Photo of Queenie Li and a group of musicians in London

Queenie Li G'15

August 22, 2016

"Newhouse is the top communication school in the nation. I knew that if I wanted to be in the film industry, I had to get the best training possible."

Kwan Yee "Queenie" Li graduated with the inaugural class of audio arts students in 2015. She is now a music production coordinator at Remote Control Productions (RCP) and 14th Street Music. Headed by Hans Zimmer, the music production and publishing company specializes in creating music for Hollywood films, television shows, video games and commercials. It's located in Santa Monica, California .

How did you obtain your current position?

I began my internship at RCP in May 2015, a week after I graduated from Newhouse. Then, I slowly worked my way up to a part-time position, and am now a full-time employee.

What are your job responsibilities?

I am an assistant to award-winning composer Lorne Balfe, who composed music for blockbusters such as "Inception," "The Dark Knight Rises" and "Terminator Genesis." My duties include managing production, publishing and music arrangements on a wide range of high profile projects, including the major television shows "Story of God" (National Geographic Channel), "Marcella" (ITV), the upcoming show "The Crown" (Netflix), the video game "Lineage Eternal" (NCSoft) and the upcoming feature film "The Last Face" (River Road Entertainment).

How did Newhouse prepare you for your current job?

A number of technical courses I took that had to do with recording studio management and DAW (digital audio workstation) training prepared me for my current position. It would have taken me a longer time to adjust to the studio environment if I had not spent a decent amount of time at the Belfer Recording Studio and the Newhouse recording studio.

Why did you select Newhouse for graduate studies?

Newhouse has an incredible alumni network and is the top communications school in the nation. I knew that if I wanted to be in the film industry, I had to get the best training possible.

What is unique about your graduate program?

Our class was the first audio arts graduate program in Newhouse history. We were a very tight-knit group, [and] each one of us in the program was able to explore our passion in the music industry. We managed to find our ways through collaborating with other graduate programs.

Describe your most valuable/significant experience at Newhouse.

Scoring music for the documentary film "55 Days." I learned a valuable lesson from collaborating with a group of talented Newhouse master’s students in the multimedia photography and design department and, most importantly, a chance to be a film composer to a beautiful true story that moved our hearts. It was my first experience scoring a short film and being involved with the production process from beginning to end. In addition, it has recently advanced to the semifinals in the Documentary category of the 43rd annual Student Academy Awards.

Is there a professor or class that you would recommend?

The Sound for Picture class taught by Doug Quin. That class changed my life and I miss every second of it.

What advice do you have for current or incoming students?

Live every minute of your time at Syracuse and stay active. Go to open mic shows at Funk ‘n Waffles, go cheer at the basketball game at the Dome, make friends with students in other programs at Faegan’s and pursue your dream career.

Above: Queenie Li (front, third from left) with a composer and group of musicians at a recording session at Air Studios London.