Composing with the big dogs

UVSC student Nate Drew is well on his way to fulfilling his dreams. The 27-year-old music major has been chasing his love of music since the age of two, when he began mimicking his mother on the piano.

He has studied at UCLA and the University of Utah, and his impressive credentials landed him a weeklong internship with the great James Newton Howard, a composer who has written scores for dozens of huge blockbuster films including The Fugitive, The Sixth Sense and Blood Diamond.
Howard’s talent and credentials place him alongside icons like John Williams and Hans Zimmer.

Howard began his impressive career at the young age of 24 with the household name Elton John, who noticed Howard’s talent and solicited his skill for a handful of his albums in the ’70s and ’80s.

Drew’s credentials put him on the top of the list for the coveted internship that five other aspiring young composers received, most of which were from Utah.

Drew scored 100 percent on the resume required for the position. Howard is so well established that "his fellow composers are jealous because of the people James has working for him," Nate said. "We saw Hollywood’s A-list orchestra put James’s brilliance in action."

At the age of 15, Drew realized his true passion and began composing scores for movies. The thirst for his dreams took a break for a brief moment recently when he witnessed Howard’s brilliance in full effect.

"There was one night he sat down with us and showed us how he composed every note for over an hour," Drew said. "It was amazing."

Drew has steadily been soaking up knowledge and tips since he was 15, as well as gathering the necessary professional equipment to perfect his sound.

"A couple years ago, I received a good sum of money for some of my work, and I put all back into equipment to better my sound," Nate said.

UVSC’s talented music major learned intricate and valuable details on his weeklong internship with one of the greatest cinematic composers of our generation.

Howard and his crew of the most talented musicians in Hollywood were working on the score for the forthcoming Will Smith flick, I Am Legend.

Drew was lucky enough to see the first-hand skill of Howard at his best, and his ability to speedily produce brilliant music to big-budget movies.

"The night, before we got there, he was asked to change 10 minutes of orchestral music; and he stayed up all night, not only fixing it, but making it perfect," Drew said.

After his internship, Drew came to the realization that his dreams are within reach. "I’m in a position to do what I’ve been pursuing all my life; in fact, it’s not very far off."

Drew is close to his degree and is on the fast track to fulfilling his dream of providing the musical scores for major motion pictures.

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