RIT connects with out-of-this-world entertainment

Film and animation students to talk with ‘Star Trek Continues’ star about composing




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Jonathan Kruger, chair of RIT’s Performing Arts and Visual Culture department, conducts an orchestra at Hammer Theatre in San Jose, Calif., performing the music he composed for an episode of Star Trek Continues. Vic Mignogna, who portrays Capt. Kirk on the online series, visits RIT this week to talk about composing for film, animation and video games.

The chair of Rochester Institute of Technology’s Department of Performing Arts and Visual Culture is bringing the actor who portrays Capt. Kirk in the online series Star Trek Continues to campus to build on RIT’s plan to offer music composition courses for film, animation and video games.

Jonathan Kruger, chair of RIT’s Department of Performing Arts and Visual Culture, has composed music for several episodes of the series and is bringing actor, director and executive producer Vic Mignogna to talk with students interested in music, film, animation and gaming.

Mignogna has worked as a musician, music and video producer and has done numerous voice-over roles in cartoons, television, anime and video games. He will speak Friday at RIT about the production and music composition for the series and to RIT film and animation students about the business.

There’s a growing interest among RIT students to compose music for film, animation and video games, Kruger said.

“One of RIT’s strengths is providing state-of-the-art, high-tech education while also encouraging non-traditional courses that can enhance those degrees, such as music composition for film and animation,” he said. RIT students now are taking composing for media class; composing for video games will be offered in the spring.

RIT’s College of Liberal Arts and School of Individualized Study and the student science fiction club Space Time Adventures at RIT (STAR) will host a screening of Episode 6 in the Star Trek Continues series, “Come Not Between the Dragons,” at 8 p.m. Thursday in Webb Auditorium, with an introduction by Kruger. It is free and open to the public.

At 10-11:30 a.m. Friday, Mignogna will talk about music scoring and the production process, answer questions and sign autographs in Ingle Auditorium. That appearance, part of the School of Individualized Study’s Crossroads: Interdisciplinary Perspectives on American Music Speaker Series, is also free and public.

Mignogna’s appearance follows a recent concert in San Jose, Calif., where RIT alumni met with administrators and corporations to promote the skills RIT students are being taught. Kruger went to San Jose to direct an orchestra that played music he composed for episodes of the Star Trek Continues series. The corresponding scenes were shown behind the orchestra.

Kruger hopes the momentum between RIT and the entertainment industry continues. He says people often don’t think a technical university such as RIT has so many musical options for students: there are several orchestras, ensembles and vocal groups on campus, and RIT’s College of Liberal Arts offers minors in music and technology and music performance and theater arts.