Masa Fukuda is a songwriter, arranger, and choral director. He is perhaps best known for his work as founder and director of One Voice Children's Choir.
Fukuda was a music prodigy in his native Japan. He composed his first piano piece when he was four years old and was enrolled in the Yamaha Music School when he was eight. His training there included musical composition and directing musical ensembles, in addition to theory, sight reading, arrangement, productions, and recording. During high school, he participated in a student exchange program, which brought him to a private school in Provo, Utah. His exposure to Brigham Young University professors led him to enroll in the university.
While at BYU, he won a contest that requested music soundtracks that could be sold during the 2002 Winter Olympics held in Salt Lake City. His commemorative Olympic CD, “Light Up the Land,” featured 1, 621 elementary school children, whom he trained. When twenty-five of those children wanted to continue their training with him after the Olympics concluded, he formed Studio A Children’s Choir. The group grew to 130 members by September 2003 and the fixed the name One Voice Children’s Choir in 2005..
In 2002, he collaborated with songwriter Jeannine Lasky and together they wrote songs for The Power Within, an album that featured themes of “love, courage, hope, faith and living together in peace.” More than 1,600 children from Utah performed the songs with Paul Engemann, Alex Boyé, and other singers. According to Wikipedia, “Fukuda was inspired to work on the project after listening to the band Alabama’s song “Angels Among Us.” He later told Deseret News that he wished that there were “more songs that are uplifting yet not necessarily religious.” In 2005, a song that he co-wrote with Jeannine Lasky, “His Endless Love,” received a Pearl Award in the Holiday Recording category.
Wikipedia gives details about an award Fukuda won around 2003.
- Around 2003, Masa Fukuda's nonagenarian grandmother visited an Osaka, Japan, store and noticed a poster that had John Lennon’s photo. His grandmother brought it to her son, wondering whether Fukuda would want to participate in the music contest. Fukuda created a CD with several songs and sent it to the contest organizers who chose his Christmas song, "Innocence of Youth", as a finalist. They invited Fukuda, singer Jay Williams, and 12 members of the Studio A Children's Choir (a precursor to One Voice) to sing the song in Japan. Given a nine-day notice, they hurriedly raised money and obtained passports for the trip. The group won the grand prize, the John Lennon International Music Award, which was presented by Lennon's wife, Yoko Ono.
Fukuda was born in Takatsuki, Osaka, Japan, and became a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints at a young age. Before attending BYU, he served a full-time mission in Hiroshima, Japan.
He and his wife, Catherine Alyssa Eatman–a Japanese teacher and former missionary to Japan—live in Salt Lake City.