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Past Program Highlights



The Magnificent 7

This year’s amazing GEMS Film Scoring Summer Program was simply brilliant! Joining forces with Christopher Young were several award winning  Hollywood Film and Game composers, producers, and artists who gave fabulous masterclasses, talks and brought in their expertise for our GEMS composers, aka the Magnificent 7 This year for the first time we concluded the GEMS Film Scoring Summer Program with our first full professional orchestral recording. 

Check out the 2018 GEMS Film Scoring Summer Program!


Past Program Highlights



Christopher Young

Hollywood Film Composer Christopher Young returns for the second consecutive year to Madrid, Spain July 2018, to teach his brilliant film scoring program. This year, a 9 day program.


"Can’t recommend this course highly enough!"

Andrew Kristy

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Andy Hill

Andy Hill rocks back on the GEMS stage in full glory with his book which we got for all the participants. He gave a class on score supervision from his latest book on the feature how to train your dragon. Superb!


"Nigel, thank you so much. The work you do is unbelievable"

Sebastian Ruiz

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Garry Schyman

The mighty BAFTA Winner and BAFTA Nominee Garry Schyman is in the house!!! Garry taught his insightful composing for video game masterclass, which is one of the best classes you will ever have.

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"Do it! I’d say go for it! It's just fantastic!"

Andrew O'Farrell

Members of the orchestra performing stud

For the final assignment, participants composed a main title to one of Christopher Youngs films. They also had the option to bring their own composition and record it with the Mad 4 Strings 40 piece orchestra, recorded by GOYA winning producer José Vinader.

Listen to the final main titles here


"A great experience. A great team"

Alberto Tresguerres

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Dr. Juanjo Molina

Dr. Juanjo Molina, the lead instructor for the summer program, took on a new challenge this year to conduct the world famous RTVE, the Symphonic Orchestra of Spanish TV and Radio, for all our participants compositions, and as ever, he was flawless, creative and cool.

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"Wonderful experience with amazing people."

Ignacio Ferrando


Spanish fans arrived throughout the program and the recording session, to meet Christopher Young, share & swap stories, took selfies, got LPs, CDs, DVDs, film posters and books signed, with the ever welcoming Christopher Young.


"Wonderful experience, amazing"

Nacho Ferrando

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Participants had an amazing series of craft skilled based classes with Christopher Young, including compositional assignments, reviews, & individual one on one Mentoring sessions.


"Fantastic intense hugely enjoyable"

Jon Wygens

Student Interviews

Award winning composer Jon Wygens and his fellow participants, sit down and talk about their experiences on the GEMS Christopher Young Film Scoring Program.

Watch the  participant interviews here

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"Thank you Nigel"

Pablo Cervantes

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Rocking up with the GEMS Film Scoring Summer Program 2018 is this year's GEMS Magazine. 

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I"t’s inspirational and motivational"

Andrew Kirsty

Positive Grid

The Fantastic Positive Grid were with us and supporting us from day one  WONDERFUL!


"Boom!!! Es pec ta cu lar!"



Facilitating this unique summer program, was the beautiful capital city of Madrid, Spain, with its cosmopolitan vibe, parks, cafes, restaurants, historical and modern architecture and night life. This year's program was located in the heart of Madrid, off the Gran Via.


"A world class organisation!"

Sebastian Ruiz VA

Richard Bellis

Each participant took home all three training videos by award winning composer, Richard Bellis. Creativity on a Deadline, Free Time and Sonic Competition. Richard Bellis is a GEMS visiting tutor who gave his Masterclass on Creativity on a Deadline, during the film scoring summer program 2018.


"A fantastic opportunity!"

Piotr Nermer

Sponsors & Awards

Every participant received one or more of these amazing awards from our sponsor awards partners. Native Instruments Komplete 11. Positive Grid, Bias FX. Scoring the Screen Book. Creativity on a Deadline videos.

Check out the award winners here

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"A great experience. A great team"

Alberto Tresguerres

Jose Vinader

Participant compositions were produced by legendary Spanish film music producer and GOYA winner, Jose Vinader, who has worked on nearly 300 films, with composers such as Alberto Iglesias, for movies such as Capitán Alatriste (Viggo Mortensen) & Automata (Antonio Banderas).

