2022-2023 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, record-breaking number of applicants, and welcomes the following Associate members into the New York Mentor Program 2022-2023. 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 2022 through May 2023, with a break for the holidays. 

Our mentors are thoroughly looking forward to sharing their experience and expertise with the SCL New York Mentee Class of 2022-2023.

Congratulations to all!  
Jackie Andresen is a composer and multi-instrumentalist from Los Angeles, California. Classically trained in violin, she began her training studying under Dorthy Kwon at the Pasadena Conservatory of Music, and is now in her last year studying Music Theory and Composition with a concentration in Screen Scoring under composer and conductor Alba S. Torremocha, film composer Chris Hajian, and composer, arranger, and orchestrator Mark Suozzo at NYU.

She has written music for several short films created by filmmakers and visual artists in both NYU’s Tisch School and USC’s School of Cinematic Arts, premiering at student film festivals across the United States. In the summer of 2020, she completed a mentorship under film composer Michael A. Levine, and later assisted composer Catherine Joy and her Los Angeles-based score preparation and production company Joy Music House, working as an orchestrator and copyist.

Most recently, along with her colleague Maxim Dybal-Denysenko, Jackie was a recipient of the NYU Steinhardt Undergraduate Student Research and Creative Project grant to pursue the production of an extended string technique-based sample library beginning in the spring of 2023. She has been featured on MPATH’s album of Phenomenal Women Composers Vol. 13, and is currently composing music for her first documentary feature Ninety Minutes Later, directed by Los Angeles-based filmmaker and actress Cyndy Fujikawa. Most recently, she was awarded the NYU Orchestra Residency, her piece premiering in April of 2023.
Cooper Baldwin (he/him/his) is a songwriter, composer, arranger, producer, orchestrator and vocalist currently residing in New York City.  Raised on show tunes and choral music, he has since fallen in love with a wide array of musical styles and finds great joy in fusing them together to create new and unexpected sounds. 

Since 2019, he has worked as a music copyist for numerous Netflix productions, including the feature films Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey and The Half Of It and the television series Julie and the Phantoms, Big Mouth, and Centaurworld. He has participated in fellowships with the Los Angeles Film Conducting Intensive (Composition/Conducting Fellow, 2022), the Johnny Mercer Foundation Songwriters Project (Songwriting Fellow, 2022), and the Choral Arts Initiative (Composition Fellow, 2022), and has been awarded multiple honors for his original work, including first place in the 2022 Press Start Composers Competition, the grand prize of the 2019 Capital Hearing’s Young Composer’s Contest, and the grand prize of the Cantate Chamber Singers’ 11th Biennial Composition Competition. 

As an orchestrator and arranger, his work has been performed by Tony-nominated actress Sally Mayes, aboard the Serenade of the Seas cruise ship, and by a large number of vocal and band ensembles across the country. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Music Composition, cum laude, from Oklahoma City University, where he studied with Dr. Edward Knight, Dr. Corey Gavito, Dr. Jamie Whitmarsh, and Lendell Black.
Andrew Bontempi is a multifaceted musician located in the Nashville area with over 20 years of professional music experience. He is a composer, producer, and audio engineer as well as a multi-instrumentalist. A classically trained musician, Andrew frequently performs with choirs, vocalists, and instrumentalists in various venues. He is passionate about inspiring audiences and is known for his emotional depth in music. Andrew has many influences and especially appreciates the music of classical late-romantic and modern composers including Rachmaninov, Tchaikovsky, John Williams, Thomas Bergersen, John Powell, and others. Andrew is a recent addition to the SCL community and is extremely excited to be part of the SCL Composer Mentor Program.
Dongin Danny Choi (D.I.D. CHOI) is a versatile young Korean-Canadian composer and musician. Through his experiences in the classical concert scene, educational wind ensemble and concert band scene, choral music, pop, jazz, contemporary church music, and K-Pop, his style reflects a mix of lush orchestral language, emotive ambience, experimental contemporary music, and a cocktail of influences from other genres. Whenever appropriate, he loves to write a catchy melody with beautiful harmonies. He has collaborated with various high-level ensembles including the Standing Wave, Erato, Nu:BC Ensembles, the NYU Contemporary Ensemble, the Vancouver and Victoria Symphony Orchestras, the UBC Symphonic Wind Ensemble and Symphony Orchestra, and NYU Orchestra. Further, his band music is played in schools all around the world. He is also the winner of the 2019 Howard Cable Memorial Prize in Composition.

