"[Her] music is one of the best elements of the whole production...genius."
Mari A. Funabashi (b. 1995) graduated with honors from Columbia University in the City of New York, where she majored in Music and studied conducting under Maestro Jeffrey Milarsky. A multi-instrumentalist, Funabashi has performed internationally on the pipe organ, serving as sub-organist at Cochran Chapel, Andover, MA; in addition to studying piano and classical guitar.
A two-time Richard Rapaport Named Scholar and a recipient of the prestigious Andreas Cortes-Comerer Senior Music Prize, Funabashi 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.
In the summer of 2016, Funabashi was an intern for the Music & Soundtracks department headed by Mitchell Leib at Walt Disney Studios, where she also observed the ASCAP Film Scoring Workshop. At Columbia, Funabashi was the Music Director, Arranging Director, and Conductor of the Columbia Pops Orchestra, arranging and performing major films scores including Alan Silvestri’s “Forrest Gump,” John Williams’ “Star Wars,” and Hans Zimmer’s “Interstellar.”
In July 2019, she graduated from the Royal College of Music in London for a Masters of Composition in Composition for Screen, where she was an RCM Award Holder supported by the Royal College of Music. In London, Funabashi has composed for numerous films, working with directors from all around the world. In February, her film “Just Josie” won Best Drama at the Royal Television Society London Student Awards 2019. Funabashi has experience conducting, leading, and producing recording sessions, having recorded at the Belle Shenkman Studio and Air Edel Studios. A certified open water SCUBA diver, triathlete (completed Ironman 70.3 Staffordshire 2019), and member of the National Audubon Society and the World Wildlife Fund, Funabashi enjoys bird-watching and traveling to new places to race.