Brian LaGuardia


Composer, Orchestrator, Arranger

Yesterday I received the stunning news that I was one of the five candidates annually selected for the Stan LePard GDC Scholarship! This is an honor for several reasons, and in particular is kind of mind-boggling since I had only applied once before (last year) and also was resolved to attend GDC for the first time this year regardless.

First, I’d like to talk about Stan LePard. I confess I hadn’t heard of this guy until I applied for this last year, and the first thing I did was to look up his music on youtube. To my delight, his music was incredible. Check out Crimson Skies, an orchestral adventure score that John Williams himself would have been proud to put his name on!

I also learned that, like a true collaborator, he ended up helping out on such titles as Halo 3, Destiny and Guild Wars 2 in support roles. And by all accounts, he was a sweetheart of a guy who always had time to help newcomers and veterans alike. It is my hope that I bring that same spirit of camaraderie and warmth with me for my first GDC, as a way to honor his memory. He serves as a shining example of what we can all become if we have the strength to be who we truly want to be.

The other reason why I’m pretty stoked about this is that the panel consisted of other gigantic names like Marty O’Donnel (composer of the Halo Gregorian chant), Michael Salvatori, Austin Wintory and Jon Everist (composer for Overwatch 2). In other words, pretty rarified company. It was immensely validating to have my work selected by some of the best in the business! Between this and the insane opportunity to arrange for the London Symphony, it is really starting to feel like my hard work is paying off!

Finally, it is an honor simply to be in attendance for this audio professional Mecca. I can’t wait to start soaking up industry knowledge from people in the thick of it right now, on the bleeding edge. I have wanted to attend for a number of years but never found the time or money to do it properly. Now that it is within my grasp, I intend to plunge myself into the deep end, without hesitation or evasion, and allow myself to learn and grow – a skill that has also taken me quite a bit of time to cultivate!

I will be seeing some of my colleagues from Rice Games for the first time during this trip, having been robbed of that chance in late 2020 by an ill-timed COVID bout. That, in addition to several recommendations for unique culinary delights, the new friends I’ll be making and the industry knowledge I will be absorbing, make this a highly anticipated end to my March!