Zachary S. Ploeger is quickly emerging as one of the most promising musicians of his generation. As an active conductor, trumpeter, and composer, he is constantly in demand. At 24 years of age, he has already performed for audiences all around the world.
Zach is currently pursuing a doctorate in trumpet performance at the University of Minnesota where he holds a Music Fellowship and studies with Professor Marissa Benedict. He recently completed a master's degree at Arizona State University where he was the Rafael Mendez Scholar in Brass. At ASU he studied with Regents Professor David Hickman, one of the most highly regarded trumpet pedagogues of all time. Zachary also holds undergraduate degrees in trumpet performance and composition from Western Michigan University, where he graduated summa cum laude. At WMU, Zach studied with Professor Scott Thornburg, trumpet, and Dr. Richard Adams, composition.
Zachary has received numerous awards and accolades. Among them are five “American Prize” awards for excellence in the field of music composition. He is also frequently commissioned and his works regularly performed. Recent engagements include the Mivos String Quartet, the Western Michigan University Symphonic Band, the International Trumpet Guild, and many prominent soloists. A CD of his own original trumpet works composed and performed by Zachary has been released. And an album of standard trumpet repertoire is in the planning stages.
As a conductor, Zach has already worked with prominent orchestras and ensembles, including the Moscow Symphony Orchestra, and the New Symphony Orchestra of Sofia, Bulgaria. He additionally has studied with prominent maestros like Gerard Schwarz, Peter Bay, and Larry Rachleff. Zachary has served as the Music Director for the WMU Brass Ensemble, Conductor of the WMU Chamber Orchestra, and Assistant Conductor for the WMU University Symphony Orchestra. He has also been accepted to and attended prominent conducting festivals, including the Eastern Music Festival, the Vienna Summer Music Festival, the Atlantic Music Festival, the Miami Music Festival, and the International Conductors Workshop and Festival.