Former Skidmore Professor Nominated for Oscar

Former Skidmore Professor Nominated for Oscar

(Photo taken from skidmore.edu)

Former Skidmore professor, Terence Blanchard, earned his first Oscar nomination for Best Original Music Score for his work on Spike Lee’s BlacKkKlansman. Blanchard wrote all the music used in BlacKkKlansman, and has worked with Lee on past films.

Blanchard is known as a professional trumpeter, music composer and educator. He has worked on many of Lee’s critically acclaimed ffilms. He started with Lee’s Do The Right Thing and has continued to work with the director since. Blanchard has also composed many of his own albums — six to be exact. Throughout his career, he has been nominated for fourteen Grammys and won six, from 1984 to 2019, winning a Grammy just last month for his work on "Blut Und Boden (Blood And Soil)" for BlacKkKlansman.


His work has been reported and reviewed on many main media outlets including PBS, NPR and Vanity Fair. A household name in the realm of jazz music, Blanchard composed the music for Lee’s 2004 HBO Hurricane Katrina documentary:  When the Levees Broke: A Requiem in Four Acts. The film hit close to home for Blanchard, as he grew up in New Orleans and his mother’s home had been destroyed in the catastrophe. He appears onscreen in the documentary with his mother, being interviewed about their first-hand experience with the hurricane.

Blanchard’s album for the movieA Tale of God's Will (A Requiem for Katrina),” was used as a learning tool for Skidmore’s incoming freshman class in 2008. This first-year class was provided with a copy of Blanchard’s album instead of a text, as it was traditionally done in previous years. Blanchard worked closely with the then-FYE director, Beau Breslin, to design classroom discussions and activities surrounding this unique assignment.

Blanchard had become a regular on the Skidmore campus by this time as he was holding the position of the McCormack Artist-Scholar-in-Residence and teaching classes in the music department. He returned in 2012 to give the commencement speech to the graduating class of 2008. Despite the fact that Blanchard’s residency here at Skidmore has ended, he is still well known and remembered fondly, especially within the music department.

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