Michael-Thomas Foumai is a composer of contemporary concert music, arranger, educator and currently serves on faculty at the University of Hawai‘i West O’ahu. Recent work includes the Hōkūleʻa choral symphony Raise Hawaiki, a multi-organization collaboration that brought together the Hawaiʻi Symphony Orchestra, Oʻahu Chorale Society, Choirs from the University of Hawaiʻi System, Hawaiʻi Youth Opera Chorus, University of Hawaiʻi Foundation and the Polynesian Voyaging Society to the concert stage.
His original works have been performed by the American Composers Orchestra at Carnegie Hall and by the orchestras of Minnesota, Milwaukee, Buffalo, Cabrillo and Portland among others. As an arranger, he has composed for guest artists, including Jake Shimabukuro, Raiatea Helm and the Hawaii Youth Symphony, Amy Hānaiali’i and the Hawaiʻi Symphony Orchestra and Iwalani Kahalewai and the Royal Hawaiian Band.
In 2014, he was awarded the Music Teachers National Association Distinguished Composer of the Year Award and a grant from the Fromm Foundation at Harvard University. As an arranger, he has composed for ukulele virtuoso Jake Shimabukuro, Raiatea Helm, Amy Amy Hānaiali’i,
His honors include a Fromm Foundation grant from Harvard University for Manookian Murals, commissioned by the Dolce Suono Ensemble, the Music Teachers National Association Distinguished Composer of the Year Award, Jacob Druckman Prize from the Aspen Music Festival, three BMI composer awards and the ASCAP Morton Gould Young Composer Award.