We were incorporated in 1975 after a bequest from the estate of Jack Norworth, writer of "Take Me Out to the Ballgame.” We’ve been supporting the music creators of tomorrow ever since.
The ASCAP Foundation Board of Directors
President / songwriter, performer and actor
A lyricist and composer, Paul Williams has won an Oscar Award, three Grammy Awards, two Golden Globe Awards and induction into the Songwriters Hall of Fame. “The Rainbow Connection” and “Evergreen” grace the American Film Institute’s List of Top Movie Songs of All Time. His hits have remained wonderfully diverse, from “We’ve Only Just Begun” and “You and Me Against the World,” to “Beyond” and “Touch” on Daft Punk’s chart-topping, Album of the Year Random Access Memories. Williams’s songs have also been recorded by such diverse musical icons as Ray Charles, David Bowie, Tony Bennett, The Carpenters, Elvis Presley, Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald, Diana Ross, Willie Nelson and Gonzo. His song scores include The Muppet Movie and The Muppet Christmas Carol, Bugsy Malone, Ishtar, Emmet Otter’s Jugband Christmas and Phantom of the Paradise. Writing with Gustavo Santaolalla for the animated film, The Book of Life, Williams received a World Soundtrack Award for their “Apology Song." He has also acted in dozens of films and on television, most recently with Billy Bob Thornton on Goliath. As President and Chairman of the Board of the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP), Paul Williams is also a leading spokesman for music creators in the digital age.
Irwin Z. Robinson
Vice President / music publisher
Irwin Z. Robinson is Vice President, Industry Affairs for Cromwell Music. Headquartered in New York, Robinson formerly served as Chairman of Paramount Allegra Music, the worldwide music publishing division of Viacom's Paramount Pictures. Prior to Paramount Allegra, Robinson served as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Famous Music Publishing. At Famous, Robinson's mandate was to grow the company domestically and internationally. Within eight years, Famous had moved solidly into the mainstream of contemporary music by streamlining and modernizing its operations, dramatically expanding its catalogue and activities and moving aggressively into the global arena. When Viacom sold Famous to Sony/ATV in 2007, it was ranked as one of the industry's top 10 companies.
Before leading Famous, Robinson headed two of the industry's leading international music publishing companies - the Chappell/Intersong Music Group-USA and EMI Music Publishing Worldwide. He was appointed President of the legendary Chappell/Intersong in 1977, serving concurrently as Senior Vice President of parent company Chappell and Company, Inc., starting in 1985. After the merger of Chappell and Warner Bros. Music in 1987, he was asked to re-join EMI and was named President and Chief Executive of EMI Music Publishing Worldwide.
Robinson was admitted to the New York State Bar in 1962. In 1964, he joined Screen Gems-Columbia Music as House Counsel and subsequently became Vice President and General Manager. Robinson held that position following EMI's purchase and consolidation of the company into Screen Gems-EMI Music, Inc.
As one of the music publishing industry's most dynamic and innovative leaders, Robinson was honored with the prestigious Abe Olman Publisher Award for lifetime achievement in music publishing at the 29th Annual Songwriters' Hall of Fame Awards Dinner and Induction Ceremony on June 10, 1998. He is presently Chairman of the Board of the National Music Publishers Assocation and the Harry Fox Agency. He is a member of the ASCAP Board of Directors and serves on the Executive Committee of both ASCAP and NMPA. Robinson is also on the Board of the Songwriters Hall Of Fame and has served as a trustee of the U.S. Copyright Society.
Treasurer / songwriter and music publisher
From the rock revolution to the digital revolution, Dean Kay has successfully participated in the music industry as both a creator and businessperson.
Kay has been at the helm of some of the most highly respected and forward thinking music publishing companies in the world, first as COO of the Welk Music Group, a major independent company, then as President/CEO of the US division of the PolyGram International Publishing Group and now as President/CEO of his own precedent-setting venture, Lichelle Music Company, Kay's platform for reinventing the music publishing business and forging a new set of parameters designed to become the industry standards in the digital age.
Prior to his involvement in publishing, he was a successful songwriter, having had hundreds of his compositions recorded, including "That's Life" by Frank Sinatra. He was also a recording artist for RCA Records, appeared daily as a featured entertainer on the nationally televised Tennessee Ernie Ford Show, performed live across the nation and produced dozens of phonograph records and radio and television commercials.
Throughout his career, Kay has nurtured the careers of scores of songwriters, recording artists and music industry executives. Along the way he has been the chief caretaker of the creative treasures of a diverse group of musical geniuses including Jerome Kern, Richard Rodgers, Oscar Hammerstein II, Cole Porter, Elton John, Bernie Taupin, Johnny Horton, Don Williams, Ricky Skaggs and Rick Springfield to name a few.
