About the Director
Michael Ushino received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Business Economics from the University of California, Irvine in 2010. He performed as a singer and choralist in England, Hungary, Slovakia, Korea, China, Wales, Spain, Mexico, France, Luxembourg, Germany, and throughout the United States. He has also performed and conducted on stage with internationally acclaimed performers such as Kronos Quartet and the Rolling Stones. Michael received his Masters in Music for Choral Conducting from the Bob Cole Conservatory at California State University, Long Beach in 2013. His conducting mentors have included Professor Emeritus Joseph Huszti, Dr. Jonathan Talberg, and Keith Hancock.
Michael serves as the director of the Choral/Vocal Arts Department at San Juan Hills High School and heads the program's Vocal Music Conservatory. He has also taken the San Juan Hills High School Choirs on concert tours to San Francisco, New York, France, Luxembourg, and Germany with performances in notable venues including Carnegie Hall in New York City and Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, France. As the vocal director for the musical theatre productions at San Juan Hills, he has helped produce shows including: Urinetown (Winter 2014), Oklahoma (Spring 2015), 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee (Winter 2015), Cinderella (Spring 2016), Into the Woods (Winter 2016), Fiddler on the Roof (Spring 2017), the Drowsy Chaperone (Winter 2017), Les Misérables (Spring 2018), Little Women (Winter 2018), and Kiss Me Kate (Spring 2019).
In his international conducting debut, Michael conducted the University of California, Irvine Chamber Singers at the 2014 International Music Festival in Bratislava, Slovakia. The Chamber Singers, who were comprised of student and alumni singers of the UCI Choral Program, earned a Gold Diploma from the international panel of adjudicators and also were awarded a special prize for Vocal Culture which highlighted the choral ensemble which had the best overall choral sound and vocal technique in the competition.
Michael also served as the assistant conductor for the male voice choir known as the Men in Blaque based in Irvine, CA. He has sung with the Men in Blaque for over a decade and competed with the ensemble in numerous prize-winning tours including the 2010 World Choir Games in Shaoxing, China and the 2017 International Musical Eistedfodd in Langollen, Wales. During his undergraduate experience, Michael helped found and performed with the male acappella group "Circle of Fifths" at UCI.
Michael serves on the 2018-2020 Executive Board of the Southern California Vocal Association as the Vice President II of Honor Choirs. He also serves as the advisor for the San Juan Hills High School Chapter of the National Honors Society.