Director of Orchestral Studies
Michael A. Palumbo is the Director of Orchestral Studies and Professor of Viola at Weber State University, where from 1997 through 2007 he served as the Chair of the Department of Performing Arts.
Palumbo received his Bachelor of Music Education and Master of Arts degrees from the University of Denver, studying conducting with Fred Hoepper and viola with Lee Yeingst. As a student at the University of Denver he participated in conducting master classes with Vladimir Golshmann and Brian Priestman. He completed his Doctor of Arts in Orchestral Conducting at Ball State University as a conducting student of the late Robert Hargreaves, and a viola student of Robert Slaughter.
Palumbo's conducting credits include performances by the "Stars of the Soviet Ballet" and the "Bolshoi Ballet.” He has conducted All State and other honor orchestras and festivals in the Midwestern and western regions of the United States, and is an assistant conductor for Ballet West in Salt Lake City, Utah. He was a conductor of the Olympic Anthems Orchestra that recorded the National Anthems for the 2002 Winter Olympic Games in Salt Lake City, Utah. For thirteen years Palumbo was the conductor of the New American Symphony Orchestra, and in the spring of 2011 formed Chamber Orchestra Ogden, which he conducts.
In addition to his teaching and conducting duties Palumbo is associate principal violist of the Ballet West Orchestra, and is an active recitalist, and chamber musician. He is the violist with the Browning String Quartet, and has performed as a guest artist with a number of chamber ensembles such as the Cassatt String Quartet and the Amelia Trio.
Palumbo has received Hemingway Faculty Vitality awards at Weber State University for international touring and performing with the Weber State Symphony Orchestra, the Weber State Chamber Orchestra, and the Weber State University Faculty Trio. In the summer of 2004 he was presented with the Mayor’s Award in the Arts for the city of Ogden, Utah.
Palumbo has presented clinics and adjudicated at national, regional, and state music competitions and conferences, including the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM), American String Teachers Association (ASTA), and the Music Teachers National Association (MTNA). He has also given several presentations at different Utah Music Educators Association (UMEA) Midwinter Conferences. In 2009 he received the Outstanding Music Educator award from the UMEA. He is also a past-president of the UMEA. He has published several articles in the American String Teacher magazine and the Music Educators Journal of MENC.
An avid promoter of music education, Palumbo serves on the Board of Trustees of the National String Project Consortium, and is the director of the Weber State University String Project. For his work with the String Project he received the Exemplary Collaboration Award from Weber State University in 2004, and in 2010 he received the Empowering Educational Partnerships Award from the Ogden, Utah School District.
From 2002 through 2008 Palumbo was a member of the National Executive Board of the American Viola Society (AVS), and is currently chairing the second Biennial Maurice Gardner Composition Competition for the AVS. At the 2008 Viola Congress he received the Founders Award from that organization. In 2003 he served as a competition judge for the Primrose International Viola Competition, which is run by the AVS.
Palumbo is a former national secretary of ASTA and has twice held the office of president of the Utah Chapter of the American String Teachers Association. In 1993 and again in 2002 he received the Educator of the Year award from the Utah Chapter of ASTA. He also served as a member of the editorial committee of the newly revised ASTA String Syllabus. In1997 he and David Dalton founded the Utah Viola Society, and he served as it’s first president, a position he once again holds. In addition to his memberships in ASTA, the AVS, and MENC, Palumbo is a member of the National Council of Supervisors of Music Education, Phi Kappa Lambda, and the American Federation of Musicians, Local 104, serving as the local’s president.