For the past several years, he has immersed himself in the workings of the Internet with the intent of using his rich experience in the traditional music industry to create a bridge between the industry's past and its future. Today, Kay is a sought after speaker, consultant and advisor regarding the use of music in the Internet space while simultaneously utilizing the ever expanding array of new technologies to enhance the opportunities of his current client roster of talented creators.
Kay's influential daily news compilations chronicling music's transition into the digital age - The Dean's List and the ASCAP Daily Brief (powered by The Dean's List) - now reach over 170,000 subscribers, worldwide, every morning.
Kay has been a member of the Board of Directors of ASCAP since 1989 and currently serves on the board of The ASCAP Foundation. Throughout his career, he has served on many industry boards including the National Music Publishers Association (NMPA), the Country Music Association (CMA), the Academy of Country Music (ACM), the Association of Independent Music Publishers (AIMP) and the California Copyright Conference.
Secretary / Trustee, Henry Mancini Estate
As a native Angelina Ginny Mancini enjoyed a flourishing singing career, performing with Mel Tormé, the Mel-Tones and the Tex Beneke/Glenn Miller Orchestra before marrying composer/conductor Henry Mancini. As a long time supporter of the Southern California arts community, Mrs. Mancini is a Founding Member of the Henry Mancini Institute, Board Member of The ASCAP Foundation, Secretary of the Geffen Playhouse and Life Director of The Los Angeles Philharmonic, having chaired the three Opening Night Galas at the Walt Disney Concert Hall in 2003.
She is the past president of the Henry Mancini Institute, the Royce Center Circle UCLA Performing Arts, and SHARE.
She was recognized for her Outstanding Leadership (1998) by UCLA at the reopening of Royce Hall for her years of dedicated philanthropic service to the University. She was awarded the Class Act (1997) by the Los Angeles Unified School District benefiting the Friends of the School Volunteer Program, the City of Hope (1989) by the Sportsmen’s Club - City of Hope in recognition of her humanitarian spirit, the Angel Award (1988) by the International Society of Performing Arts Administrators for her untiring efforts on behalf of the arts, and the Mother of the Year (1983) by the Helping Hand of Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in recognition of her charitable work.
In 2012 Mrs. Mancini was presented with the Kaufman Center’s Distinguished Service Award in New York City and the Harmony Project recognized the entire Mancini Family for their work on behalf of music education.
Marilyn Bergman - Emeritus
Marilyn Bergman is the first woman elected to ASCAP's Board of Directors and elected by the Board as ASCAP's President and Chairman.
Her many honors include three Academy Awards, four Emmy Awards and two Grammy Awards. In collaboration with her husband, Alan, Marilyn won Oscars for the songs "The Windmills of Your Mind," "The Way We Were," (both also received Golden Globe awards, and "The Way We Were" earned two Grammys), and for the score for Yentl. They received 16 Oscar nominations for songs "It Might Be You" from Tootsie, "How Do You Keep The Music Playing?" from Best Friends, "Papa Can You Hear Me" and "The Way He Makes Me Feel" from Yentl and "What Are You Doing the Rest of Your Life?" from The Happy Ending. They were nominated for a Golden Globe and an Academy Award for their song "Moonlight" from Sabrina. The four Emmys were for Sybil, Queen of the Stardust Ballroom, Ordinary Miracles, and A Ticket to Dream. Television themes: Maude, Good Times, Alice, Brooklyn Bridge, and In the Heat of the Night. Principal collaborators include Michel Legrand, Marvin Hamlisch, Dave Grusin, Cy Coleman, Henry Mancini, Johnny Mandel, John Williams, Quincy Jones, and James Newton Howard.
Bergman majored in music at New York's LaGuardia High School of Music and Art, and studied Psychology and English at NYU. She has received Honorary Doctorate Degrees from Berklee College of Music, Trinity College and University of Massachusetts.
Bergman was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame and has received the Crystal Award from Women in Film; the National Academy of Songwriters Lifetime Achievement Award; the first Fiorello Lifetime Achievement Award from LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts. The Songwriters Hall of Fame honored the Bergmans with the Johnny Mercer Award. They received the NMPA Lifetime Achievement Award; the NARAS Governors Award; the World Soundtrack Award at the Flanders Film Festival and a Lifetime Achievement Award at the Savannah Film Festival. In 2009 Marilyn was given the Indie Award from the Association of Independent Music Publishers, and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences paid tribute to her and Alan with an evening of their films hosted by Quincy Jones.
Bergman is a member of the Executive Committee of the Music Branch of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the National Academy of Songwriters and the Nashville Songwriters Association. She served two terms as President of CISAC, the International Confederation of Performing Right Societies; has received France's highest cultural honor, Commander of the Order of Arts and Letters medal; a cultural Medal of Honor from SGAE, the Spanish performing rights organization; and was appointed the first Chairman of the National Recorded Sound Preservation Board of the Library of Congress.
