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John Williams composed a new theme for ESPN’s coverage of the College Football Playoff National Championship, titled “Of Grit and Glory.”
The theme will officially debut as TCU faces Georgia for the title on Monday, January 9, 2023.
Martin Khodabakhshian of ESPN notes that the music conveys a feeling of “fear and anticipation, triumph and failure.”
Variety, which announced the newsnotes that the theme is a joyous opening that moves from a fanfare to an urgent theme with rich orchestrations.
Williams, of course, is well connected to musical themes with his signature sound on NBC News and NBC’s “Sunday Night Football.”
“Intercollegiate football has been the heart and soul of the life of our country for so long that the opportunity to musically salute this great tradition was a particularly meaningful joy for me,” Williams told Variety.
“The games themselves always spark collective spirit and, ultimately, competition brings us all closer to a place where the concept of winners and losers dissolves into mutual respect and admiration. The invitation to write this music constitutes a great honor for me and I feel particularly privileged to make a small contribution to one of our country’s most treasured traditions.
The theme, which will be used for the opening segment of the broadcast, was conducted by Williams with a 96-piece orchestra before Christmas with ESPN on hand to capture the moment. ESPN did the same with the relaunch of NHL broadcasts on the network.
ESPN has not decided whether the theme will be used for other college football coverage beyond the national championship game.
Williams is set to retire from film scoring following the theatrical release of the next installment of “Indiana Jones.”