We Love Our Grads: Eric Van Thyne ’20, Music

“LMU really got me prepared to be working with other people – the academic and creative environment was fruitful and productive. I loved getting to compose music for student films and work on music projects with friends.”

With graduation upon us, we spoke to some of CFA’s talented #LMU20 graduates as they gear up to leave LMU and take on the world. In our We Love Our Grads series, we asked a graduating student from each of our departments to share some words about their time here, as well as their plans for the future.

Eric Van Thyne ‘20
Major: Music and Recording Arts
Career goals: Film composer and musician

How did you decide to become a music major?

I have always wanted to be a musician of some sort. I started playing guitar when I was 9 years old and shortly after I started a band with friends and ever since then I’ve never stopped. I attended a performing arts high school which diversified my musical skills and inspired me to continue my arts education in college. I initially started at LMU as a recording arts major, and it wasn’t until my sophomore year that I took up a music minor. I really enjoyed my classes and classmates and I felt that I was really growing as a musician, so with the help of the department chair Dr. Mark Saya, I decided to pursue the double major. I ultimately wound up with a dual degree!

Tell us a little about your time at LMU!

All of my time spent outside of class was dedicated in some way to music or audio. I often collaborated with students in the School of Film and Television composing original music for their films. I always tried to include my friends for these projects as well, which led to some successful and fruitful collaborations. One score I composed was recorded with a string section of LMU students in ‘Studio L’ – the recording arts studio on campus. This score was recognized at a film festival!

In the fall semester I made arrangements of Christmas classics, recorded it in the studio with a Jazz trio and a small section of strings and horns, all in one day and with all LMU musicians and engineers. I released the album and donated all proceeds to YOLA – Youth Orchestra Los Angeles. We raised nearly $400! I also worked a job at SFTV managing the studios on campus and I was a teacher’s assistant during my senior year. I spent last summer in Paris for a study abroad program and it was an amazing experience with amazing people.

Tell us a little about your career goals and aspirations.

My long-term goal is to own and operate my own studio that functions as somewhere where I can compose film scores and record music. It will be a journey before I reach this point, but I am confident I can make it happen. Despite these strange times I’m excited for what the future will bring.

How do you feel you experience at LMU prepared you for this next step?

LMU really got me prepared to be working with other people. I definitely collaborated with other musicians and artists before coming the LMU, but the environment that LMU provided was fruitful and productive. I loved getting to compose music for student films and work on music projects with friends.

What is your favorite thing about LMU?

My favorite part about attending LMU was being surrounded by people who inspired and encouraged me to do my best work. I am grateful for the friendships I’ve made, through creating music or not, and for the faculty and staff who have mentored me in so many areas. I hold my friends and experiences from LMU close to my heart.

What advice do you have for underclassmen?

Keep an open mind and say yes to the opportunities that are available to you. Do your best to get in as much experience as possible in whatever discipline you are interested in. Lastly, don’t lose sight of what’s important to you. It is so easy to get caught up in obstacles thrown in your direction, take breaks when you need to and continue to be actively engaged in art that excites you.