The Bergmans are working on the revival of the musical Ballroom with music by Billy Goldenberg and new music by Marvin Hamlisch, set for a 2011 production starring Tyne Daly with direction and choreography by Jerry Mitchell. They are also preparing work on an animated film with Marvin Hamlisch.
Award-winning composer Charles Bernstein conducted his first original orchestral compositions at the age of 16. His long career in film scoring can be heard in many popular films and television shows, including Quentin Tarantino’s Inglourious Basterds and Kill Bill, Vol. 1 and scores for genre classics, A Nightmare on Elm Street (the original), The Entity, Stephen King's Cujo, the Dracula spoof Love at First Bite, along with a wide variety of Emmy-winning dramas, comedies, action films and Oscar-winning documentaries, numbering over 140 original film scores.
After studying composition at the Juilliard School in New York with Vittorio Giannini and Vincent Persichetti, Mr. Bernstein attended the University of California at Los Angeles, where he received an Outstanding Graduate of the College Award, a Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship and a Chancellor's Doctoral Teaching Fellowship while studying with renowned American composer Roy Harris.
Mr. Bernstein has served as a Music Governor of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences since 1995, and he has also served as the Academy’s Vice President. He sits on the ASCAP Foundation Board and the ASCAP Board of Review, and is a founding and Advisory Board member and current Vice President of the Society of Composers & Lyricists.
As an author, Charles Bernstein has received the coveted Deems Taylor Award for his writings on music, and has published over 110 essays on film music, many of which can be found in his two books, Film Music and Everything Else and Movie Music: An Insider’s View, and will soon be available in a volume of 110 collected essays.
Best known for his many film and television scores, Bruce Broughton is the composer of classic soundtracks such as Silverado, Tombstone, The Rescuers Down Under, The Presidio, Miracle on 34th Street, the Homeward Bound adventures and Lost in Space. His television themes include JAG, Steven Spielberg’s Tiny Toon Adventures and Dinosaurs. His scores for television range from mini-series like Roughing It and The Blue and Gray to TV movies (Warm Springs, O Pioneers!) and countless episodes of television series such as Dallas, Quincy, Hawaii Five-O and How the West Was Won. With 23 nominations, he has won a record ten Emmy awards. His score to Silverado was Oscar-nominated, and his score to Young Sherlock Holmes was nominated for a Grammy. His music has accompanied many of the Disney theme park attractions throughout the world, including the recent Soarin’ Around the World. His score for Heart of Darkness was the first recorded orchestral score for a video game. Earlier in the year he recently arranged and recorded an album of songs with the multi-talented Seth MacFarlane and composed the theme to MacFarlane’s The Orville. As a concert composer, ensembles such as the Cleveland Orchestra, the Chicago Symphony, the National Symphony and the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra have performed his works. His works for wind ensembles, bands and chamber groups are performed and recorded throughout the world.
He is a Board member of ASCAP, a former governor of both the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, as well as a past president and founding member of the Society of Composers & Lyricists.
Co-Trustee, Sammy Cahn Estate
Tita Cahn is the wife of legendary lyricist Sammy Cahn. Tita works to enhance and manage the Sammy Cahn Estate's legacy (which is considered to be one of the top five “standard” catalogs in the world). For the past 26 years, The ASCAP Foundation has honored the life and career of the late lyricist and former ASCAP Board member with The ASCAP Foundation Sammy Cahn Award given to a promising lyricist. This is made possible due to the generosity of Tita Cahn.
For nearly three decades, songwriter-producer Desmond Child has reigned as one of music's most successful creative forces. His accolades include Grammy awards, over 70 Top 40 singles and songs that have sold more than 300 million albums worldwide. Child's career has been highlighted by a stunning array of diversity. His collaborations run the gamut: from Bon Jovi and Aerosmith to Ricky Martin, from KISS to Kelly Clarkson, from Cher to Katy Perry.
Child’s experience as a recording artist played a role in his songwriting future. His songs caught the ear of KISS guitarist Paul Stanley. The result was “I Was Made for Lovin’ You,” which is still one of the biggest hits in the KISS catalog. Stanley then passed Child's phone number to New Jersey rockers Jon Bon Jovi and Richie Sambora. The three ended up in the basement of Sambora's parents' house, where they penned Bon Jovi's first #1 single, “You Give Love a Bad Name.” The collaborations continued with more chart-toppers like “Livin’ on a Prayer” and “Bad Medicine.” Child soon began duplicating the feat with Aerosmith – “Dude (Looks Like a Lady),” “Angel” and “Crazy,” among others. During the same period, he co-wrote Joan Jett's “I Hate Myself for Loving You” and all of the tracks on Alice Cooper's Trash LP (including the hit single “Poison”).
