A Symphonic Mover
U of I music grad earns Emmy Awards with NFL Films and HBO
After graduating from U of I, Paul worked as a freelance musician, which included work with NFL Films. He earned two Sports Emmys in his first two years, including for “Men of Mettle” (2011) and “Namath” (a collaboration with HBO and NFL Films, 2012). He also worked on “Hard Knocks,” a documentary about football training camps for which he earned his third and fourth Sports Emmy awards in 2013 and 2014. He now works as assistant composer for NFL Films.
It was the promise of immersive educational opportunities that brought Paul to U of I’s Lionel Hampton School of Music. Six years and four Emmys later, it also to what he attributes his professional success.
“When I tell colleagues about U of I, they’re impressed with how immersed you’re allowed to be,” Paul said. “Opportunities like this are not common. It’s a very special thing that exists here.”
As an undergraduate from 2005 to 2010, Paul was involved in Vandal Marching Band, Jazz Choir, Dancers Drummers Dreamers, Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia and multiple ensembles. His hard work enabled him to get more deeply involved, as he learned how to write band drills. As a composition student, he was able to develop relationships that strengthened his lessons in composition, craft and musical integrity.
As a guest lecturer, Paul gives back not only to U of I, but to the next generation of composers and musicians.
“You can do whatever you’re willing to work for at U of I,” he said. “I wouldn’t be where I am today without the skills that I learned.”
“When I tell colleagues about UI, they’re impressed with how immersed you’re allowed to be. Opportunities like this are not common. It’s a very special thing that exists here.”
- Paul Taylor