Largely self-taught in composition, orchestration, MIDI programming, and various instruments (piano/keys, clarinet, acoustic and electric guitars, drums, bass, saxophone, and cello), he has an insatiable passion for learning new things. Choi ultimately strives to be a composer who can connect emotionally with both fellow musicians and audiences in accessible manners and genres, regardless of medium. One of his preferred mediums to achieve this is through music for film and animation. 
Hailing from the NYU Master’s in Screen Scoring program, where he received the Alan Menken Scholarship, he has also completed his BMus in Music Composition and a Minor in Applied Music Technology at the University of British Columbia.
Cal Freundlich is a celebrated composer, songwriter and artist from NYC whose music is recognized for its unique combination of acoustic, organic, and electronic instruments. Having grown up as a guitar player and singer in an alternative rock band, Cal is guided by his enthusiasm for storytelling, and enjoys scoring in particular for the expansiveness and experimentation that it allows. He has earned a Master’s in Music from NYU Steinhardt, and in May of 2022 he was awarded the prestigious Elmer Bernstein Award for Outstanding Collaboration and Engagement from the NYU Steinhardt Screen Scoring department.

Cal’s diverse capabilities have allowed him to write music for a wide variety of acclaimed projects, from award-winning documentary and narrative films to video games and even web-comics. His work has been featured at festivals such as the Tribeca Film Festival and Doc NYC, as well as in multiple Student Academy Award and BAFTA Award-winning films. As a songwriter and producer, he frequently works in alternative Pop and R&B genres, and recently released his debut single, “Happier”, under his artist name Caleb Moore. Outside of music, Cal loves watching movies, TV shows, and sports, particularly basketball, which he played at the Division I level for Davidson College from 2016-2020
Alexandra Funes-Salazar is a New York City-based Salvadoran film composer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist. Her music is inspired by the intricate morphing characteristics of humanity, and it is recognized for its versatile blend of orchestral, synthetic, and popular genres. She holds a Master’s degree in Screen Scoring from New York University and is the founder of Abstract Forms Studios; where she currently works as a composer and songwriter for film, TV, and branding.
Recently, her work has been featured in the release of Spitfire Audio’s new library – Fractured Strings, and she is working on a variety of indie films and TV titles as a composer and guitarist. Embracing her roots, her focus is to help strengthen the Latinx community in film and support female roles within the industry.
Gabriella Hirsch is a Brooklyn-based composer and lyricist for film, theater, and multimedia. Currently pursuing her Master’s in Music Composition at NYU with a focus in screen scoring, she holds a Bachelor’s degree in Classical Piano from the University of Miami. She enjoys integrating lifelong orchestral influences along with her sensibilities in pop, jazz, and other contemporary genres. Prior to moving to New York, Gaby spent six years in Chicago working in theater (PlayMakers Laboratory) and comedy (iO Chicago).

She recently scored the animated short film Dear Yeda, which is currently enjoying an international run at the Lisboa Indie Film Festival, El Encuentro: The Latino Film Experience, Saratov Sufferings, and several other festivals. Other cherished collaborations include Gold (“SVA Best of 2022”, premiered at the Academy’s Pickford Center for Motion Picture Study), Creating Space (Carter School of Journalism), and Lucky: A Musical (“Best Lyrics” and “Most Promising Musical” at the Chicago Musical Theatre Festival).
Ana Krstajic is a composer from Belgrade, Serbia. She received her Bachelor’s degree in contemporary classical composition and orchestration at University of Arts in Belgrade and a Master’s degree in Scoring for Film, TV and Video Games at Berklee College of Music (Valencia Campus). Ana’s music is influenced by her love for classical music, Balkan roots and modern film music. She is writing for various projects such as films, television, video games, theater, contemporary dance and concert performances. Her work can be found on media platforms such as Amazon Prime and Apple TV. She was recognized by the festivals such as Soundtrack Cologne, International Sound and Film Festival, Original Soundtrack Challenge and Score Live Competition. Ana was recently nominated for the Best Original Score in Foreign Film category and won an award for Best Orchestral music category at Hollywood Music in Media Awards. She is currently working on her debut album Mountain Eyes which she recorded with Fames Project string orchestra and string soloists from Serbia.
Sulwyn Lok is a NYC-based Singaporean composer for the stage and screen, with a love for music styles and cultures of the world. He integrates his background as a traditional Chinese instrumentalist and orchestra conductor with his music for media, weaving in influences from his extensive work across Southeast Asia. 

