBS Inc, where she is skilled in music clearance rights and rescores. An experienced traveler, Imani has visited over 30 countries, studying arts disciplines in Cuba and South Africa and counts ethnomusicology as a hobby.
Margy Hayes grew up on a small barrier island off the coast of Georgia. She started playing oboe at the age of 12, performing in chamber groups, wind ensembles and orchestras alike. This love of performance had brought her to learn not only how to interpret music but to then create it. Gradually, over her high school years, she had begun a budding romance with her two true passions: composition and film. To this day, Hayes isn’t sure which one she likes more, so she is sure to utilize both in her creative process.

Hayes has worked in many creative spaces, ranging from a music library administrator at 4 Elements Music and Arketype Trailer Music to a CEO’s assistant at Jay-Z’s Roc Nation. Currently, she is sharing her talents at New Math Music as a Studio Assistant / Dub Engineer where she helps provide mixes for brands like Progressive, Samsung, and Google. Along with this, Hayes is a composer for the show, CoComelon, which is currently on Netflix’s top 10 list. She is also a freelance orchestrator and composer at Konsonant Music, whose music has been featured in award winning films and documentaries.

Hayes has her Bachelor’s in Film and Music Composition from Georgia State University, and her Master’s in Film Scoring from NYU Steinhardt. 
Caroline Ho is a concert and film composer and pianist from Los Angeles, CA. As a composer, she was the 2020 Music Fellow at the Television Academy Foundation (the Emmys) and her concert works have been recorded and performed by musicians of the Incontri di Terra in Siena Festival, members of the UCLA Camarades, and the Yale Symphony Orchestra, amongst others. As a pianist, she has received many scholarships and accolades from organizations such as the Young Musicians Foundation and the National YoungArts Foundation, and has soloed with many orchestras. She is a senior at Yale University, where she was recently awarded the Abraham Beekman Cox Prize in Music Composition and the Arts and Media Innovation Awards from Tsai Center for Innovative Thinking at Yale. She studies piano with Professor Wei-Yi Yang at the Yale School of Music and composition with Konrad Kaczmarek, Kathryn Alexander, and Adam Schoenberg. Caroline is also a cellist.
As a young child, Noah Horowitz placed picture books on the piano to “play” the stories as if they were sheet music. Today, he is still passionate about combining stories and music with his fresh and dramatic approach to film and video game scoring. An accomplished classical pianist but with eclectic musical influences, Noah is equally at home in complex orchestrations as he is in blending unique instruments and styles. Currently finishing up his degree in film music at NYU, he is both the youngest-ever winner of the NYU Film Scoring Competition and a recipient of the prestigious Alan Menken Scholarship. At NYU, his teachers have included many mainstays of the New York film scoring scene: Mark Suozzo, Chris Hajian, John Kaefer, and Michael Patterson. His passionate interest in working with live musicians led him to create UnSilent Film, an annual live-to-picture film music concert at NYU. In addition to working on films (which included interning for Henry Jackman on Jumanji: The Next Level), he is the creator and developer of The Alpine Project, the largest free orchestral sample library, and has presented film music research papers at the international Music and Moving Image Conference.  
Simon Li is a composer, producer, and pianist from Auckland, New Zealand. He began his music-making journey at the age of eleven as a composer for piano before moving into the world of electronic music and beatmaking. His love for film and narrative made his transition to film and media composition a natural and extremely fulfilling one.
Always on a constant search for new and unique sounds, Simon strives to combine his classical training and love for impressionistic music with his fascination with synthesizers, electroacoustic sound design, and found objects to create colorful and characterful music.