Child began branching out, co-penning songs with Michael Bolton, Cher and more. In the late '90s, Child returned to his Latin heritage via collaborations with Ricky Martin, including the #1 smash “Livin' La Vida Loca” and the 1998 World Cup Theme “The Cup of Life,” which hit #1 in 22 countries around the world. Child and Martin recently had another high charting album with Música + Alma + Sexo. Other recent projects include: Kelly Clarkson, Carrie Underwood, Selena Gomez, Katy Perry and new artists De La Torre and The Hummous. Desmond Child was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2008 and serves on its Board.
Photo by Garrett Mills
Dan Foliart’s music has been indelibly etched on the landscape of network television, as he celebrates his 35th consecutive year in the profession. Currently, he is serving his fourth term on the ASCAP Board of Directors. He recently ended his service as president of the Society of Composers & Lyricists after serving that organization for five terms over ten years. He believes that the relationships that he has nurtured through meetings with members of Congress, as well as friendships that he has fostered with his colleagues here and around the world, will be valuable components that he will continue to bring to the ASCAP Board.
Last year found Foliart working with comedian George Lopez’s on his series Saint George that aired on the FX network. Included among his recent projects are ABC Family’s successful series, The Secret Life of the American Teenager and the eleven year run of 7th Heaven, for the WB. Along with Emmy nominations, Foliart has garnered 34 ASCAP Film and Television Awards, including 16 in the Most Performed Theme category.
Of the 50-plus series he has composed for, many continue to air both in syndication and internationally. Beginning at Paramount Studios with then partner Howard Pearl, Foliart started an extended run that included such favorites as Happy Days, Laverne and Shirley, Angie, Bosom Buddies, Joanie Loves Chachi, and cable’s first series, Brothers. Other series that he has composed for include Home Improvement, Roseanne, Beverly Hills 90210, 9 to 5, Guns of Paradise, Island Son, Carol and Company, Soul Man, Burke’s Law, Malibu Shores and 8 Simple Rules.
Growing up in Oklahoma City, he was proud to have his symphonic work Oklahoma Trilogy performed as part of the state’s centennial celebration. While enrolled at Amherst College, where he received his BA degree, he had the opportunity to write the song score for GD Spradlin’s film The Only Way Home. The songs were co-written with celebrated Nashville songwriter Tom Shapiro, with whom he penned over 100 more.
Passionate about recognizing the heritage of his chosen field, Foliart was responsible for instigating the Society of Composers & Lyricists Ambassador program, which has honored numerous legends in the music profession over the years. He has served for eleven years on the ASCAP Foundation Board, four years on the ASCAP Nominating Committee, ten years on the Television Academy’s Music Peer Committee and sits on the Advisory Board of the Hollywood Symphony and the Film Music Society. He has lectured at NYU, Tulsa University, Columbia, USC, the California Copyright Conference and European Film Music Days in Paris. In 2013, he and Arthur Hamilton were featured in the opening reception of the annual Festival of Books at the Library of Congress, performing Read All About It, a song they wrote that encourages children to read books. In 2011, also at the Library of Congress, he performed his television themes at ASCAP’s prestigious We Write the Songs event.
Foliart lives in La Crescenta, California with his wife, Cheryl, and has two children, Matt and Lauren.
Composer and Lyricist
Arthur Hamilton is a songwriter, composer, author and publisher, who has collaborated with some of the largest artists in the industry including Diana Krall, Peggy King, Ray Charles and Barbra Streisand. Hamilton is best known for writing the legendary hit song “Cry Me a River” recorded by Ella Fitzgerald and later and famously Julie London. His compositions have been national hits, getting him nominated for multiple awards including the Oscars, the Emmys and the Golden Globes. Hamilton also broke barriers by writing the stage score for what is considered to be the first live television musical, What a Day for KTTV in 1949.
James M. Kendrick
Trained as an oboist at the Manhattan School of Music and The Juilliard School, Jim Kendrick began his publishing career in 1977 helping to establish European American Music (EAM) before studying law. Following graduation from Rutgers Law School in 1983, he specialized in intellectual property matters with a particular emphasis on the music and audio-visual industries. In addition to practicing law, Kendrick has also served as Chief Executive Officer of Boosey & Hawkes, Inc. He rejoined EAM in March 2002.
Kendrick became a director of ASCAP in 2007 and was named Treasurer in 2008.
Kendrick is also Secretary and a Director of The Aaron Copland Fund for Music, Inc., The Amphion Foundation, Inc., the Virgil Thomson Foundation Ltd., The Koussevitzky Music Foundation and The Charles Ives Society, Inc. He also is a director of New Music USA and a member of the Advisory Committee of the Alice M. Ditson Fund. He is a member of the Executive Committee of The International Association of Entertainment Lawyers, and counsel to the Music Publishers Association of the United States and the American Academy of Arts and Letters. He is a frequent speaker on copyright and music industry business practices both in the US and overseas.
