Looking Back on 2023

Published December 18, 2023

2023 is waving goodbye, and what a show it's been! Behind every catchy beat and toe-tapping tune is a story from one of our brilliant employees. However, they're not just our team; they're our melody matchmakers, our playlist pioneers, our... okay, enough with the alliterations! It’s time to press the rewind button on 2023 and spotlight our team’s most memorable moments at Score a Score.

Looking Back on 2023 with the SAS Team

The entire team at our annual retreat in Los Angeles

Welcoming Our Newcomers!

With so many new members, it's only right that their annual highlight be joining the SAS team! That includes Dez Davis (Sr. Creative Manager - Head of Digital Distribution), Andrea Angarica (Creative Coordinator), Jarret Poindexter (Account Assistant), Haley Talley (Account Assistant), Steve Martin (Account Assistant), and Carolyn Witaske (Executive Assistant). With that, we want to say to all of you how grateful we are that you have joined the SAS team, and can't wait to see what is in store for you all in 2024. That's not all! Some of our latest newcomers had a few more things to say:

Carolyn Witaske (Executive Assistant)

I'm honored to be part of a team that expertly assists such talented composers in securing music placements. It’s also very meaningful to me that SAS actively gives back by supporting charitable causes.

Haley Talley (Account Assistant)

Joining the team as an Account Assistant was my favorite, but I have to say the launch of Bravura was another amazing moment. Not only is the ad hilarious and well-made, but it perfectly shows just what Score a Score is capable of, and it's awesome to get to be a part of that!

From left to right: Jordan Passman, Jamey Sussman, & Jessica Makhlin

A Retreat to Remember

Our annual team retreat holds a special place in our hearts. Since we work remotely and are spread across the country, it's our rare chance to see each other IRL.

Agie Simon (Business Affairs Coordinator)

My favorite SAS moment of 2023 was joining the SAS team as the Business Affairs Coordinator and meeting the team on my first SAS retreat in LA. It was so exciting to meet everyone in person for the first time and participate in team bonding activities that helped me get to know everyone on a personal level. I also really enjoyed spending quality time with my coworkers at Topgolf and sharing our passion for music. I’m so grateful to be a part of the SAS team!

Kristyn Tolhurst (Account Assistant) 

At the beginning of the year, I was tasked with planning the Annual SAS Retreat for the whole team. I hadn't met the rest of my coworkers yet, so I was looking forward to hanging with everyone in person. I booked a corporate shuttle to bring us to our event, but when it arrived, it was a full-on party bus with flashing colored lights, complete with a dance pole. We plugged in the music, turned on the lights, and sang the whole way to our event. Also, a special thank you to the team for letting me sing Weird Al's "Amish Paradise."

Mei Luk (Director of Business Affairs)

My favorite SAS moment of 2023 would have to be during this year's retreat. On the first night, everyone flew in, and a bunch of us sat in the lobby of our hotel eating cheesecake and just talking. Since we are a remote company these real-life moments mean a lot. It was like reuniting with old friends you hadn't seen in years, only you hadn't physically met most of them till that day.

Successful Sonics and Connecting with Clients

Our 2023 team retreat? A total highlight reel! Amidst the fun, we also hit some major milestones and launched some show-stopping projects.

Jordan Passman (Founder & CEO)

Reflecting on 2023, I am immensely proud of our achievements. It's been a record-breaking year, and we've paid out the most money to our talented roster of composers in our 13-year history. We've also added remarkable individuals to our team, each infusing new life and creativity into our mission. The launch of Bravura stands out as a shining example of having so much fun doing what we do best. This success is a reflection of our collective effort to stay focused and committed to working together. I'm deeply grateful for every contribution that has led us here and excited for the continued journey of innovation, collaboration, and excellence ahead.

Jake Weinreb (COO)

My 2023 highlight would have to be the launch of Bravura. Pharma and healthcare have been some of the most consistent verticals in our advertising work for years, which has enabled our team and composers to become fluent in the form. To see all that hard work and expertise come to life through Bravura was beyond gratifying. Bravura was more than a professional achievement for the company; it was a testament to our team's passion for what we do and how much fun we have while doing it.

Ben Santoro (VP of Creative)

For years, SAS has aimed to provide a backend portal for our artists, offering increased visibility into how their music is being pitched. With our large roster of talent, we knew an automated solution was necessary, but technical limitations previously made providing accurate data challenging. This year, however, with assistance from our friends at Solertium and DISCO, we have laid the foundation for a 2024 launch. I am hopeful that this additional transparency and insight will prove invaluable to all our artists, and I can't wait to begin the rollout in Q1 of next year!

Jamey Sussman (Director of Sync Partnerships - Entertainment Marketing) & Jessica Makhlin (Head of Entertainment Marketing)

It was such a joy to launch our rebranded trailer catalog, Locked by Score a Score! We wound up releasing an impressive 35 albums, each offering fresh perspectives and unique trailer-trending sounds. A massive shoutout to our exceptional team – composers, collaborators, and everyone who contributed to the resounding success of Locked by Score a Score! Your talent and dedication have been the driving force behind our achievements. Here's to more innovative albums and exciting collaborations in the years ahead! To honor all 35 Locked albums, enjoy this playlist including a track from each of them!

