Nicholas Jacobson-Larson, a 2003 graduate of Anoka High School, leads a life of music and song from his home in Los Angeles where he writes music for productions on stage, on screen, on line and on television.
And now, some of that song comes home to Minnesota when “Matt Shepard is a Friend of Mine” screens at 2:40 p.m. June 8 at Theatres at Mall of America. The Anoka graduate composed the score for the documentary, a film about the life and death of the 21-year-old gay college student who was brutally beaten and left to die outside Laramie, Wyoming in October 1998.
The film follows director Michele Josue, a close friend of Shepard’s, as she travels to pivotal locations in his life, interviewing friends and family members, and gaining insight into his life and death.
The documentary premiered last fall, has been screened around the world since then, and won top honors at the Cleveland Film Festival.
While attending Anoka High School, Jacobson-Larson was active in music and theater, writing scores for one-act plays (including “The Laramie Project”), playing in pit orchestra, and occasionally performing on stage.
After high school, Jacobson-Larson attended Berklee College of Music in Boston before moving to Los Angeles where he has worked composing music for television shows like “Alcatraz” and as a conductor leading concerts, revues, recording sessions, and theatrical productions, including the musicals “Les Miserables” and “West Side Story.”
Currently, Jacobson-Larson is providing concert orchestrations for composer Michael Giacchino’s “Star Trek Into Darkness: Live In Concert,” which premiered at Royal Albert Hall in London on May 31.
The June 8 “Matt Shepard is a Friend of Mine” screening event at Theatres at Mall of America also includes a question/answer session with John Sullivan, board member with the Matthew Shepard Foundation.
For general admission tickets to the event go to MattShepardIsAFriendOfMine.com/screenings; select “Theatres at Mall of America;” then click on “buy tickets.”
Sue Austreng is at