Short films he scored have premiered at the Cannes and Busan film festivals, and he is a Best Original Music winner at the National Youth Film Awards (Singapore). He has scored commercials by Samsung and Standard Chartered Bank, and also writes for Universal Production Music. On the concert music front, he is regularly commissioned by the Singapore Chinese Orchestra and Ding Yi Music Company (Disney’s Mulan, Orchestral Tools Phoenix Orchestra).
Fully sponsored by the Singapore Digital Scholarship, Sulwyn studied at the New York University under the Master of Music Screen Scoring program. He also graduated as valedictorian from the National University of Singapore YST Conservatory of Music, majoring in Audio Arts and Science. Sulwyn is co-founder of Poco Productions, Southeast Asia Music Academy Online, and the Victoria Chinese Orchestra; resident composer of the Singapore Ruan Ensemble; and an executive member of the Singapore Chinese Music Federation Youth Chapter. He is honored to be part of the 2022-2023 SCL New York Mentor Program!
Veronica Mansour is 23 year-old composer/lyricist based in New York City. She has performed with artists such as Kristin Chenoweth, Todd Rundgren, Chloe Agnew, members of the cast of Hamilton, and performed for many more, including Martin Chalifour and Philip Glass. She served as the principal cellist of the University of Notre Dame Symphony Orchestra, has been featured on the radio (Sundays Live on KUSC) and ABC’s The Goldbergs

She is the founder of her own charitable organization which has raised nearly $30,000 for various children’s charities. Veronica has composed many musical works for the stage including original songs for The Imaginary Invalid (2018). She was commissioned as the composer/lyricist for an adaption of Cyrano de Bergerac which premiered at the University of Notre Dame in Spring of 2022. CYRANO was most recently named part of NAMT’s “Other Shows You Should Know About Jukebox”. 

Her first musical, An Old Family Recipe, premiered as a film in the spring of 2021 and is set to re-release in Fall of 2022. In August of 2022, Veronica composed a piece for Zoe Howard’s play, Midnight Mirage, which premiered at Theatre Row as part of the Downtown Urban Arts Festival and placed third in the “Best Short Play” category.  She was most recently named one of 5 nominees for a 2022 Marvin Hamlisch International Music Award in the category of Musical Theatre Composition. She is currently pursuing an MFA in Graduate Musical Theatre Writing at NYU Tisch School of the Arts.
Cassiel McEvoy is a film composer and violinist whose classical training has heavily influenced her compositional style. Born in New York and raised in Los Angeles, Cassiel began playing violin at the age of four and attended the Colburn School prior to her undergraduate studies at Northwestern University’s Bienen School of Music with Blair Milton, where she was a selected member of the NUSO Asia Tour and was a recipient of the Barry Manilow Scholarship. As a gigging violinist, Cassiel has played in everything from musical theatre pits to studio sessions to being featured in an AJR music video for their hit song “The Good Part”.

Cassiel’s additional background in creative writing made the decision to focus on film composition only natural. She has written for several award-winning short films and animations, and likes to place a heavy emphasis on thematic string writing in the bulk of her work. Cassiel has received a Professional Certificate in Composing and Orchestrating for Film and TV from Berklee College of Music, and is currently pursuing a Master’s degree in Music Theory and Composition: Screen Scoring at NYU Steinhardt (’23), where she studies with Jamie Lawrence and Ariel Marx. In her free time, Cassiel works with a number of nonprofit groups focused on bridging the arts education gap.
Emi Nishida is a Japanese composer, pianist and percussionist. In 2014, she moved to Boston to study Film Scoring at Berklee College of Music. She has worked on several short films and amongst several exclusive composers and conductors for a commissioned feature film The Man Who Laughs by Universal Studios.