Marisa Shocket (Sr. Creative Manager)

There were many highlights this year including great projects and tremendous team growth! Something that stood out to me was the monstrous virality of Danilo Stankovic's track "Pieces." This song has been popular for a few years, but 2023 took it to new heights. One track has opened up a new sector of our business. It led to the launch of the TikTok Committee earlier this year, where we've strategized and discussed the opportunities to reverse-engineer this extraordinary success. It's an area of our business where it feels like the sky's the limit, and I can't wait to see where we can take it next year!

Max Ferguson (Sr. Creative Manager)

My highlight for this year was the amazing range of quality commercial music our composers created. From emotional scores for powerful custom campaigns to positive and uplifting pop for modern brands, they really showed their talents this year and I couldn't be more glad to be a part of it.

From left to right: Jordan Passman, Jake Weinreb, & Ben Santoro

Sam Renshaw (Sr. Account Manager)

I have a few! To start, connecting with the team and clients in person. I hit the road for screenings and hung out with old and new friends at Mullen Lowe, Wieden Kennedy, Havas, Leo Burnett, Doner, Arnold, VIA, PS260, Fidelity, Rocket, and many others. I got to see Jessica from Creative's DJ set at a record release show in San Francisco and finally saw COO Jake's speakeasy (it's real, and it has a hidden door). I also discovered an amazing post and VFX house practically in my backyard: StudioLab!  Our team retreat was one for the books as well. Topgolf and hibachi especially. There were some really great placements this year as well. We had SAS tracks with HBO, Disney, and the Super Bowl and I can't forget about the launch of Bravura! Last but certainly not least, expanding the Account Team and welcoming Kristyn, Jarret, Haley, and Steve to the squad! Here's to an amazing 2024 with the best crew in the biz!

Dakota Daniels (Marketing Manager) 

Bringing the SAS brand personality to life across all marketing channels! Score a Score is such a magnificent force and we are so much more than the incredible work we create. While developing the marketing strategy for the company itself back in March (which was also launched earlier this year), we realized a major goal was to showcase more of who we are and what we love, as well as dive into the minds and creative processes of our talented composers. I am beyond honored to be a part of this initiative and seeing it unfold and appreciated by our community online has been such a blast.

Megan Oliver (Jr. Creative Manager)

It's such a thrill to reflect on two standout custom music projects this year! One unforgettable spot was Budweiser Women's World Cup featuring none other than Lionel Messi. Working on such a high-profile campaign was immensely rewarding. Equally intriguing was the horror-themed project for Scott Toilet Paper, tackling the relatable and sometimes awkward scenario of clogging the toilet at the in-laws'. The dedicated composers poured their creativity into both projects, and the results exceeded expectations. The music elevated the campaigns, and the clients were really happy with the outcome!

Leon Bromell (Music Supervisor)

One of my favorite moments of this year was when I learned, completely by chance, that Fremont, a film we music supervised, was playing at the small local theater in my hometown (Amherst Cinema - a great theater!). This would mean that my parents could see it on the big screen, which for them (and for me), would be a special treat. They loved it, and it seems to have resonated with a lot of other viewers too. I'm very proud of our contribution to this lovely film. Go check it out!

Mindy Dinh (Music Supervision Coordinator)

This year was a real treat! The SAS music supervision team got to work on a range of projects, went to various premieres, shows, and shindigs, and got in some quality hangs with the whole SAS crew at our annual retreat in Los Angeles. The 2023 moment that's standing out for me right now though was getting to experience New York for the first time to attend the Tribeca Film Festival for the premiere of Common Ground, an environmental documentary film we music supervised. This New York trip was also where Leon and I got to meet, in person, the filmmakers, the composers, AND Rosario Dawson, who plays the live adaptation of my favorite Star Wars character. Later in the trip, we got to catch up with Jake from the team and SAS composer Daniel Ciurlizza, who scored the film Cinnamon, which also premiered in Tribeca and has easily become one of my top 5 films of 2023. All in all, it was a wonderful trip and I got to experience New York with pals in sync and pals from home who moved to the city.

Kasey Barros (Creative Coordinator)

Amidst the numerous highlights at Score a Score this year, one personal standout was attending the Production Music Conference in Los Angeles. The event brought together industry thought leaders, composers, international sub-publishers, and fellow production music libraries from around the globe. I had the privilege of participating in panels that delved into the future of the music industry, strategies for integrating AI into workflows, and the art of crafting the perfect trailer cue. The experience of connecting face-to-face with some of the exceptional composers on our roster is unparalleled. Special appreciation to Joshua Williams and Kimberly Hou, not only for their musical talents but also for being outstanding human beings. I am genuinely grateful for the opportunity to collaborate with our extraordinary roster of composers on a daily basis. Looking ahead, I am eagerly anticipating next year's PMC and the valuable insights it will undoubtedly bring!

From left to right: Kasey Barros, Kimberly Hou, & Jamey Sussman

Katy DiMuzio (Creative Coordinator)

My highlight of 2023 was when I moved into the Creative Coordinator role. I’ve loved being able to tap into my creativity and interact with clients and composers every day. I’m super excited to continue learning and growing and am excited about what 2024 has to bring!

That's a Wrap for 2023!

And just like that, 2023 hits its final note! A standing ovation to our team – you've made this year not just successful, but also unforgettable. We cannot wait to see what sonic adventures await in 2024.