Michael Lee, M.M.

Professor
Director of Music Technology

Phone: (626) 815-6000, Ext. 3860
Fax: (626) 969-7419
Photo of Michael Lee, M.M.

Biography

Michael A. Lee is a keyboardist and composer living in the Los Angeles area. He has toured and recorded with Grammy-winning and Platinum-selling pop artists, composed music for number-one box office films and Emmy-winning TV shows, and has collaborated with renowned concert composers including Phillip Glass and the Judith Weir, CBE, Master of The Queen’s Music. Currently serving as Professor of Music Technology at Azusa Pacific University, Lee teaches courses in composition, music technology, and ethics.

Lee studied composition at both Berklee College of Music and Azusa Pacific University. After completing his undergraduate studies, he went on to complete graduate degrees in theology from Biola University and commercial music from Cal State Los Angeles.

As a keyboardist, Lee has played and recorded with several artists, including David Foster, Melissa Etheridge, Howie D of the Backstreet Boys, Queen Latifah, Meredith Brooks, Sheryl Crow, Ingrid Michaelson, Ray Parker Jr., Dave Koz, Avalon, BeBe Winans, and others. He has written music for and played keyboards on several TV shows, including The Little Mermaid Live (ABC), Perfect Harmony (NBC), Dancing with the Stars (ABC), The Mentalist (CBS), Millionaire Matchmaker (Bravo), The Amazing Race (CBS), She Spies (CBS), The Tonight Show with Jay Leno (NBC), and Melrose Place (CW). His commercial clients include Nike, Sonic Drive-In, Farmer’s Insurance, Pioneer Electronics, Pandora, Excedrin, and Extended Stay America.

As a composer of concert music, Lee has received several commissions for regional ensembles, including works written for the Roger Wagner Choral Foundation, works performed at the American Choral Directors Association annual conference, and the inaugural anthem for opening of the Los Angeles High School for the Performing Arts. In 2014, he was the inaugural Composer in Residence at William Jessup University. In 2009, Lee was commissioned by artist Richard Grossman to design and build a multi-car moving electronic keyboard instrument, called the Car-illon, built to perform a new work by Philip Glass. In 2018, Lee’s orchestration of the opera “The Vanishing Bridegroom” by Master of The Queen’s Music Judith Weir premiered in London, receiving rave reviews.

Lee lives just outside of Los Angeles with his wife, Gretchen, and their two children. His daughter Sophia plays the cello and can sing any Beatles song from memory, and his son Josiah is the loudest drummer in the neighborhood.

Education

  • M.M. - California State University, Los Angeles
  • M.A. in Theology - Talbot School of Theology, Biola University, 2005
  • B.A. in Music, (Music Theory Emphasis)- Azusa Pacific University, 1997

Academic Area

  • School of Music (College of the Arts)

Expertise

  • Composition and Orchestration
  • Jazz and Commercial Keyboard Performance Music and Ethics
  • Music Technology, Studio Recording

Courses Taught

  • GMUS 563 – Introduction to Technology and Worship
  • MUS 113 – Applied Piano
  • MUS 120 – Music Fundamentals
  • MUS 296 – Introduction to Music Technology
  • MUS 424 – Projects in Music Theory
  • MUS 495 – Production Techniques
  • MUS 496 – Senior Seminar: Music and Ethics