L.A. Studio Legends #15: Sally Stevens

The Legacy of John Williams Podcast

Apr 1 2022 • 1 hr 23 mins

Legendary singer and vocal contractor talks her illustrious career in Hollywood working in choirs and as soloist for many film composers, including her work for John Williams on Amistad and other projects Hosted by Maurizio Caschetto

Film score recordings in Hollywood are performed not just by hundreds of talented orchestra musicians, but they often feature the superb work of great vocalists, singers and choirs. Sally Stevens is perhaps the most famous and distinguished singer and vocalist who lent her beautiful voice to countless film and television soundtracks and studio recordings in Los Angeles. Her resume includes work for illustrious film composers including John Williams, Jerry Goldsmith, James Horner, Alan Silvestri, James Newton Howard, Danny Elfman, just to name a few, but also for some of the most famous names of the recording industry like Frank Sinatra, Nat King Cole, Burt Bacharach among others, in a career spanning five decades and thousands of performances.

Under the banner name Hollywood Film Chorale, she contracted choirs and singers for successful films including Edward Scissorhands, Batman Returns, The Abyss, Forrest Gump, The Matrix Revolutions, Jurassic World, among others, and also on popular tv shows as The Simpsons and Family Guy. She also served as choral director of the Oscars broadcasts for over 20 years, the most recent being the 2018 Academy Awards.

Sally's collaboration with John Williams started in 1997, when she was asked to be vocal contractor for the film Amistad, directed by Steven Spielberg. She also collaborated on such films as Minority Report (2002), War of the Worlds (2005), Munich (2005), Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (2008) and Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015).

In this conversation, Sally Stevens reminisces about her glorious career as a singer and vocal contractor working in Hollywood, from his early days singing in the choir for Alfred Newman's How The West Was Won to the work as soloist for Lalo Schifrin, Jerry Goldsmith and other great composers. She also recollects her experience working as a vocal contractor for John Williams on Amistad and other projects involving choirs and vocal soloists, sharing her own unique insight and perspective on Williams' choral writing and the use of human voice.

For more information and the list of music excerpts visit https://thelegacyofjohnwilliams.com/2022/04/01/sally-stevens-podcast/