A historian of the American musical theater, ROBERT KIMBALL has known and worked with many of its great creators. He is the longtime artistic adviser to the Ira Gershwin and the Cole Porter estates. He has been a member of the advisory committee of New York City Center’s Encores! Great American Musicals in Concert series and a consultant on musical theater to the Library of Congress and the Packard Humanities Institute’s musical theater recording project. He was a consultant to and participant in the Chicago Humanities Festival for 12 years. From 2008-2011, he served as a Tony Awards nominator.
He has edited or co-edited six books in Knopf’s Complete Lyrics series: Cole Porter; Lorenz Hart, Ira Gershwin, Irving Berlin, Frank Loesser, and Johnny Mercer. He was the editor of two volumes in the Library of America’s American Poets Project: Cole Porter: Selected Lyrics and Ira Gershwin: Selected Lyrics. His other books include Cole; The Gershwins; Reminiscing with Sissle and Blake, and Reading Lyrics.
He was the artistic director of six programs on the popular Lyrics and Lyricists series at New York City’s 92nd Street Y: “Serenade in Blue: A Celebration of the Songs of Mack Gordon”; “Johnny Mercer at the Movies”; “Say It With Music: The Songs of Irving Berlin”; “Sunny Side Up: Roaring Through the Twenties With DeSylva, Brown & Henderson”; “Makin’ Whoopee: Walter Donaldson, Gus Kahn and the Jazz Age”; and “Sweepin’ the Clouds Away: Boom, Bust and High Spirits.”
Born in New York City in 1939, he is a graduate of Yale College and Yale Law School. After a year as a Carnegie Teaching Fellow in American History at Yale, he became the Legislative Assistant to Representative John V. Lindsay of New York, and then served as Director of the Republican Legislative Research Association, an organization established by Charles Taft and Alfred Landon to assist Republican Congressmen in the deliberations on civil rights legislation during the presidencies of John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson. As a principal aide to the House Republican leaders, he was one of the architects of the key bipartisan compromise of October 1963 that led to passage of the landmark Civil Rights Act of 1964. After graduation from the Yale Law School, he pursued his long-standing interest in the American musical theatre when he was appointed Curator of Yale University’s Collection of the Literature of the American Musical Theatre. He held that position from 1967 to 1971, and during his tenure began to write extensively about the American musical.
He has lectured on the history of American musical theater at Yale, New York University, Brooklyn College of the City University of New York, and the Manhattan School of Music. He was a music and dance reviewer for the New York Post from 1973 to 1986, and the newspaper’s chief classical music critic from 1986 to 1988.
In 1987, he received a Drama Desk Award for his rediscovery of lost musical-theater manuscripts at the Warner Bros. Secaucus, New Jersey warehouse, including more than 200 manuscripts of Jerome Kern, among them songs from Show Boat. In 1992 he was nominated for two Grammy Awards for his work on the Indiana Historical Society’s comprehensive reissue project of Cole Porter recordings. He appeared as a commentator on the 2004 PBS series Broadway: The American Musical.
Composer and Conductor
Tania León (b. Havana, Cuba) is highly regarded as a composer, conductor, educator and advisor to arts organizations.
Recent commissions include works for New York Philharmonic, Los Angeles Philharmonic, NDR Symphony Orchestra, Grossman Ensemble, International Contemporary Ensemble, and pianist Ursula Oppens with Cassatt String Quartet. Appearances as guest conductor include Philharmonic Orchestra of Marseille, Gewandhausorchester, Orquesta Sinfonica de Guanajuato, and Orquesta Sinfónica de Cuba.
Upcoming premieres feature commissions for the NewMusic USA Amplifying Voices Program, the League of American Orchestras in honor of Jesse Rosen, The Musical Fund Society in Philadelphia to celebrate their 200th anniversary, and for The Crossing chamber choir with Claire Chase, flutist, among others.
A founding member of the Dance Theatre of Harlem, León instituted the Brooklyn Philharmonic Community Concert Series, co-founded the American Composers Orchestra’s Sonidos de las Américas Festivals, was New Music Advisor to the New York Philharmonic, and is the founder/Artistic Director of the nonprofit and festival Composers Now.
Her honors include the New York Governor’s Lifetime Achievement, awards from the American Academy of Arts and Letters and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the ASCAP Victor Herbert Award, among others. She also received a proclamation for Composers Now by New York City Mayor, and the MadWoman Festival Award in Music (Spain). Tania León serves as an honorary chair for the Songwriters & Composers Wing newly established by The Recording Academy®.
