The UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music has received a gift of $100,000 to celebrate the life and artistry of film composer, conductor and orchestrator James Horner. Donated by his wife Sara Horner, the gift will allow the school to establish the James Horner Composition Endowed Scholarship and support undergraduate students pursuing a degree in music composition.
Horner came to UCLA to earn his master’s degree and studied with faculty member Paul Chihara in the 1970s before becoming one of Hollywood’s most melodic composers. Horner stayed at UCLA to teach music theory and went on to score more than 100 films for directors such as James Cameron, Mel Gibson and Ron Howard. Acclaimed for his orchestrations, Horner won two Academy Awards for scoring “Titanic” and co-writing that movie’s ballad, “My Heart Will Go On.” He also won 12 GRAMMY Awards for his film composition and scoring work between 1988 and 2011.
Sara made the gift to honor her late husband, and to recognize the importance of scholarship support in James’ own life. During his time as a graduate student, James received the Henry Mancini Scholarship Award to assist with the cost of his studies. He held a deep appreciation for the impact a scholarship can have on a student, and Sara, along with their daughter Emily, are proud to be able to pay it forward to support UCLA students in James’ memory.