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Jan Stevens

By Kevin Zimmerman

Jan Stevens
(TV’s Scrubs and Samantha Who?)

“My adv ice to anyone wanting to compose film/TV music is to never give up,” Stevens says. “While you are knocking on doors and waiting for your opportunity, make sure to keep working on your craft and developing your reel.”

Such perseverance has obviously paid off for the composer, who in addition to scoring 183 episodes of the long-lived sitcom Scrubs has also seen selections from his library used in The Sopranos, Entourage, American Idol, and others. All this grew from a master class he took with composer Walter Scharf on the psychology of film composition. “That class was inspiring and gave me a deeper understanding of the essential function and power of film music,” Stevens says.

Working on Scrubs helped him develop a fluency in guitar, he says. “The show also had mandolin, banjo, bass guitar, woodwinds and hand percussion, all of which I played in the scores,” he notes. “Samantha Who? was a piano-based show, and piano was my major instrument in college. The theme for that show was a happy little tune that set the tone for the show.”

It’s the ever-shifting milieu of Scrubs that remains closest to his heart, however. “My favorite of all my scores was for the Scrubs episode ‘My Fairy Tale’,” he says. “That was a full orchestral score recorded at Capitol.” For the obviously music-heavy episode “My Musical,” he also wrote two songs and produced all the others, two of which were nominated for Emmys.

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