León has received Honorary Doctorate Degrees from Colgate University, Oberlin and SUNY Purchase College, and served as U.S. Artistic Ambassador of American Culture in Madrid, Spain. A CUNY Professor Emerita, she was awarded a 2018 United States Artists Fellowship.
Photo by Michael Provost
Michelle Lewis is a fierce New Yorker now based in LA, where she is a singer, songwriter, composer, and music creators’ rights advocate. From her early career as a recording artist signed to Irving Azoff’s Giant Records, to her first radio hit, Cher’s “A Different Kind of Love Song” in 2002, to the 2014 worldwide #1 single “Wings” by the British girl group Little Mix, Ms. Lewis brings authenticity, grit, and heart to a diverse array of music projects.
For the last decade, Ms. Lewis has branched out into the world of songwriting for TV and film projects, most notably as a Peabody Award-winning composer of all original music for Disney Jr.’s hit show, Doc McStuffins, now beginning production of its 5th season. She also received her first Emmy nomination in 2016 for her work as a composer on the Nickelodeon show, Bubble Guppies, and has composed the theme songs to many other beloved animated series.
In 2014, Ms. Lewis co-founded the non-profit Songwriters Of North America (SONA). As Executive Director of SONA, she is deeply connected to the music creator community and is committed to growing the number of informed songwriters and composers able to advocate on their own behalves. She regularly communicates with leaders from Silicon Valley to Washington DC, fighting for the protection of songwriters and the value of musical works in the digital age. She is not afraid of taking action - SONA is the songwriter organization that sued the Department of Justice over its 100% licensing ruling in 2016.
Composer and Author
James McBride is a National Award-winning author and accomplished composer/musician best known for his two-year New York Times bestselling American memoir The Color of Water (1966). McBride was awarded the National Humanities Medal by President Obama in 2015 “for humanizing the complexities of discussing race in America.” He is currently serving as a Distinguished Writer in Residence at New York University.
McBride’s work has gotten him recognized by some of the most prestigious names. His debut novel Miracle at St. Anna was turned into an Oscar-winning film directed by Spike Lee. More recently, his new novel Deacon King Kong was featured as an Oprah’s Book Club Pick and earned him the National Book Award. His 2013 National Book Award for Fiction novel The Good Lord Bird about American abolitionist John Brown was turned into a highly regarded Showtime mini-series featuring Ethan Hawke in Fall 2020.
Branding, Partnership Strategy and Development
Roger McNulty is a seasoned executive with over 20 years of experience in media and social causes. Roger’s past experiences at companies such as Australia’s first digital media agency Emitch and the CEO of his enterprise, The Buzz Factory, have given him a unique global perspective that ultimately led him to his current path. McNulty has dedicated his time to various social causes by using his media experience to promote important causes that deserve to be heard or thought of in a new way. Organizations McNulty has successfully grown include The National Trust, HWNS and Uniting Care Burnside.
Composer and Musician
Marcus Miller is a composer, producer, arranger and world renowned jazz bass guitarist. He is also a two-time Grammy winner. Over the past 30 years, his name has appeared on album credits for some of the world’s most respected and accomplished artists.
Marcus was born in 1959 and raised in a musical family that included his father, William H. Miller and the late great jazz pianist Wynton Kelly. At an early age, Marcus was more than proficient on clarinet, piano and bass guitar and by 17 he was playing and composing music for jazz flutist Bobby Humphrey and keyboardist Lonnie Liston Smith. In 1982, Marcus began collaborating with the late great R&B singer Luther Vandross and by 23 years old, he found himself with his first #1 tune: “Jump to It,” performed by Aretha Franklin. The single became Aretha’s biggest pop hit since 1974, was nominated for a Grammy and held the #1 spot on Billboard’s Hot Soul Singles chart for four consecutive weeks.
Marcus contributed to well over half of Luther’s albums as a producer, composer and performer. Their songwriting/ producing partnership lasted well over 15 years and was capped by the hit single “Power of Love/Love Power” which won the Grammy for Best Rhythm & Blues song in 1991.
Marcus also composed, arranged and produced songs for numerous jazz artists including George Benson, Joe Sample, David Sanborn and Bob James. Notably, Marcus was the last primary collaborator for jazz legend Miles Davis, contributing the composition and album Tutu to the canon of contemporary jazz music. Marcus composed and arranged all but two songs on the album and co-produced the album with musical producing legend Tommy Lipuma. Miles received the 1987 Best Jazz Instrumental Performance, Soloist Grammy award for Tutu.
The 1980 David Sanborn album Hideaway and its followup Voyeur were also Marcus Miller projects. Sanborn won a Grammy performing Marcus’s composition “All I Need Is You.” Through his work with Sanborn, Marcus laid out the blueprint for the often-copied contemporary jazz sounds of today.
