Oscars Fun!

Bravo! A number of musicians in the Loyola University New Orleans School of Music and Theatre Arts played a role in the making of Green Book, which took home three Oscars on Sunday from the 91st Academy Awards, held Sunday, Feb. 24, in Los Angeles. 

The Louisiana-based film won Best Picture and Best Screenplay, while Mahershala Ali, who played the role of classical musician Don Shirley, took home an award for Best Supporting Actor.

Here in New Orleans, the birthplace of jazz (and home to many movie productions), Loyola Film Scoring Instructor Jay Weigel served as music coordinator and composer for various scenes in Green Book.

Loyola music students Noah Boshra, Brett Cole, and Peter Nionakis, together with Coordinator of Jazz Studies Gordon Towell and saxophone instructor Jason Mingledorff, appear as the band performing the classic song "That Old Black Magic" at New York's Copacabana Hotel in the film's opening scene. 

Loyola jazz piano instructor Matt Lemmler arranged the music for that scene, and a separate group of New Orleans musicians recorded it at Esplanade studios.

Loyola Jazz Guitar instructor Don Vappie and Saxophone Instructor Khari Allen Lee, both renowned local musicians, appear as members of the band in a later scene of the award-winning film, which takes place in a blues club in Birmingham, Ala. 

News of the Loyola musicians' connections with the film appeared on local television news stations WGNO-TV, WWL-TV, WDSU-TV and WVUE Fox 8 News.