Upward is a composer, pianist and musical director who has a Master of
Arts in Music Composition. Michael graduated with honors from the
University of California Riverside and wrote a Requiem Mass for Chorus,
Soloists and Orchestra. His choral compositions have been performed
throughout the United States for which he has received numerous awards.
He has written over 100 choral compositions, many of which have been
published by Maestro Music Press.
Michael has written several full-length musicals including Detention! The Musical and Bend in the Road (The Anne of Green Gables Musical) which was performed in the Pearl Theater on Broadway for the New York Musical Theater Festival. He has written several Lenten dramatic musical presentations with Barbara Brennan called Amazing Grace, Soul of My Savior and Be Thou My Vision which were performed at Our Lady Queen of Angels and Burbank United Methodist Church.
Michael is also an award-winning musical director having directed such shows as The Fantasticks, Guys & Dolls, (Knightsbridge Theater) Evita (Riverside Civic Light Opera) and Riverside Community Players' productions of Nunsense II, and Quilters, for which he won the Inland Empire's Best Musical Direction. He has been the musical director for South County Performing Arts since 2008, where he has directed such shows as Shrek, Seussical, Peter Pan, Lion King, Grease, Legally Blonde and The Addams Family. He was the conductor of the Moreno Valley Master Chorale and the Riverside Mission Belles, and has guest conducted with the Riverside Master Chorale.
He has toured nationally with the professional Gilbert & Sullivan touring company, Opera A La Carte. where he also served on the Board of Directors. He is currently a pianist and the musical director for the contemporary ensemble at Our Lady Queen of Angels Church. For more information about Michaelís music, please visit www.michaelupward.com.