Marcus also has more than 200 film and television credits as a musician and composer. He rose from writing the gogo mega-hit “The Butt” for Spike Lee’s 1988 film School Daze to becoming the go-to composer for 20+ films. His film scores include the Eddie Murphy/Halle Berry 1992 classic Boomerang, Two Can Play That Game (2001), This Christmas (2007), the Chris Rock documentary Good Hair (2009) and most recently About Last Night (2014). Marcus also supplied the music for the successful TV series Everybody Hates Chris currently in syndication.
Marcus has also maintained a successful solo career. He is the composer/producer/arranger and performer of ten critically acclaimed solo albums. In 2001, he won the Grammy for best Contemporary Jazz Album with his album M2.
In July 2013, Marcus was appointed to be a UNESCO Artist for Peace and currently serves as the worldwide spokesperson for the UNESCO Slave Routes project. He is currently working on his ninth solo album, Afrodezzia, to be released in early 2015.
Executive Director, Latin Songwriters Hall of Fame
Betsy Pérez is the Executive Director / Senior Vice President of the Latin Songwriters Hall of Fame. She joined LSHOF upon its founding nine years ago and since then has spearheaded its commitment to preserving and celebrating the legacy of the world’s greatest Latin songwriters and encouraging the development of future generations of songwriters.
Dedicated to community service, Pérez ran for Miami Beach City Commission and now serves on the Mayors Steering Committee. She is also Chair of Sister Cities International in Miami Beach and serves on the Board of the Animal Welfare Society of South Florida, overseeing a multi-million-dollar budget. For the COVID-19 pandemic, Pérez launched “Thank You Thursdays” to procure donations to feed the City of Miami Beach Police, raising over $20,000 to show support for those who risk their lives to protect the safety of others.
Executive Director Emeritus, Goodspeed Musicals
Michael P. Price is a renowned artistic director in the theatre world, best known for his time as the Executive Director of Goodspeed Musicals from 1968 to 2014. During this time, Price produced over 235 classic and new musicals that landed him with 75 world premiere musicals, and 19 shows that transferred to broadway. Price’s productions have garnered 13 Tony Awards and 33 Tony nominations. Price has also accepted two special Tony Awards on behalf of Goodspeed Musicals for the accomplishments the company has achieved over his years there. In addition, Price was inducted into the theater hall of fame in 2019 for his work on legendary plays such as Annie (1977-1983), Man of La Mancha (1965-1971), and Shenandoah (1975-1977).
Geoffery Sargeant is a multi-award-winning wealth advisor, working as a senior advisor for Calamos. Sergeant was previously the senior vice president and wealth advisor for Neuberger Berman, where the team managed $1.8 billion in client assets. With over 18 years of experience, Sergeant has become a well-renowned wealth advisor. This has led him to be a leader within the financial services industry. He serves as President of the Estate Planning Council of New York City and the PFP® Board Counsel on Education. Geoff has been recognized as Private Asset Management Magazine’s Rising Star in 2013, along with various awards during his time at City National including Wealth Management MVP in 2008.
Composer and Lyricist
Stephen Schwartz wrote the music and lyrics for the current Broadway hit WICKED, and has also contributed music and/or lyrics to GODSPELL, PIPPIN, THE MAGIC SHOW, THE BAKER’S WIFE, WORKING (which he also adapted and directed), RAGS and CHILDREN OF EDEN. He collaborated with Leonard Bernstein on the English texts for Bernstein’s MASS and wrote the title song for the play and movie BUTTERFLIES ARE FREE. For children, he has written songs for two musicals, CAPTAIN LOUIE and MY SON PINOCCHIO. He has also worked in film, collaborating with Alan Menken on the songs for Disney’s ENCHANTED as well as the animated features POCAHONTAS and THE HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME, and writing the songs for the DreamWorks animated feature THE PRINCE OF EGYPT. Both HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME and PRINCE OF EGYPT have been adapted for the stage.
His first opera, SEANCE ON A WET AFTERNOON, was produced at Opera Santa Barbara and New York City Opera. A book about his career, Defying Gravity, has been released by Applause Books. Mr. Schwartz has been inducted into the Theatre Hall of Fame and the Songwriters Hall of Fame and has been given a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Awards include three Academy Awards, four Grammy Awards and the Isabelle Stevenson special Tony Award.
Composer and Music Publisher
Alex Shapiro’s extensive and diverse catalog is published by her company, Activist Music. Ms. Shapiro’s works are heard daily in performances and broadcasts across the U.S. and internationally, and can be found on over twenty commercially released CDs from around the world. In addition to her acoustic and electroacoustic chamber music, Alex is widely known for her groundbreaking electroacoustic pieces for symphonic wind band, and is considered a pioneer in the application of digital media in composition, and for innovative uses of social networks. Shapiro’s large ensemble works became exclusively distributed by Hal Leonard Corporation in 2013, when Activist Music created a print and digital contract unique in its approach to the realities of 21st century publishing.
