Stevens Point native and University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point music major Alexandria Mueller has always wanted to create emotional and inspiring scores for films.
“I truly believe in magic,” said the May 2013 graduate. “How else can you explain why hearing certain music can make you relive childhood memories, move you to tears or fill you with triumph — or why an ascending minor second makes you fear going near the ocean?”
Mueller is closer to her goal after receiving the third Melvin R. Laird Exceptional Artist Award, given annually to recognize an exceptional graduating UW-Stevens Point student in performing or visual arts. The award provides a $5,000 investment to help the recipient become a successful leading artist in his or her field.
Mueller will use the funds to attend a prestigious Film Scoring Program at the Seattle Film Institute this summer. Directed by Hummie Mann, the program is taught by professionals in the field. will enable her to further her studies and develop invaluable relationships and contacts beneficial in pursuing her career in film composition.
“My career goal is to compose music for the kind of films I am inspired by and create a total experience for the audience,” she said. “I want to ignite the audience’s imagination, help film transcend the level of mere entertainment and become a transformative experience.”
Established by the Hon. Melvin R. Laird and members of the Laird Endowment Advisory Board, the Exceptional Artist Award serves as a continued commitment to the Laird Art Leadership program associated with Laird Leadership Day. Laird was the former U.S. Secretary of Defense under President Nixon and Wisconsin's 7th Congressional District representative.
While studying at UW-Stevens Point, Mueller was consistently on the Dean’s List, volunteered with the Very Young Composers project and won many awards, including the Kenwood Symphony Composition prize and Wind Ensemble competition. She has also had three of her compositions published by Alliance Publications while an undergraduate.
After attending the Pacific Northwest Program, Mueller plans to begin work scoring student films and independent films, and apply for nationwide scoring competitions.
“The best advice I ever got about starting out was that composers don’t get jobs, they get gigs,” she said. “I imagine my career will be a mixture of commissions for concert music, teaching Suzuki violin and viola, arranging and composing for various media projects including film, video games and advertising.”