Last night, the Television Academy presented its second live concert, Words + Music – A Concert Celebrating Music Written for Television. The event, which celebrated the importance of original songs and scores in television and was conceived and organized by Television Academy Music Governor Michael A. Levine, music director Rickey Minor and produced by Ben Carter, took place at the Saban Media Center’s Wolf Theatre at the Television Academy’s campus in North Hollywood. Mark Watters conducted several performances throughout the evening. 

Sean Callery performing his theme from ‘Homeland’

Among the featured composers were multiple Emmy Award winner Sean Callery who was introduced by Homeland showrunner Alex Gansa and conducted a piece from his score from ABC’s Designated Survivor and played the piano in a performance of his theme from Showtime’s Homeland. Also attending the concert were Adrian Younge and Ali Shaheed Muhammad for a performance of their music from Marvel’s Netflix series Luke Cage, Pedro Bromfman who played the guitar in a performance his score from Netflix’s Narcos (which was given an intro by actor Wagner Moura via a video recording), David Buckley who introduced a suite of his music from The Good Wife spin-off The Good Fight, and Kurt Farquhar whose music for Freeform’s Stitchers and a song from Real Husbands of Hollywood were featured on the program.

Mac Quayle performing his score from ‘Feud: Bette and Joan’

Other highlights included composer Mac Quayle playing the keyboards/piano in a performance of his music from FX’s Feud: Bette and Joan, before he moved to a computer to perform his electronic score from USA’s Mr. Robot, for which he received his first Emmy Award last year. Actress Rachel Keller introduced composer Jeff Russo who conducted a medley of his scores for HBO’s The Night Of and FX’s Legion, as well as Fargo, for which he was honored with two Emmy Award nominations in 2014 and 2016 and which just finished its third season run. Academy Award-nominated actress Gabourey Sidibe talked about her work on Empire before singer/actor Jussie Smollett came to the stage to perform a song from the Fox hit series.

Siddhartha Khosla performing the song ‘We Can Always Come Back to This’ from ‘This Is Us’

Other talent attending the event included actress Jurnee Smollett-Bell who gave an introduction to composers Laura Karpman Raphael Saadiq and singer/songwriter Laura Stinson for a performance of the score and a song from WGN America’s Underground and Meshell Ndegeocello performed her theme from OWN’s Queen Sugar. Golden Globe-nominated actress Chrissy Metz made an appearance at the concert to introduce the music from NBC’s This Is Us, the highest-rated new show this past TV season, and composer Siddhartha Khosla who performed the series end titles theme before he was joined on stage by Chris Pierce to perform the original song We Can Always Come Back to This from the episode Memphis, which earned them a standing ovation.

John Debney & Rickey Minor performing Debney’s music from ‘Bonnie & Clyde’

Kevin Murphy, showrunner of AMC’s The Son, introduced composer Nathan Barr whose music from the show was performed before the composer came on stage to play a prepared piano himself in a performance of his music from the drama and FX’s The Americans. The program concluded with a performance of John Debney‘s music from Bonnie & Clyde (with the composer himself on guitar) and the Netflix original series Santa Clarita Diet, which was accompanied by two dancers and introduced by the comedy’s executive producer Tracy Katsky Boomer.

Nathan Barr performing music from ‘The Son’ & ‘The Americans’

Jeff Russo conducting his scores for ‘Fargo’, ‘Legion’ & ‘The Night Of’