Born and raised in Manhattan, Ms. Shapiro was educated at The Juilliard School and Manhattan School of Music as a student of Ursula Mamlok and John Corigliano. At 21, Alex moved to Los Angeles, where she composed scores for film and television projects for fifteen years before returning to concert music. Shapiro was among the earliest professionals using the internet’s reach to build a thriving international composing career, and was honored in 2011 by the national music fraternity Mu Phi Epsilon with its highest member distinction, the Award of Merit, for her inventive methods and her encouragement to colleagues.
Ms. Shapiro is a frequent festival composer and guest lecturer at universities, and has spoken at countless music events including six ASCAP EXPOs. For ten years, she was the popular moderator of the Los Angeles Composer Salons, interviewing over one hundred creators. The author of many articles on composing and new media, Shapiro was the sole artist invited to Washington, D.C. to testify in a 2009 Federal Communications Commission hearing on broadband access and digital rights.
A familiar advocate in the new music community, Shapiro is the past president of the American Composers Forum of Los Angeles, a former vice president of The Society of Composers & Lyricists, and has served on the boards of national organizations including The American Music Center and The MacDowell Colony. Joining ASCAP’s Symphonic & Concert Committee in 2009, with composers Stephen Paulus and Jennifer Higdon and attorney/publisher Jim Kendrick, Alex co-founded the U.S. touring series, The ASCAP Composer Career Workshops, presenting seminars on essential business skills. From 2010-2014 Shapiro was the elected concert music representative on the ASCAP Board of Review, and she chairs the Media Council for New Music USA.
Ms. Shapiro's activism extends beyond the arts, including three terms in the 1990s on the board of the American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California, serving as vice president of the 30,000-member affiliate. She is a board member of the University of Washington's marine science research facility, the Friday Harbor Laboratories.
In 2007, Alex moved from Malibu, California to Washington State's remote San Juan Island. An award-winning nature photographer, when not composing, Alex can be found communing with the sea life, seen on her website, www.alexshapiro.org, and her music and photo-filled blog, www.notesfromthekelp.com.
Songwriter, Performer, Producer
Valerie Simpson is half of the legendary songwriting/performing/producing duo Ashford and Simpson. The multi-Grammy-nominated duo have penned classics such as “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough,” “You’re All I Need to Get By,” “Reach Out and Touch Somebody’s Hand” and “I’m Every Woman.” The team was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2002, and received ASCAP’s highest honor, the Founders Award in 1996. Today Valerie runs the famous New York Westside Music Club and Restaurant The Sugar Bar, giving young musicians opportunities to perform. In 2019 Ashford & Simpson became the 11th songwriting team to receive the Recording Academy’s Trustees Award for their significant contributions to the music industry.
Doug Wood is a composer and music rights advocate. During his 16 years serving on the Board, Doug has established a reputation for knowledge and understanding of the ASCAP organization. He is writer Chairman of the Law and Licensing Committee, the Strategic Planning Committee, the Operations and Administration Committee and serves on the Finance and Survey & Distribution Committees.
Over the years, Doug has spent countless hours helping ASCAP members resolve their issues with the organization. Before his election to the Board, Doug founded the Professional Composers of America, a non-profit organization dedicated to educating young composers about the music business. He is the author of The Commercial Composers' Guide to Music Publishing and Licensing Agreements, as well as several feature articles on music copyright and licensing. He is a frequent guest lecturer and panel participant discussing media music, music licensing and the rights of composers and songwriters.
Since his election to the Board in 1999, Doug has earned great respect among writers, publishers, staff and colleagues for his unwavering dedication to the principles of common interest and fair distribution on which ASCAP was founded. Doug's industry knowledge and independence make him an important voice on issues that affect all writers. He has authored several proposals to prevent non-writers from taking writers' royalties, has fought against industry practices which infringe on the rights of writers and was an original architect of the ASCAP Bill of Rights for Songwriters and Composers.
Doug has written and produced music for hundreds of television programs and commercials, including Saturday Night Live, Dateline NBC, Conan O'Brien, promos for ABC, CBS, ESPN and NBC, national spots for Mercedes Benz, Coca Cola, Volkswagen, Verizon and scores of others. A classically-trained pianist and oboist, and composition major at Manhattan School of Music (as well as rock guitarist and band leader), Doug is the founder and CEO of the Omnimusic Libraries.
Doug and his wife Patti live in Port Washington, Long Island. They work together managing their music business and are also the founders of Grassroots Environmental Education (www.GrassrootsInfo.org), an award-winning environmental health non-profit recognized for its groundbreaking educational programs and documentary films.
The ASCAP Foundation team
Senior Program Manager
Manager, Donor Relations
Director of Finance & Administration