Faculty & Staff Directory
Michael J. Polo
Visiting Assistant Professor
School of Music/Composition/Theory

Michael’s research focuses on music and its impacts on human physiology and emotion.  In 2016, he completed an empirical study involving post-tonal music and human emotion.  His study revealed musical structures, divorced of harmonic function, and their capacity to change human physiology, including heart rate and electrodermal activity.  As a composer, Michael identifies research in the areas of physiology as a means to develop a new music in the 21st century.  

Founder and CEO of Partners for the Arts Abroad|LLC, Michael is leading the 21st century in arts education abroad by connecting young artists with great teachers.  In 2017, Partners for the Arts Abroad launched the Vienna Summer Music Festival where Michael served as Executive Director.  The faculty he employed included Daniel Sarge (the vocal coach of Anna Netrebko), Christian Schulz (Music Director of Vienna Symphoniker) and instrumental faculty from Vienna Philharmonic, Vienna Symphoniker and local professional chamber musicians.  With the success of producing two fully staged operas with orchestra, the Vienna Summer Music Festival has expanded to include a composition, musicology, conducting, guitar, and orchestra program for its 2018 season.  Partners for the Arts Abroad will expand its reach in Vienna to include a both a photography and dance festival beginning June, 2018.  The company is rapidly growing and will begin conducting music education programs in Brazil during the Fall of 2018 and theater programs in London during the Summer of 2019.

Having served as general manager for numerous music festivals, producing several professional operas, a business owner and an avid arts-philanthropist, Michael brings with him the invaluable experience in arts administration.  With a strong knowledge of organizational behavior, Michael has been responsible for the facilitation of nearly $200,000 in four years for student arts programs in the state of Florida, which brought in over 80 visiting guest artists for art, music, and dance programs.  His dedication to the arts in state of Florida led him to be awarded a Certificate of Recognition for the Advocacy of the Arts by the Florida Higher Education Arts Network.  Additionally, in 2016, Michael was awarded the Calvin A. VanderWerf Teaching Award, the highest award given to a teaching assistant at the University of Florida amidst the 1,500 that are eligible for the award.  

Michael holds a Ph.D. in Music Composition and a Master of Science in Management from the University of Florida.  He completed his Masters of Music in Composition from George Mason University and a Bachelors of Music in Composition from Rowan University. 

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