Watch the recordings here

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"Nigel this is a fantastic program and you are awesome!"

Francesco Bortolussi

Nigel Ashley Lees

Nigel Ashley Lees, is the founder of GEMS. His aim is to create exciting and purposeful experiences for musicians who are aiming to work in Global Entertainment. Each year he designs new programs where composers from all over the world can meet and have a great time together.

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"Don't think about it, dive in and enjoy the program."

Leon Estaban


Each participant took home their own signed score from the feature, Spiderman 3 with a personal message added from Christopher Young, together with two scores by Garry Schyman from the BioShock suit.


"I had the time of my life!"

Francesco Bortolussi


Sound Track Fest Director and GEMS visiting tutor Gorka Oteiza gave a brilliant Masterclass, interviewed GEMS faculty, Christopher Young and all the participants; providing valuable social media experience, also gave selected GEMS Alumni opportunities to write for Sound Track Fest.

Read the Sound Track Fest review here

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"Incredible, amazing experience"

Susanna Alvarez


Supporting this year's program, some of the film and game music industries best, award winning composers, came and spoke in a series of Masterclasses. Inspiring talks, sharing craft skills, best practices, answering questions and having great fun. Thanks to Richard Bellis, Eimear Noone, Craig Stuart Garfinkle, Andy Hill and Garry Schyman.

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"It provided me more than I wanted,"


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Red T-Shirts

Back with the Red GEMS T-Shirts

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I" go a lot out of it, and delighted I did it."

Therese McCartin

Composer Videos

Check out some of the final videos edited with the produced music tracks. Awesome!

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"Great to conduct the orchestra!"

Damian Mizzi

At the Airport

GEMS Graduate Assistants kicked off  the GEMS Film Scoring Program, by welcoming Christopher Young at Madrid Airport, surprising him at arrivals, with our personalised meet & greet signboards.

Check out the airport video here

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"100 times more useful and important than I ever imagined"


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Craig Stuart Garfinkle

The fabulously talented Craig Stuart Garfinkle joined us for a talk on composition for video game. What an inspiration he is! WE LOVED IT!!!

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"I came here & sharpened my skills, it’s the real deal."

Damian Mizzi

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Each year GEMS students are invited to one on mentor session with Christopher Young -  check out the composers interviews to hear what happened in their personal one on one with Christopher Young.


"Fantastic intense hugely enjoyable"

Jon Wygens

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Mad4Strings Orchestra

Participant compositions were record by Mad4Strings Orchestra, Spains best professional film scoring orchestra, who have recorded work with award winning composers  Feredico Jusid (Loving Pablo), Victor Reyes (Newcomer), Zacarías de la Riva (Pet), Sergio Moure (Lobos Sucios), Cesar Benito (La sonata del Silencio) and performed sold out  John Williams Homage concerts conducted by Film Composer Lucas Vidal, (Fast & Furious 6).

Watch the recordings here

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"Loved every second of it."

Maria Borg

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Dr. Francesco Menini

Dr. Francesco Menini, provides support for our composers. He brings with him all the compositional and orchestration skills needed to help prepare our composers for the orchestral recording.

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"Everything is amazing, it is such a great program."

Tylla Ovezona

Training Book

Each participant took home their own copy of Scoring the Screen by author and Grammy winner Andy Hill, together with a signed book mark with an individual personal message to each participant from Andy Hill.


"Loved every second of it!"

Maria Borg


Christopher Young sits down with GEMS founder Nigel Ashley Lees to discuss his approach to teaching, film scoring, career development, mentoring and his experience on the GEMS film scoring summer program.

Watch the interview here


"Thank you for everything, it was fantastic"

Victoria Dewavrin

Flamenco Night

At the end of this year's program we took the entire class, faculty and tutors to our first Flamenco Show in Madrid city center. It was fantastic! We had a brilliant time and it was a super way to end an amazing summer program together.


"The program is one of those unbelievable things"

Sebastian Ruiz

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Native Instruments

The Fantastic NATIVE INSTRUMENTS LOS ANGELES were with us once again and have been supporting us from day on. WOW! WONDERFUL!


"Best courses in Europe!"

Mirela Nita

Summer Program SPAIN
July 2024
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