After graduating, she began working as a composer for multimedia, films, and concert works, both in the U.S. and Japan. Her recent work, “Han-gover Square” for orchestra, won an honorable mention award at The American Prize in Composition 2021. She is selected as a Top 10 composer at Oticons Faculty Film Music Competition in 2022. She works as an assistant for a Boston-based composer Yuki Kanesaka on animated projects.

Besides composing, she has a passion for collaborating and performing with other musicians as a pianist. She covers multiple genres like jazz, pop, R&B, choir, ballet, and musical theater.
Louis Stevens is an Australian composer and multi-instrumentalist with particular interests in music for multimedia. With a compositional outlook concerned with the complexities of human relationships, Louis’ music evokes emotion-based experiences for his audiences. Louis takes inspiration from the post-minimalist style that gives emphasis to textures, expressive use of color and the bridge between electronic and acoustic sound-worlds. As both a media composer and concert composer Louis crafts music that prompts emotional responses to captivate audiences and evoke narrative.

Louis completed a Bachelor of Music (Composition) with Honors at the University of Melbourne under the esteemed Australian composer, Elliot Gyger graduating as Valedictorian of the 2018 cohort. During his studies at the University of Melbourne Louis was awarded the Joyce Mckenna Travel Scholarship and The Brian May Award to complete postgraduate study internationally. Louis is currently completing a Master’s in Screen Scoring at NYU Steinhardt.

Louis’ compositional output is wide and varied having written for a large range of ensembles in many genres. These include orchestral works, art installation, chamber music, theater, electronic works and film. However, Louis’ passion in writing music for screen has dominated his artistic output. Having worked with such institutions as the Victorian College of the Arts, Pineapple Media and a number of established Australian filmmakers, Louis has gone on to build an important network of collaborators amongst the Australian film scene. Louis continues to develop his network across an international landscape in New York and is excited to be continuing his development in the SCL mentor program.
Bryan Teoh is an HMMA nominated composer for television and film. Always curious and constantly exploring, his forays into composition began at a young age with new age piano riffs, punk rock, and the requisite high school ska band while studying piano, cello, and jazz/classical guitar. After earning a degree from The Lawrence Conservatory of Music, he moved to NYC with a short-lived improvisational chamber ensemble, after which he split time between solo cello/laptop sets featuring homebrew software and creating chiptune music under the moniker 8bit bEtty. He later explored early music while studying the viola da gamba. 

Eventually he found a home for this musical whiplash writing music for media. Whether writing large orchestral works, big band jazz, chamber music, or quirky pop, his music is known for its adaptability and a painstaking attention to detail. Past projects include Cannes selection Duvar, Cannes selection Flower Found, the Starship Goldfish animated pilot, and Student Academy Award semifinalist The Legend of PIPI. He scored several episodes of Disney Jr’s Chicken Squad as an additional composer working with Gregory Jenkins, and has contributed additional music to Nick Urata’s score for Nickelodeon’s Loud House Christmas.

He is currently based in New York City where he enjoys cycling, making fancy cocktails, and lint-rolling cat hair from all of his clothing.
Josué Vera is a New York-based Puerto Rican composer for films and video games. His music blends the small and intimate with the large and vast, using a mix of solo acoustic and orchestral/synth hybrids. He looks to explore the choices and emotions that make us people, and how we relate to the world, to each other, and to ourselves. He believes storytelling plays a central role in the human experience, and that through it we’re able to open a doorway towards empathy and understanding.

Born and raised in Puerto Rico, Josué looks for ways to help produce opportunities for collaboration and community-building in his home. With this in mind, he co-founded Trivium Studios. Under this banner and alongside his colleagues, they created the first convention on the island entirely focused on music for video games.