Bend composer and Central Oregon Symphony member Chris Thomas has won the Hollywood Music in Media Award for Outstanding Original Score for the live action short film ”Imagine Symphony Live.” Set in Oregon, the film was produced and directed by Evan Sigvaldsen, also a cellist in the Symphony, and tells the story of a child who finds himself in a natural wonderland while watching an orchestra performance. It features Central Oregon Symphony musicians, including Thomas, conducted by Michael Gesme.
According to hmmawards.com, it’s “the first award organization to honor original music (Song and Score) in all visual media from around the globe including film, TV, video games, trailers, commercial advertisements, documentaries and special programs.”
Nominees in Thomas’ category included Dave Catalano (“A Bathroom on Drake”), J. M. Quintana Cámara (“Defenseless), Zhiyi Wang (“My People, My Country”) and Annie Rosevear (“The First Color”).
Thomas had been a guest at the HMMAs previously, but this year’s ceremony, held Jan. 27, was livestreamed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“They have this great party. It’s not like the Oscars, where everyone’s kind of corralled and you can’t reach the celebrities or talk to them. This one, it’s like a room full of Oscar and Grammy winners, and it’s a big, fun party, and everyone’s just running around having a good time,” he said. “I was really disappointed that the year I win, and I could’ve gone and sat with the winners, I was like, ‘Here I am on my couch, watching this on TV.’ … My wife took a picture of me when I won. I’m in my pajamas with a big blanket over me, with my arms in the air.”
Nonetheless, his reaction upon seeing that he’d won was one of “Surprise,” Thomas said.
“I’ve won some stuff, but you just never expect it,” he said. “For shows like this, you’re just lucky to be in the mix for a minute. But then when my name kind of scrolled out, I was like, ‘No way.’”