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Composer Trevor Rabin is Tired of People Using His “Remember The Titans” Theme (And Not Telling Him)

LOS ANGELES — Composer Trevor Rabin has created some of the most beautiful film scores of the past two decades, and several worldwide hits with his rock band Yes!, but there’s one stirring score that he can’t escape.

“The score for Remember The Titans is one of the scores I was very happy with, which doesn’t happen very often,” he told the crew of SCORE: A Film Music Documentary in an interview featured in the accompanying book, SCORE: The Interviews.

His tune has since been used in a handful of other capacities, including as a live soundtrack for then-President-elect Barack Obama in his 2008 election night address.

“I’ll never forget this as long as I live,” Rabin said. “The phone rang, and it was Joel McNeely, who’s a friend of mine and a great composer, and he said, ‘I’m at the convention, and ‘Remember The Titans’ is playing as loud as a Kiss concert.’ Fireworks were going on, and it was quite a moment.”

“I never really thought about whether it could be used elsewhere, and then to hear it at Obama’s speech, and it worked so well,” he told the crew of SCORE: A Film Music Documentary, which will be released in theaters this June. “I kind of got a lump in my throat.”

Only one complaint, which Rabin shared in the never-before-seen interview.

“I wasn’t asked, which I’m not happy about, but I’m very happy it was on Obama’s speech rather than the other guy,” he said with a smile.

The Remember The Titans theme has been used for a handful of other uses.

Rabin says it’s always a little strange to hear your music in a completely different context, such as the Olympics broadcasts on NBC or at sporting events in stadiums and arenas.

“It’s quite interesting watching it being used for something completely different, he said. “Sports, as it may be, and in Obama’s case, politics.”

Rabin jokes that some of the magic of President-elect Obama’s historic speech came from his music.

“It might have been him, but I like to take credit for it,” he said, laughing. “Yeah, it was all me.”

The never-before-seen interview with Rabin is one of dozens featured in the new book SCORE: The Interviews, available in paperback and on Kindle — a treasure trove of rare interviews and insight with dozens of composers and directors will accompany the May release of SCORE: A Film Music Documentary.

The 352-page paperback book is packed with insider stories and never-before-heard in-depth interviews with dozens of maestros of the modern age, including Hans Zimmer, James Cameron, Quincy Jones, Rachel Portman, and one of the last long-form interviews conducted with Hollywood icon Garry Marshall.

Readers will step into the soundproof studios of film's top composers with the SCORE team to experience composers' journeys, struggles, secrets and how they find their groove.

The book is available on Amazon.

Composers Hans Zimmer (The Lion King, Gladiator, Pirates of the Caribbean, The Dark Knight, Inception), Quincy Jones (The Color Purple, The Pawnbroker, In Cold Blood), Randy Newman (Toy Story, Monsters, Inc., The Natural), Howard Shore (The Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit, Seven), Trent Reznor (The Social Network, Gone Girl, Nine Inch Nails), Tom Holkenborg (Mad Max: Fury Road, Batman v. Superman) and more. Plus, hear rare insight from director James Cameron and the legacy of James Horner, along with one of the final interviews conducted with legendary director Garry Marshall.

Modern maestros reveal their creative secrets.

  • Composer David Arnold: Bond, the British sound and using music from dreams.

  • Director James Cameron: How score shapes a film and working with James Horner.

  • Composer Quincy Jones: Music s evolution and emotive power on us.

  • Composer Randy Newman: Great film music in history and scoring for animated films.

  • Composer Rachel Portman: Using music to your advantage and female film composers.

  • Composer Howard Shore: The great epic film score and connecting all the dots.

  • Composer Hans Zimmer: The joy (and vulnerability) of musical experimentation.

  • Director Garry Marshall: How to use music to fill, fix and enhance film.

  • Composer Bear McCreary: Creating an efficient, tight-knit film composing team.

Goosebumps and exploring music's cutting edge.

  • Composers Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross: Production value and the film score as an album.

  • Composer Brian Tyler: Growth, excitement and striving for perfection.

  • Composer Mychael Danna: Musical styles across different nationalities.

  • Composer Tom Holkenborg: Intensity and goosebumps.

  • Composer Harry Gregson-Williams: Traditional score meets technology.

  • Composer Steve Jablonsky: Reinventing electronic sounds.

  • Composer John Debney: Inspirations from childhood to the scoring stage.

  • Composer Trevor Rabin: Wrestling with the clock and working with producers.

  • Composer Patrick Doyle: Life and passion reflecting through music.

Inspiration and film music's worldwide impact across languages.

  • Composer Mervyn Warren: A record producer approach to film scores.

  • Composer John Powell: Flipping the film score on its head.

  • Composer Alexandre Desplat: International influence and the beauty of music.

  • Composer Elliot Goldenthal: Deadline pressure and mastering a sound.

  • Composer Henry Jackman: The British film score invasion and melody.

  • Composer Marco Beltrami: Finding the right sound and music for thrillers.

  • Composer Mark Mothersbaugh: The rockstar-turned-composer.

SCORE: The Interviews is available on Amazon. For bulk pricing discounts for educational institutions, please contact

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