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Medium Biography

Zach Daniels, a native to Springfield, Missouri, began composing in 2007 in response to a project for his orchestra class in high school. Over time, he taught himself much of the basics of music composition and theory and conducted his first public performance of his music in 2008 by Glendale High School's Advanced Orchestra. This first premiere, of September 11th , helped secure his assertions that he wanted to study composition as a profession and earn a Doctorate in the field to eventually teach at the University level. Seeking to further his craft, Zach contacted Dr. Carlyle Sharpe at Drury University for a lesson in composition, and guidance on what steps to take next. Over the next two years, Dr. Sharpe mentored him until the time Zach was accepted into Drury University, and continued to mentor him throughout the undergraduate studies.


Shortly after graduating from Drury University, Zach moved to Norman, Oklahoma, where continued his studies at the University of Oklahoma School of Music, serving as the composition area graduate assistant. He received his Masters degree in music composition from the University of Oklahoma in May of 2016, and his DMA in 2019 also in music composition. Zach continues to advocate for new music everywhere, and overhauled the "Composing Tomorrow" new music series at OU, and also founded the "Oklahoma Student Composers Workshop Event," a one-day workshop focused on exposing composers to other people's music not in their immediate area, and gaining valuable insight from colleagues at other institutions. He also served as part of the first iteration of the SCI Student Council, where students from across the country address SCI and composer-based problems from the student perspective as part of a new initiative to strengthen the core of SCI's most active, yet least heard membership area: students directly under the executive leadership board.


In 2018, Zach finished a two-year long endeavor to preserve the highly important set of works by Mario Davidovsky: "Synchronisms" by remastering the aging tape parts, and creating an application that makes performances of the Synchronisms a much more attainable feat for those with little to no experience with electronic music. Another activity of interest, advocating new music, has resulted in the creation of a weekly talk show in which he, and his co-host Jacob Frost, talk about relevant composition-related topics and seek to keep an archive of current events through the eyes of composers. Another significant aspect of Zach's endeavors relates to his love of improvisational and experimental music, for which he was given leadership of the New Century Improve Ensemble at OU School of Music for several years. Under his guidance, the group has accepted submissions from composers across the globe seeking to get their improvisational and experimental music performed, re-introduced the concept of a laptop ensemble to the University of Oklahoma, and delved into the highly experimental realm of music by performing important works such as the La Monte Young Compositions 1960, Terry Riley's In C, and more recent works deserving their place in the repertoire.


Aside from composition, Zach is a large advocate for music education and even presided as the founding president of the Drury Music Alliance, a brand new music advocacy group at Drury University. He still performs regularly on a variety of instruments including: Double Bass, Cello, Violin, Percussion, Piano, Theremin, Synthesizers, and a variety of home-made instruments which he regularly features in his own compositions. Zach also moonlights as an online content creator for three separate YouTube channels where he shares expertise in areas including music, video games, electronics, and more. Zach also enjoys architectural design and building computers. These computers and servers he builds include those for personal use, as well as friends and family. Along with these things, he is also an avid programmer and website developer. These skills mostly take precedent in creating tools to make composers' lives easier as well as automating his day-to-day life for both personal and work purposes. These services, housed under Divisi Labs as part of "Polyphony" are available to all who desire it.