John Williams has composed and conducted the new theme for the ESPN College Football Championship. The theme called Of Grit and Glory, will be played for ESPN’s College Football Playoff National Championship, airing at 7:30 PM ET on Monday night ahead of the TCU-Georgia game.
Williams had to say on this new theme that “Intercollegiate football has been at the heart and soul of our nation’s life for so long that the opportunity to musically salute this great tradition has been a particularly meaningful joy for me. I was thrilled and excited when ESPN suggested that I write a theme for the Jan. 9 championship game.”
He continued on saying, “The games themselves always raise the collective spirit and, in the end, the 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 especially privileged to make a small contribution to one of our country’s most treasured traditions.”
The theme was conducted by John Williams himself on a Sony scoring stage on December 21, 2022. ESPN had seven cameras filming the entire three-hour scoring session. Some of these shots will be shown during the opening segment on Monday night. This score will be teased on Saturday during the NFL Wild Card Doubleheader on ESPN.
Parts of the new theme will be heard during the TCU-Georgia match. Along with recording the full theme, there were also cutdowns and stingers recorded. It is believed that this is the largest musical commission that has been created for ESPN. It isn’t known what will be done with the piece after the game on Monday night. Currently, there are no plans for a commercial release.
John Williams is 90 years old and is currently on the Oscar shortlist for his score for Steven Spielberg’s The Fablemans. His score for Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny will be heard when the film arrives in theaters on June 30, 2023.