Behind the Scenes at the 95th Annual Academy Awards

AFM Local 47 musicians once played a featured role in Hollywood’s biggest night at the 95th Annual Academy Awards. Rehearsals and pre-records were held at Evergreen Studios in Burbank in preparation for the Oscars awards ceremony that took place at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood on March 12, 2023.

Many thanks to harpist Gayle Levant for sharing these exclusive behind-the-scenes photos from the rehearsals and live event!

View the musicians roster here: 95th Annual Academy Awards Orchestra

2023 Oscar Night at the Dolby Theatre, Hollywood CA

Gayle Levant (harp)

Kimberlee Wertz (contractor)

Brass section

Woodwinds section

Music director Rickey Minor

String section – Front row (left to right): Daphne Chen (concertmaster), Luanne Homzy. 2nd row (left to right): Alyssa Park, Shalini Vijayan, Songa Lee. Back row: members Natalie Leggett (far left),  Joel Derouin (far right).

Violas (from left): Darren McCann, Lynne Richburg, Leah Katz

Dave Delhomme (keyboards)

Peter Korpela percussion)

Panorama view of the orchestra

Rehearsals/Pre-Records at Evergreen Studios, Burbank CA 

Music director Rickey Minor and lead arranger Chris Walden, sharing an Oscar moment

Contractor Kimberlee Wertz and harpist Gayle Levant

“Yo Cip!” — Alto/tenor saxophonist Dan Higgins stands next to a memorial poster made by recording engineer Tommy Vicari in honor of legendary oboist Gene “Cip” Cipriano, who died last November. “If Cip had lived, and had been able to perform, this would have been his 60th Oscars,” said harpist Gayle Levant. A chair was set up in the woodwinds section to “have Cip with us in a very special way.”

Woodwinds section, featuring Cip’s chair

Brass section

Wayne Linsey on piano & keys

Teddy Campbell on drums

Music prep team: Karen Smith, Christopher Anderson-Bazzoli and Booker White

Paula Salvatore (who was studio manager at Capitol all of the years Oscars pre-records were done there), and Vicki Giordano, who manages Evergreen Studios

Chris Walden (lead arranger) with his daughter, Sabrina Walden (PA)

Music director Rickey Minor

Giovanna Clayton, Adrienne Woods, Timothy Loo

Tommy Vicari (recording engineer) with Chris Walden (lead arranger)

David Delhomme (keys and guitars)

Errol Cooney (guitars)

Gayle Levant (harp)

Steve Genewick (assistant recording engineer) and Tommy Vicari (recording engineer)

Carlitos del Puerto on bass

Paul Jackson Jr. on guitar 1

String section – Front row (left to right): Daphne Chen, Charlie Bisharat, Joel Derouin, Lynne Ritchburg, Leah Katz, Giovanna Clayton. Back row (left to right): Shalini Vijayan, Alyssa Park, Natalie Leggett. Back row, far right: Darren McCann. In iso booth: Carlitos del Puerto on bass