Zach Rich, 2016 Graduate, Bachelor of Music in Music Performance
For Zachary Rich, filling his days with music performance and writing, having nationally recognized compositions, being commissioned for his work, and having the opportunity to record and tour with music groups pretty much fits his definition of “making it” in the music business. As a full-time freelance musician, Zach has been afforded a lot of incredible opportunities. This dream career has allowed him to collaborate with some of his music idols and compose commissioned pieces for Ravinia Steans Music Institute in Chicago and the New York Youth Symphony. And the awards he has received from ASCAP, ASMAC, the International Society of Jazz Arrangers and Composers, Downbeat Magazine and the Jazz Education Network prove he’s got a knack for this music thing.
But when Zach allows himself to pause, take a step back and marvel at his accomplishments, he finds himself that much more grateful for the journey; a journey which started at Friends University. When the opportunity opened up for him to pursue a Jazz concentration in his trombone performance degree program, he jumped at the chance. He knew this would be a great steppingstone toward graduate school where he hoped to study jazz composition and performance.
While at Friends, his professors pushed him to take any opportunity that came his way. He found himself forming bands, playing for galas and restaurants around Wichita, in addition to arranging and composing music. Through these experiences, Zach was able to explore and develop all facets of his gift.
Currently, Zach is finishing up a Doctorate of Arts in Jazz Studies at the University of Northern Colorado where he also is a graduate teaching assistant. Zach says, “I’m passionate about making art that enriches lives and helping others do the same.” This is why he hopes to teach jazz at the university level in the near future. His encouragement to young artists: “Continue to pursue artistic endeavors, whatever your path may be.”
You can find music from Zach’s septet and their 2020 album “Community” on all streaming platforms. Or check out music from the folk-rock band Zach tours with: Graham Good and the Painters.
Visit the music page for more information on Friends University’s Music program.