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Musicians in the Industry: NEC Alumni Panel Discussion

Thursday, June 21 2018
7 p.m.
La Peer Hotel – Drawing Room
627 N La Peer Dr
West Hollywood, CA 90069

The music industry in Los Angeles is dynamic, diverse, and energetic – just like alumni of NEC. It takes a unique set of skills – entrepreneurship, collaboration, innovation – coupled with an unwavering creative passion to build a career in LA. In this panel discussion, we hear from a mix of NEC alumni who are finding success in the field and how they do it.

After the panel, guests will have the chance to network with our alumni in the industry over hors d’oeuvres, beer and wine.

    Panel featuring:

  • Stephanie Economou ’12, compositionComposer and violinist known primarily for her collaborative work with Golden-Globe nominated composer, Harry Gregson-Williams

  • Sean O’Loughlin ’97 MM, compositionPrincipal Pops Conductor of Symphoria and the Victoria Symphony (B.C.) whose writing and conducting collaborations include Josh Groban, Pentatonix, the Hollywood Bowl and the Boston Pops.

  • Chad Smith, NEC Trustee, ’95 Tufts/NEC, ’98 MM, vocal performance – COO of the Los Angeles Philharmonic.

  • Luciana Souza ’94 MM, jazz vocal performance – Grammy-winner, one of Jazz’s leading singers and interpreters.


Meet the Panelists

Stephanie Economou ’12


Stephanie Economou ’12 is a composer and violinist known primarily for her collaborative work with Golden-Globe nominated composer, Harry Gregson-Williams. Stephanie holds credits as additional composer, orchestrator, and music arranger on Ridley Scott's Oscar-winning film “The Martian”, Ben Affleck's "Live By Night", Niki Caro’s “The Zookeeper’s Wife”, Catherine Hardwicke's “Miss You Already”, and Rick Famuyiwa’s HBO drama “Confirmation”. Most recently, she has composed additional music for the Australian drama "Breath" directed by Simon Baker and Warner Bros. upcoming action film, “The Meg”. Stephanie has garnered professional experience as conductor and score reader at highly prestigious studios including Abbey Road Studios, Synchron Stage Vienna, Skywalker Sound, and Sony Pictures.

Originally from Long Island, New York, Stephanie received her Bachelor’s degree in Composition from the New England Conservatory of Music and Master’s in Composition for Visual Media from UCLA. As a recent alum of the Sundance Feature Film Composers Lab, Stephanie’s most rewarding undertakings have been her partnerships with independent filmmakers, which have granted her the rare opportunity to harness a myriad of genres simultaneously. Her experience in film scoring extends from drama to thriller to animation, which has demanded the synthesis of an electronic and acoustic musical palette. It is her uniquely hybridized compositional voice which has proven a valuable asset across various platforms of visual media, making her a highly sought after and diverse emerging composer.


Sean O’Loughlin ’97 MM


Sean O’Loughlin ’97 MM is the Principal Pops Conductor of Symphoria, the exciting new symphony orchestra in Syracuse, NY and the newly appointed Principal Pops Conductor of the Victoria Symphony in B.C., Canada.  His diverse background includes collaborations with some of the leading symphonies and popular artists of today. As a conductor, he has led performances with the Boston Pops Orchestra, the San Francisco Symphony, the Chicago Symphony, the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra, the Minnesota Orchestra, the National Arts Centre Orchestra, the Atlanta Symphony, the Dallas Symphony, the Houston Symphony, the Vancouver Symphony and the San Diego Symphony amongst others. He has served as conductor for symphony tours with Josh Groban, Sarah McLachlan, The Decemberists and the Jerry Garcia Symphonic Celebration. He has also appeared on Good Morning America and the PBS Special “Stages” with Josh Groban in addition to NBC's “A Very Pentatonix Christmas.”

As an arranger and composer, he has collaborated with such artists as Josh Groban, Sarah McLachlan, Steven Tyler and Joe Perry, Pentatonix, Kelly Clarkson, Journey, Diana Ross, Gladys Knight, Blue Man Group, Janelle Monáe, Audra McDonald, Hall and Oates, the Indigo Girls, The Go-Go's, Bonnie Raitt,  Pink Martini, Brandi Carlile, Weird Al Yankovic, Melissa Etheridge and others. Through his growing number of commissioned and published works, Sean is excited to continue contributing to the rich history of orchestral and wind band literature. His music is published by Carl Fischer and Hal Leonard. An annual ASCAP Special Awards winner, Sean was a composition fellow at the Henry Mancini Institute in Los Angeles, and holds composition degrees from New England Conservatory and Syracuse University.


Chad Smith ’95 Tufts/NEC, ’98 MM 


Chad Smith ’95 Tufts/NEC, ’98 MM is the Chief Operating Officer for the Los Angeles Philharmonic Association. Mr. Smith joined the Los Angeles Philharmonic Association in 2002, and became COO in 2015. As COO, he is responsible for the artistic oversight and coordination of the orchestra’s programming, as well as the organization’s strategic planning, production, orchestra operations, media and educational initiatives.  During his tenure, he has implemented an expansive vision of what an orchestra can be through a deep commitment to living composers, the development of multi-disciplinary collaborations, and thematic festivals that have positioned the Philharmonic at the center of the city’s cultural discourse. Committed to making classical music more inclusive, he has overseen the launch of many of the organization's defining educational programs, including YOLA, a program which has provided daily after-school music training to thousands of children in several of LA's most underserved communities. Mr. Smith began his career in 2000 at the New World Symphony, working closely with conductor Michael Tilson Thomas. Mr. Smith received his B.M. in Vocal Performance and his B.A. in European History in 1995 through the NEC/Tufts Dual degree program and also received his M.M. in 1998 in Vocal Performance from NEC.  Smith currently serves on the Executive Committee of the Avery Fisher Prize, as well as on the Advisory Board for the Music Academy of the West.

 Luciana Souza ’94 MM


Grammy winner Luciana Souza ’94 MM is one of Jazz’s leading singers and interpreters.  Born in São Paulo, Brazil, Ms. Souza’s work transcends traditional boundaries around musical styles.  Ms. Souza has performed and recorded with Herbie Hancock, Paul Simon, James Taylor, Bobby McFerrin, Maria Schneider, Danilo Perez, Guillermo Klein, John Patitucci, and many others.  She has been a prominent soloist in important new works by composers Osvaldo Golijov, Derek Bermel and Patrick Zimmeri, performing with the New York Philharmonic, the Atlanta Symphony, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra and the American Composers Orchestra.   Last Fall saw Ms. Souza premiering a new and important work - The Blue Hour - with the contemporary chamber orchestra, A Far Cry. The work is a setting of a poem by Carolyn Forché, by five of the most important female classical composers of our time - Rachel Grimes, Angelica Negron, Shara Nova, Caroline Shaw, and Sarah Kirkland Snider.  Ms. Souza has been releasing acclaimed recordings since 2002 - including her six Grammy- nominated records Brazilian Duos, North and South, Duos II, Tide, Duos III, and The Book of Chet.

Ms. Souza began her recording career at age three with a radio commercial.  She spent four years on faculty at Berklee College of Music, where she received a Bachelor's in Jazz Composition.  Ms. Souza earned a Master's degree in Jazz Studies from the New England Conservatory of Music and taught for four years at Manhattan School of Music.  Ms. Souza has twice been named Best Female Jazz Singer by the Jazz Journalists Association, in 2005 and 2013. In August, Ms. Souza will release her ninth recording for the Sunnyside label, The Book of Longing, her settings of poems by Emily Dickinson, Edna St. Vincent Millay, Christina Rossetti, and Leonard Cohen.