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Alethea Katherine UCLA Luskin Pianist

Photograph by Felicia Caldwell.  UCLA Luskin Conference Center, 2019.

Ever since I was a small child, music has been a part of my life.  When I was very little, my parents would play Mozart in the house, and turn on the local classical music radio station during long car rides.  I loved Bach, Debussy, Ravel, Rachmaninov, danced to many of them in ballet class - but I especially loved programme music: Prokofiev's Romeo & Juliet, Tchaikovsky's The Nutcracker. And programme music is what drew me to film scoring.

The power of music in storytelling enchants me to this day. It's amazing to me that an ostinato can paint the scene of soft snowfall becoming a whirling blizzard or an arpeggio of stormy seas rocking a lone boat; that a simple melody on a violin can convey all the loss and tragedy in the world (Schindler's List) or all the joy and freedom of flying (How to Train Your Dragon).

When I found myself at UCLA, in the heart of the film world, my love of film scoring drew me to continue to pursue music alongside my engineering studies. I'd thought I might put it on the back burner, but I was surrounded by concerts of film music at the LA Phil, John Williams' annual Maestro of the Movies concert at the Hollywood Bowl, and film scoring giants such as Howard Shore visiting UCLA's own dining halls. So I continued to chase the dream.

 I found myself an internship with John Swihart (Sonic Gravy, Inc.; "How I Met Your Mother," "Switched At Birth").  I began studying with Professor Peter Golub, director for the Sundance Film Music Program.  I joined UCLA's Bruin Film Society and FPS (Film and Photography Society) Productions, sat in on classes in orchestration, met James Horner's wife (Horner scored films such as TitanicAvatar, and Braveheart), Howard Shore (Lord of the Rings, Silence of the Lambs) and Snuffy Walden ("The West Wing," "The Wonder Years").  I met the music director for Lionsgate, who is himself a UCLA alumni, and joined the Alliance for Women Film Composers.

When I write, I don't want to just put notes down on paper, or play a few chords on a keyboard.  I want to bring all the passion, love, wonder I felt when I heard a film soundtrack for the first time.  I love writing music with all my heart.  I believe music is not just about the sound in your ears: it is the emotions you feel, the worlds you imagine, the things you see and sense.  Music is a first snowfall, a last kiss, a first goodbye, a final heartbreak, a first sunset, a final sunrise, everything in between.

Take me on your journey with you - and let's make something special together.


Photograph by Benjamin Nieves.  The Recording Place in Rocklin, California - 2019.

Alethea is also a performance pianist and is more than happy to perform at gigs.  In 2019, she was invited to become the inaugural Student Musician lounge pianist for UCLA's state-of-the-art Luskin Conference Center and the associated restaurant, Plateia.  She was also filmed by UCLA Housing for a feature story for UCLA Newsroom, and has been invited to perform at multiple gigs on campus, including at the Northwest Campus Auditorium.   She is actively looking for any internships or opportunities in the film music industry, and her resume is available upon request.

To contact Alethea directly, please send an email to

music is life itself
(Louis Armstrong)

my music

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