Oscar and three-time Emmy Award winning composer Bill Conti, who is also a graduate of the LSU School of Music, will serve as keynote speaker for the LSU College of Music & Dramatic Arts’ spring 2012 commencement exercises, according to an LSU news release.
The exercises are scheduled for noon on May 18 in the Bo Campbell Auditorium of the Cox Communications Academic Center for Student Athletes.
Conti wrote the Oscar-winning film score and the theme song “Gonna Fly Now” for the 1976 hit film “Rocky.”
One of Hollywood’s most sought-after composers and conductors for both film and television, Conti’s compositions have sold in excess of 8 million albums.
Conti’s relationship with the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences spans two decades, as he has been the musical director for 12 of the internationally televised annual Academy Award ceremonies, most recently in 1997. For six consecutive years, 1990-1995, he was nominated for an Emmy Award for Outstanding Individual Achievement in Music Direction for his work on the Academy Award shows.
Conti received a bassoon scholarship from LSU, where he majored in composition and played jazz piano at many of the local nightspots to help defray the costs of his education. While attending LSU, he held a variety of musical posts including first chair bassoon in the school symphony orchestra, the staff arranger for the university’s marching band and accompanist for the LSU Ballet Corps.