Music Alum Awarded Prestigious Music Award

On Sunday, Nov. 6, 1963 North Dakota State music graduate Alf Clausen will be awarded the 2016 Golden Score Award for excellence in composing and arranging. Clausen, as well as William Ross, are the two honorees for the award this year. Past recipients include John Debney (composer for “Iron Man 2” and “Elf”), Conrad Pope (the Star Wars films, the Hobbit films) and six-time Grammy winner Jorge Calandrelli.

Clausen’s impressive composing history does not set him apart from other recipients. He worked on popular ’80s sitcom “ALF” until its end in 1990, then moved on to “The Simpsons” where he won two Emmy awards for his work on the show.

Minneapolis-born and Jamestown-raised, Clausen graduated from NDSU with a degree in musical theory after first pursuing mechanical engineering. After his graduation at NDSU, he pursued a master’s degree at University of Wisconsin-Madison, worked as a musician and eventually graduated with a degree in arranging and composing in 1966 from Berklee. While “ALF” and “The Simpsons” are his most prolific works, Clausen also contributed to “The Partridge Family,” “Moonlighting” and “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.”

The other recipient of the Golden Score Award, William Ross, has composed music for feature films like “The Tale of Despereux” and “Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.” He has also arranged music for music greats Celine Dion, Michael Bublè and Barbara Streisand.

The Golden Score Award dates back to 2001. Each year, the American Society of Music Arrangers and Composers honors those in the field, often the unrecognized part of movie magic, with the Golden Score Award. A gala is held in Los Angeles to honor the guests and all proceeds go to benefit the ASMAC’s educational, scholarship and master class programs.

Clausen and Ross will receive the award at 6:30 p.m. on Nov. 6. More information on Clausen, Ross and the ASMAC and Golden Score Award can be found online at

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