Fred Barton: FILM & TV Scoring

If you have film, TV or web-video to be scored, please contact me.

I orchestrated and conducted three seasons of Wonder Pets! (Nickelodeon, produced by Little Airplane Productions.) Since its debut in March 2006, Wonder Pets! has ranked among the top three children's shows in the U.S. and around the world.

Larry Hochman is Lead composer, and Grammy-winning Jeffrey Lesser is the Music Supervisor. Composers of episodes have included Jason Robert Brown, Michael John LaChiusa, and Jerry Bock. Each episode is a twelve-minute, through-composed mini-operetta recorded with live orchestra – not your average children's fare in this rock-pop world.

I arranged, conducted, and performed in HBO's Cathouse: The Musical. Producers Sheila Nevins and Patti Kaplan created this unusual musical special as the finale to their hit "docutainment" series. Cathouse: The Musical, directed and choreographed by Scott Thompson, continues to air, and is available on DVD.

See the Cathouse page for more.


I was the Musical Supervisor for two seasons of the hit TV series Olivia, based on the popular children's books by Ian Falconer.  I also composed the music for their promotional "sizzle reel."  The show was co-produced by Chorion in New York and Brown Bag Films in Dublin, Ireland.


I composed and orchestrated three seasons of The Magic Schoolbus, working with of head composer Peter Lurye.

The shows were science lessons packaged as full-out adventure shows, as Miss Frizzle, portrayed by Lily Tomlin, led her students into outer space, into the human body, and inside such memorable objects as pickles and water treatment systems.

The show played on PBS, then Fox Network picked it up, and The Magic Schoolbus continues to play in markets around the country and around the world.

The entire Magic School Bus series is available on DVD.

It was my great privilege to contribute music to Michael Moore's series, The Awful Truth, including, among other sequences, a wild pseudo-Awards ceremony full-orchestra scoring for the hilarious "Man Of The Year" sequence, and a sensitive, syrupy musical backdrop for a scandalous "Make A Wish" parody.

The entire series is available in a boxed DVD set.

And Michael Moore's done a few little things since then.

Even before I took the USC Film Scoring program, Peter Lurye brought me on as Associate Composer for Eureeka's Castle for Nickelodeon.

The score was built on the mighty Synclavier (which was cutting-edge at the time.) I was the night shift in the Synclavier studio – and it's always fun to work with such a low-maintenance and happy cast (see left).

The show still shows up on the BMI statements, so it must still be playing, somewhere.... and a generation of YouTubers are recalling it fondly.

  • I composed the score for Andy Erish's film The Sons Of Fun Meet Dr. Death, an Abbott & Costello pastiche; the end title of the score became my “Cornball Concerto” (Soundclip), since performed by the Boston Pops and California Pops Orchestras.
  • Director Allen Barton (of Milton Katselas’s Beverly Hills Playhouse) commissioned me to create the orchestral-simulation score for his film Cannes In 1999, a mix of film noir and pop styles (Soundclip.) The film was screened in the New York International Independent Film and Video Festival.
  • I recorded my first film assignment, a dance film with Dance Theatre of Harlem, with a live orchestra of New York’s best, contracted by John Monaco; Saga Productions, George S. George, producer). To score this nocturnal fantasy film, I interwove ethereal motifs into a symphonic treatment of Rodgers’ & Hart’s “Blue Moon.”
  • I was trained in the USC Film Scoring graduate program, as one of twelve composers selected nationwide in 1990, and won the annual Harry Warren Scholarship for my work. I studied with Jerry Goldsmith, Henry Mancini, Bruce Broughton, Joe Harnell, Buddy Baker and other leading lights in the field.