HMI History

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Building a Positive Future

The Henry Mancini Institute is a comprehensive graduate institute that is fully incorporated into the fabric of the Frost School of Music’s academic and musical life. Its artistic director is multi-Grammy-winning composer Maria Schneider, assisted by Resident Conductor and Artistic Coordinator Scott Flavin and HMI Coordinator Steve Guerra. We invite you to explore this website to learn more about their vision for the Henry Mancini Institute and its many exciting new initiatives.

Jack Elliott, Founding Artistic Director

The Henry Mancini Institute was founded in 1997 as a Los-Angeles based summer music academy by film and television composer Jack Elliott in honor of his colleague Henry Mancini and their mutual commitment to excellence in both music and education. It offered four-week scholarships, room and board annually to over 80 collegiate level musicians who studied with a whos-who of film music legends and notable guests ranging from Jerry Goldsmith, Elmer Bernstein, Randy Newman, Bobby McFerrin, and Andy Williams.

“He established the organization in an effort to answer the primary question of what it takes to make a living as a professional musician in today’s complex world,” wrote Don Heckman of the Los Angeles Times in 2002.  Jack Elliott saw the unique emphasis of HMI as “the total professional development of the musician, combining such experiences as composing, arranging, and performing for motion pictures, jazz venues, chamber music, and other musical forms.” (All About Jazz, 2005)

Henry Mancini’s wife Ginny Mancini said, “The Mancini Institute gives classically trained musicians a chance to expand their musical worlds. It’s such fun to see people discover what they can do in another genre of music. Jack founded it, and I gave him my blessing because it certainly stands for everything that Henry Mancini was all about. Henry was so versatile, and he was such a good mentor to young people. He would open doors and show them the way to go.”

Jack Elliott was highly familiar with the complexities of a career in music.  He was a talented composer, arranger and producer with a prolific output that included directing music or composing themes for the Andy Williams Show, Night Court, Barney Miller, Charlie’s Angels, Blade Runner, The Jerk and Oh God! He was the music director for the 1984 Summer Olympics in LA. He studied with Arnold Franchetti and Isadore Freed before Judy Garland brought him to Hollywood to arrange music for her television show.

Jack Elliott was the only music director for the Grammy Awards for 31 contiguous years, and also composed the theme music for the Grammy Awards, and the Kennedy Center Honors.  He was the only person to direct music for the Grammy Awards, Emmy Awards, Academy Awards, and Kennedy Center Honors all in the same year (1977).  Jack Elliott passed away in August 2001.

The Baton Passes to Patrick Williams

Composer Patrick Williams served as the second artistic director of the Henry Mancini Institute from 2001 to 2006. He conducted five seasons of the L.A.-based summer institute including outstanding concerts with such musical luminaries as John Williams, Julie Andrews, Diana Krall, and Tony Bennett.

Patrick Williams worked in virtually all musical genres and composed music for over 65 feature films, 100 television films, 25 television series, 18 albums and 30 concert works. He received four Emmy awards with 22 nominations and two Grammy awards with 17 nominations to date and was also nominated for both an Academy Award and the Pulitzer Prize in music.

Henry Mancini Institute Moves to Miami

The L.A. summer institute delivered its mission for over 10 years and impacted the lives of over 800 participants, but like with so many non-profit organizations, funding was a continual challenge.  By the end of 2006 its board of directors and the Mancini family decided reluctantly to close the doors. When Shelly Berg become the Dean at the University of Miami Frost School of Music, he approached the Mancini family about reinvigorating and moving the Henry Mancini Institute to Miami, where its values could be merged with the Frost School’s shared passion for training young musicians for a wider world of music than traditional conservatories. The Mancini family agreed, and a new era began.

Dean Berg and the faculty of the Frost School of Music breathed new life into the Institute’s mission and transformed the original concept into a broader musical training resource like nowhere else in the world.  New students were recruited to participate throughout the full academic year and they soon found themselves performing on professional concert stages and for television shows.  The Henry Mancini Institute was back, stronger than ever.  In 2010, the Henry Mancini Institute was awarded a $500,000 grant from the Knight Foundation that was matched by business leader and UM trustee Adrienne Arsht to bring three years of multicultural programming to the South Florida community.  Scholarship funding is provided by individual patrons in the Moon River Society who support the HMI mission.

HMI at the Frost School of Music: Artistic Director Timeline

2011-2015: Grammy Award-winning film score composer, trumpeter and bandleader Terence Blanchard served with distinction as Artistic Director of the Henry Mancini Institute.

Spring 2016: James Newton Howard was named Artistic Director of the Henry Mancini Institute.

Spring 2019: American Composer and jazz orchestra extraordinaire, Maria Schneider is a multi-Grammy Award-winning artist. She is currently the Artistic Director of the Henry Mancini Institute.