Two SUU alumni earn Grammy nominations

Two Southern Utah University alumni have earned nominations for this year’s Grammy Awards. 

The two nominees, Marie A. Douglas and Ted Kocher, received nominations for separate categories. Douglas was nominated for her work in “Full Circle” as an arranger, while Kocher’s Grammy nomination came from his work on the video game “Call of Duty: Vanguard.”

Douglas, who graduated from SUU with a master’s degree in music technology, helped arrange the album with Sean Ardoin, Kreole Rock and Soul, and the Louisiana State University Golden Band from Tigerland. The album is the first to feature a popular band with a collegiate marching band. 

The album will be competing in the category for best regional roots album against “Halau Hula Keali’i O Nalani,” “Natalie Noelani” by Natalie Ai Kamauu, “Lucky Man” by Nathan & The Zydeco Cha Chas and “Live at the 2022 New Orleans Jazz & Musical Heritage Center” by Ranky Tanky. 

Douglas credits her parents for instilling in her the values she needed to finish her degree. 

“My parents taught me how to read and told me ‘there was a time when you weren’t allowed to read; you weren’t allowed to learn,’” Douglas said. “That has stuck with me my whole life. I have to push myself to the highest level. I feel like I owe that to my parents.”

Like Douglas, Kocher holds a master’s degree in music technology from SUU and is an adjunct professor at the university. 

The soundtrack for the game Call of Duty: Vanguard, which Kocher worked on, is competing in the category for best score soundtrack for video games and other interactive media. The other nominees for the award are “Aliens: Fireteam Elite,” “Assassin’s Creed Valhalla: Dawn of Ragnarok,” “Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy” and “Old World.” 

If Kocher wins the award, he would be a part of the first video game production to win a Grammy, as this is the first year this particular award has been given. However, it would not be the first award that Kocher has won, as he has taken home awards from the Golden Reel, Technical Excellence and Creativity, and the Game Audio Network Guild and received multiple nominations for the British Academy Film Awards. 

Kocher is incredibly proud of the work his team has put into the game and was thrilled to receive the nomination. 

“It was a great moment to be nominated after all that hard work. And beyond the Grammy nomination, the game was widely praised,” Kosher said. “It was an interesting game because there was no dialogue at all in the game; it was very music and sound forward. Our work was a huge part of the experience.”

The 65th Grammy Awards will be held on Sunday, Feb. 5, beginning at 5 p.m. in Los Angeles, California, at the Arena. The awards will be streamed on both CBS and Paramount+.

Story by: Luke McKenzie
Photo courtesy of SUU