Alexander (Sandy) Courage

Alexander (Sandy) Courage

American orchestrator, arranger and music composer
Date of Birth: 10.12.1919
Country: USA

Biography of Alexander (Sandy) Courage

Alexander "Sandy" Courage was an American orchestrator, arranger, and musical composer. He was primarily known for composing music for film and television. Born on December 10, 1919, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA, Sandy Courage graduated from the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York in 1941. He served in the United States Air Force in the western United States during World War II. It was during this challenging time that he began writing music for radio. His compositions were featured in the crime radio drama "Broadway Is My Beat," as well as radio projects such as "Hollywood Soundstage" and "Romance."

Alexander (Sandy) Courage

As an orchestrator and arranger, Courage began working at the media company MGM, composing music for several films, including the musical "Life Upon the Wicked Stage" (1951), the comedy musical "I Guess I'll Have to Change My Plan" (1953), and the film "Gigi" (1958). He also created the musical accompaniment for one of the dances in the comedy "Seven Brides for Seven Brothers" (1954). He often orchestrated the musical works of composers such as Andre Previn, Adolph Deutsch, John Williams, and Jerry Goldsmith for films such as "My Fair Lady," "Funny Face," "Some Like It Hot," "The Poseidon Adventure," "Superman," "Jurassic Park," "Fiddler on the Roof," "Tom Sawyer," "The Mummy," and many others. In addition to his work as an orchestrator, Alexander was responsible for the music in two Western films of the 1950s - Arthur Penn's "The Left-Handed Gun" and Andre De Toth's "Day of the Outlaw."

Alexander (Sandy) Courage

He continued to compose music for films in the 1980s and 1990s, becoming the author of the musical score for the science fiction action film "Superman IV: The Quest for Peace" (1987). His film music compositions were released on CD in early 2008 by Film Music Monthly as part of the box set "Superman - The Music." Perhaps one of Courage's most well-known works was associated with the "Star Trek" franchise. He composed the theme music for the television series, as well as other compositions used throughout its run. However, it was his relationship with the creator of the cult sci-fi television series, Gene Roddenberry, that became strained. Roddenberry wrote lyrics to Courage's music, which became the main theme of "Star Trek." The franchise creator wanted to officially become a co-author of the theme, and he succeeded, receiving half of Courage's royalty.

Alexander (Sandy) Courage

Courage served as the composer for television series such as "The Brothers Brannagan," "Lost in Space," "Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea," "The Defender," and "Daniel Boone." For the television series "The Waltons," Courage worked closely with Jerry Goldsmith, an acclaimed American film composer and conductor, who wrote the main theme. In 1988, Courage won an Emmy Award as the musical director for the ABC Christmas special "Julie Andrews: The Sound of Christmas," which won a total of five Emmys. He also collaborated with John Williams, a renowned American film composer and conductor, when working with the Boston Pops Orchestra.

In the last few years, Courage's health deteriorated. He passed away on May 15, 2008, in California. Alexander was buried at the Westwood Village Memorial Park cemetery.

© BIOGRAPHS