Simon is passionate about collaboration and musical storytelling, and has had the privilege of writing music for several short films and animations. He is completing his Master’s in Screen Scoring at NYU Steinhardt, where he received the prestigious Alan Menken Scholarship and currently studies with Chris Hajian. He also has extensive experience as a mixing engineer, both in recorded music and live sound, and has worked in live performance and musical theater.
Carmen Lustik is an ambitious and efficacious New York-based media composer. Born and raised in Cincinnati, Ohio, Carmen began developing her musicianship at a young age by singing in choirs across the city. Although she now primarily uses the piano when composing, Carmen still considers her voice her main instrument, incorporating it occasionally into her scores and relying heavily on her vocal training to inform her compositional choices. Recently, she featured her voice in the score she composed for Pure (dir. Natalie Jasmine Harris), a short film that was shown at The American Pavilion’s 2021 Emerging Filmmaker Showcase at Cannes and nominated for the HBO Max Best Narrative Short Film Award at the 2021 Martha’s Vineyard African American Film Festival. At the end of her sophomore year, Carmen was selected as the Television Academy Foundation’s 2019 Music Intern and spent the summer in Los Angeles aiding writers and engineers at Bear McCreary’s music production studio, Sparks and Shadows. In addition to working as a freelance composer, Carmen is completing her Bachelor’s Degree in Music Theory and Composition for Screen Scoring at New York University (Spring 2022).
Dr. Ryan Somerville is from, and now again based in, New Jersey but travels frequently to Taiwan in order to compose music for his first feature film and complete his album and tie-in digital instrument The Ancients. The Ancients reflects upon his experience in Taiwan and is produced entirely with samples of traditional Chinese instruments performed by some of the best musicians in Taiwan, Dr. Somerville aims
to offer these sounds as a play-able way to experience his music. He’s also very slowly learning Chinese, too. 我不会说中文.

Primarily an artist, his background is in creating immersive experiences of concert music. Creating new experiences of concert music through collaboration with artists in other mediums was the focus of his Ph.D. at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland and he has since produced concerts of his music in Shanghai as an artist-in-residence at the Swatch Art Peace Hotel where his video piece created with visual artist Andy Yen was featured in Creators Vice and at the Banff Centre as an Artistic Associate where he curated and produced their Winter Musician residency program’s weekly music concerts, over 50 concerts in six months.
Mikhaila Alyssa Smith is a South African composer, orchestrator and pianist based in New York City. Her compositional voice embraces an array of musical styles and her experience in film scoring spans across several genres including drama, magical realism, fantasy and animation. In addition to film, her creative work extends to the concert hall and interdisciplinary art where she enjoys experimenting with a variety of sonic palettes and the endless possibilities of harmony and orchestration. Her works have been performed and recorded by ensembles and orchestras in New York, Los Angeles, Prague and Cape Town.

Mikhaila holds a Bachelor’s degree in Concert Composition from the University of Cape Town and is currently pursuing a Master’s degree in Screen Scoring at New York University. Her artistic world involves storytelling, collaborating with other artists and immersing herself in worlds beyond this one through the expressive and powerful medium of film music.
Eunike Tanzil is a composer for films from Indonesia. Born in 1998 and raised in Sumatra, Indonesia, Eunike lived there for 17 years before moving to Boston, United States, to pursue her career in music. In 2016 she received a full scholarship from the Berklee College of Music, where she deepened her knowledge in composition, film scoring, and conducting. In 2021, she graduated with Summa Cum Laude.

In her music, Eunike loves exploring different styles and genres. She embraces the diversity in music, and she often incorporates various musical influences in her pieces. For instance, her clarinet piece, Winter Matcha, is inspired by the jazzy harmonies of Nikolai Kapustin. Likewise, her string quartet, Three Balinese Dances, is inspired by Indonesian traditional gamelan music.

As a film composer, Eunike has scored multiple animations. She recently wrote the music for Martial Cultivation Biography (2020), a Chinese animation series, and Becoming Famous (2021), a Chinese feature film. Eunike also had the opportunity to work for film composer Jeff Danna as his assistant this past summer. She assisted him as the score coordinator for The Addams Family 2, where she contributed her skills in the orchestral recording process in Warner Bros. Eastwood Scoring Stage. 
Juan Andrés Vergara is a composer, producer and guitarist who creates immersive musical environments by observing the spatial behavior of sound. He describes his music as a diffuse harmonic body generated from chaotic textures. With an intuitive approach, Juan encompasses a combination of music areas and collaborative settings including studio work, concert music, film, songs, live performance with independent projects. His current work includes the thriller feature Los Minutos Negros, a coming premiere with Jalisco Philharmonic Orchestra, and his band Plano’s debut album. He is a music fan first and he also loves food and walking.

His scores have been showcased in film forums Cannes Marché du Film, Maine, Morelia and Rotterdam. His music has been programmed at the Open Source Music Festival in New York, the Manuel Enríquez International Forum, the UNESCO International Composers Tribune and the Cervantino Festival. It has been recorded by the Morelia Symphony Orchestra, OFUNAM Philharmonic Orchestra, Jeffrey Zeigler, Wild Up, Cuarteto Latinoamericano and Cuarteto José White. He has been a Mexico Film Press Award nominee and his pieces have been recognized at the Independent Shorts Awards in Los Angeles and Changing Face International Film Festival as well as the Red Note, Nuestra América and Alterity CO competitions.