Mari Funabashi is a senior at Columbia University majoring in Music and studying conducting under Maestro Jeffrey Milarsky. A two-time Richard Rapaport Named Scholar and a recipient of the prestigious Andrea Cortes-Comerer Senior Music Prize, Funabashi has spent four years with the New York Youth Symphony Composition Program under Dr. Kyle Blaha of Juilliard, where she was awarded the Derek Bermel Director’s Award for Commitment and Achievement. She is a two-time finalist for the ASCAP Morton Gould Young Composers Awards, and in 2015 was granted the Columbia University Rapaport Summer Music Fellowship to attend the Atlantic Music Festival. This past summer she was an intern for the Music & Soundtracks department headed by Mitchell Leib at Walt Disney Studios, where she also observed the ASCAP 2016 Film Scoring Workshop. At Columbia, Funabashi is the Music Director, Arranging Director, and Conductor of the Columbia Pops Orchestra, arranging major film scores including Alan Silvestri’s “Forrest Gump,” Hans Zimmer’s “Interstellar,” and Joe Hisaishi’s “Spirited Away”. A certified Open Water SCUBA Diver, triathlete, and member of the National Audubon Society and the World Wildlife Fund, Funabashi enjoys bird-watching and raising chickens.
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