RMJC: HOLLYWOOD MAGIC – Billings Symphony Skip to content


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Sukin Series


Jun 14, 2025


Babcock Theatre

2810 2nd Ave N


Ever since Max Steiner scored 1933’s King Kong, music has become an integral part of the Hollywood experience, adding drama, wonder, scope, and excitement to film. Join Sukin Series favorite, Rocky Mountain Jazz Collective, as they perform their renditions from some of Tinseltown’s (and Disney’s) most magical films. 

  • During the silent era, film music was provided by each theater, either by phonograph or as performed live by flesh-and-blood musicians. In the latter case, either a pianist improvises to the film or a small ensemble of musicians performs a classical piece in the background as the film plays. But, once the ability to synchronize music and sound to celluloid became possible in 1929, music quickly became an integral aspect of the storytelling process.
  • Regarded as “The Father of Film Music” Max Steiner extensively uses leitmotif in his 1933 score for King Kong. Created by German operatic composer Richard Wagner, the leitmotif is a technique wherein specific instruments or musical themes are assigned to individual characters or events. In subsequent decades, the use of leitmotif has become ubiquitous in film music.
  • A Streetcar Named Desire features a hybrid symphonic-jazz score by composer Alex North. This is a major step forward for film music, moving Hollywood film scoring away from its prior, exclusively European sound.
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Guest artists

Scott Jeppesen is currently an Associate Professor of Music at Montana State University Billings, teaching Music Theory, Music History, Commercial Improvisation, Commercial Composition/Arranging, Jazz Combo, Music Business, and private lessons on saxophone, clarinet, and flute.

Scott is an alumnus of the University of Southern California, where he earned a Bachelor of Music (BM), Master of Music (MM), and Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA) degree in Jazz Studies.

Before accepting the position at MSUB, Scott lived in Los Angeles for seventeen years. During that time, he performed with many legendary artists, including Maria Schneider, Bobby McFerrin, Russell Ferrante, Burt Bacharach, Lalo Schifrin, Alan Pasqua, Bill Watrous, Shelly Berg, John Daversa, Manhattan Transfer, Stevie Wonder, Nancy Wilson, Artie Shaw, Bob Mintzer, Dave Brubeck, Natalie Cole, Louis Bellson, Al Jarreau, Steve Miller, Randy Brecker, and James Moody. Scott has composed and arranged for many different artists, including Steve Miller, Ramsey Lewis, Natalie Cole, Ruben Studdard, Dave Koz, Ledisi, Burt Bacharach, Monica Mancini, Scott Martin, and the PBS Tribute to Ella Fitzgerald, which aired in the spring of 2007.

In 2009, he cofounded Cultivating Creative Minds with his wife, Roxanne, which provides art instruction to elementary school-aged students throughout Santa Clarita, CA.

Scott has released two solo albums: "El Guapo (2013)" and "Wonders (2016)." An in-demand guest artist and clinician, Scott has performed for many colleges, high schools, and middle schools across the United States.

Since 2019, Scott has served as the musical director for the Rocky Mountain Jazz Collective. This ensemble aims to increase appreciation and awareness of jazz music through the performance of themed programs with cultural and historical significance to the history and development of American music. Since its formation, the RMJC has performed tributes to Henry Mancini, Frank Sinatra, Duke Ellington, Cole Porter, Blue Note Records, Oliver Nelson, and Sammy Nestico. In 2023, Scott arranged "Christmas on Broadway," a 100-minute-long holiday show for a big band, string orchestra, and Broadway vocalists Nicolas Dromard and Desirée Davaar. With Scott as guest conductor, the Billings Symphony Orchestra performed the show at the Alberta Bair Theater in December of 2023. Scott is writing ten new arrangements of Stevie Wonder's music, which the ensemble will perform in June 2024.

Scott is a D'Addario Performing Artist.