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Winners of Silent Film Composer Contest Announced by Houston Public Media

Musicians to perform original scores at Discovery Green on November 14.

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Houston Public Media and Discovery Green today announced that Jaime Arroyo Jr. and Gerald Massoud, both of Houston, are the winners of the Houston Public Media Composer Contest. Designed to showcase the musical talents of Houston-area aspiring film composers, the contest judged submissions of original musical compositions scored for one of two designated silent film movie clips. In addition to each receiving a cash prize of $1,500, Arroyo and Massoud will have the opportunity to present their original winning musical scores live on Friday, Nov. 14, 2014 as part of Houston Public Media's Silent Film Concert Series at Discovery Green.

Arroyo, age 27, submitted a score for a clip from "The Boat," a silent film directed by Buster Keaton and Edward Cline. From a very young age Arroyo has had an interest in music. At age 14 he discovered his passion for the piano and upon devoting hours and hours of practice, he soon excelled. After graduating high school, Arroyo attended Mediatech Institute in Houston to study recording arts. Since then, he's been producing, programming, arranging and recording for national and local artists.

"I feel very thankful and blessed to be able to be a part of this," said Arroyo. "I joined this competition in hopes that I could share my love for film composing with others to help them understand how essential music is in a film." Arroyo added that he cannot wait to share this experience with his fellow Houstonians.

Massoud, age 30, submitted a score for a clip from "The Rink," a silent film directed by Charles Chaplin. An accomplished bassist, Massoud is currently working on his Doctor of Musical Arts at the University of Houston and holds a Master of Music from the University of Houston and music and business management degrees from the University of Arizona. Able to play any style of music from classical to jazz to country to hip-hop, Massoud started playing electric bass in high school and soon discovered a passion for the acoustic bass as well. He has studied and performed with many notable musicians. He is also working on music composition and his latest large work, Symphony No. 1, is a piece for symphony and jazz orchestra.

"Being a winner of the Houston Public Media Silent Film Composer Contest is the highlight of my year," said Massoud. "I am excited to showcase my ability to bring a new take on silent films. This is a great opportunity to give Houston a chance to rediscover the silent film genre. Many of the great film makers of the early 20th century, including Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keaton, are only an afterthought in our modern times."

Houston Public Media received a total of 29 entries for this first-time contest.

"It's our pleasure to recognize Jaime and Gerald for their originality and musical talent as the winners of our composer contest," said Lisa Trapani Shumate, executive director and general manager of Houston Public Media. "Houston Public Media is delighted to showcase these two promising Houston composers during our November silent film concert series presented with Discovery Green."

Judges for the competition included Graham Reynolds, the accomplished Austin-based composer who created the original score for "Bernie," and Jeffrey Mills, president and chairman of Documentary Alliance, a Houston-based nonprofit film, video and multimedia organization.

Houston Public Media's Silent Film Concert Series at Discovery Green is a popular free performance series that has been held at downtown Houston's premier urban park for the last four years. As part of their shared goal of making performance art accessible to the community, Houston Public Media and Discovery Green have partnered to give Houstonians an opportunity to experience silent films in a new way. During the film screening, live scores are performed by Texas musicians and composers, encouraging appreciation for the art of early film making and live music. The Houston Public Media Silent Film Concert Series at Discovery Green attracts an average audience of 1,000 attendees at each event.

The Houston Public Media Composer Contest and Silent Film Concert Series at Discovery Green are both generously supported by the John P. McGovern Foundation, a private philanthropic organization that supports the activities of nonprofit organizations.

To learn more about Houston Public Media's Silent Film Concert Series at Discovery Green, visit www.houstonpublicmedia.org/silentfilm.

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About Houston Public Media
Houston Public Media combines broadcast and digital assets to serve residents of Southeast Texas with a curated mix of trusted local news and entertainment with exceptional national programming from NPR and PBS. Houston Public Media is a public service from the University of Houston, its license holder, and is supported with financial gifts to the Houston Public Media Foundation. With a combined weekly audience of more than 1.5 million, Houston Public Media is committed to delivering content that expands minds and possibilities with trusted information. Connect on Facebook at facebook.com/houstonpublicmedia and Twitter at twitter.com/HoustonPubMedia.

About Discovery Green
Discovery Green is a 12-acre park created by a public-private partnership between the City of Houston and the non-profit Discovery Green Conservancy. Since the park opened in April 2008, it has welcomed more than 6 million visitors and hosted more than 2,000 public and private events. The Discovery Green Conservancy works with hundreds of programming partners to present three dynamic programming seasons each year most of which are FREE and open to the public. As a non-profit organization, the Conservancy raises all the funds needed for the programming that Houstonians enjoy.

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