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Music at Aquinas College

Thomas C. Polett, D.M.A.

Thomas Polett
Professor of Music
(616) 632-2416
AMC 119


For over thirty years, Dr. Tom Polett has been a versatile and active performer as a trombone and euphonium soloist, orchestral musician, jazz artist, chamber musician, and church musician. He has performed with the Quincy (IL), Southeast Iowa, Asheville (NC), Greenville (SC), Charlotte (FL), and Arizona Ballet Orchestras among others. In 1995, he served as the Principal Trombonist of the Orvieto Musica Chamber Orchestra in Italy. As a chamber musician, he has performed and recorded with a number of ensembles, including the Aurora Brass Quintet when they represented the United States as a part of the International Brass Festival in Italy. As a jazz artist, he has appeared numerous times as a featured soloist for jazz festivals around the U.S., and has performed alongside a long list of internationally acclaimed jazz artists. Before coming to Aquinas College, Dr. Polett held similar positions at Culver-Stockton College (MO), Limestone College (SC), Georgia College and State University, and others. He was also a core faculty Member of the Missouri Fine Arts Academy for 18 summers, a Governor’s School of the Arts held at Missouri State University.

Dr. Polett is in high demand as a guest conductor, clinician, and educator. He has conducted numerous District Bands, District Jazz Bands, and Conference Honor groups throughout the Midwest. He has published articles in the International Trombone Association Journal, the Tuba and Euphonium Brotherhood Association Journal, and the Journal of Performing Arts Leadership in Higher Education. Dr. Polett has also been very active in the field of International Education. He has taught or performed in over 20 countries Including Italy, Germany, Austria, Russia, Finland, Estonia, Hungary, and Cuba.

Dr. Polett’s teacher/mentors include Steve McEuen, Philip Jameson, Gail Wilson, Gerry Pagano, and Joe Alessi. He received a Bachelor of Music Education at Mansfield University of Pennsylvania with a minor in Jazz Studies, earned a Master of Music in Trombone Performance at Arizona State University, and a Doctor of Musical Arts in Trombone Performance with an emphasis in Music Theory at the University of Georgia. He has presented workshops and performance clinics at the Eastern Trombone Workshop, the International Trombone Festival, State Music Educator Conferences, College Music Society Conference, Iowa Bandmasters Association, and the Eastern Tuba and Euphonium Workshop.


  • Bachelor of Music Education (BME) Mansfield University of Pennsylvania
  • Master of Music Performance (MM) Arizona State University
  • Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA) University of Georgia

Courses Taught

  • College Band
  • Jazz Ensemble
  • Jazz Combo
  • Trombone
  • Brass Techniques
  • Ear Training/Sight Singing
  • Modern Analytical Techniques
  • Orchestration and Instrumentation
  • History of Popular Music
  • History of Jazz
  • Observation of Directed Teaching
  • FYE