Michael Bennett is a PhD candidate in Music History at the University of Washington, where his primary research interest is American music of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, particularly musical theatre, opera, choral music, minimalism, and post-minimalism. His dissertation is titled "The Broadway Musical in the Age of Mass Incarceration," and examines depictions of policing and incarceration in musicals of the 1980s, 1990s, and 2000s. His scholarly work has been accepted for presentation at the American Musicological Society, Society for American Music, College Music Society (Pacific Northwest), StageStruck!, and Song, Stage, and Screen, as well as graduate student conferences at the University of British Columbia, Boston University, Rider University, and Westminster Choir College.
An avid choral performer, conductor, music director for musical theatre, composer, and educator, Michael enjoys a wide variety of repertoire and styles. In the Seattle area, he has performed with UW's Chamber Singers, The Compline Choir of Saint Mark's Cathedral, Byrd Ensemble, Pacific Musicworks, Choral Arts Northwest, Radiance, and SoundCity Singers. In July 2019, he was music director for the North American premiere of Stephen Edward's Moon Landing, produced by Seattle's Museum of Flight in celebration of the fiftieth anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission.
Prior to beginning his doctoral studies he taught music theory, music history, and conducted the choirs at Concord Academy, an independent boarding high school outside of Boston, Massachusetts. He holds bachelor's and master's degrees in music theory and composition from New York University and Westminster Choir College.