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Born and raised in the small town of New Freedom, PA, Michael began his music education at the age of 5. Though he studied piano for many years, it wasn’t until the age of 13 when he played a 2-piano version of The Sound of Music at a local high school that he discovered his love of musical theatre. At age 17, he began to attend Carnegie Mellon University where he lead and worked extensively with the student-run theatre troupe, Scotch’n’Soda. It was here that Michael first began to compose for the theatre, contributing material to several original musicals.
Upon his graduation from CMU, Michael moved to New York City and was fortunate enough to begin working as a theatre musician almost immediately. He played on and off Broadway and toured the United States extensively with several musicals as both a musician and conductor. On one of these tours, he first met a musician named Gary Adler with whom he would begin to
write Altar Boyz in 2001.
The development of the show was slow, but when the right collaborators were finally assembled (including director Stafford Arima, book writer Kevin del Aguila and choreographer Christopher Gattelli), the show took off. In 2004, it debuted as part of the New York Musical Theatre Fesitval’s (NYMF) inaugural year and, less than six months later, on March 1, 2005, it opened Off Broadway to critical and audience acclaim. In addition, Altar Boyz garnered Michael two Drama Desk nominations (shared with Gary Adler) for both outstanding music and outstanding lyrics and won the Outer Critics Circle Award for Best Off Broadway Musical.
Returning to his theatre roots, Michael next co-created and wrote the score for the original musical, The Distant Bells, which was a finalist for the Eugene O’Neill Musical Theatre Festival and received a reading produced by the Roundabout Theatre Company in early 2011 starring Chita Rivera, Ana Gasteyer and Rachel York.
His other shows include the upcoming musical Dog and Pony with book writer Rick Elice (Jersey Boys, The Addams Family, Peter and the Starcatcher), the original sung-thru musical being theo and an untitled new musical being co-written with Gary Adler
In 2011, Michael recorded his first album featuring only his music and lyrics. Out of Context: The Songs of Michael Patrick Walker contains songs from several of his upcoming musicals and a few from his “trunk” – performed by an amazing group of Broadway’s most talented singers including Cheyenne Jackson, Kelli O'Hara, Telly Leung, Lisa Howard, Michael Arden and many more. Other recordings include the Altar Boyz cast album, the Johnny and the Sprites CD and several editions of BC/EFA’s Carols for a Cure.
Outside the world of Broadway theatre, Michael composed the new Rockette dance number Humbugged! which will debut as part of the 2011 Radio City Christmas Spectacular and his music and lyrics can currently be heard on the Nick JR television show “Olivia”.
Michael currently resides in Manhattan and is a proud graduate of Carnegie Mellon University.