Born in southwest Texas and raised in the northern reaches of Wyoming, Stephen M. Wadsack has been traveling all his life. A variety of rich culture, diverse life experience, and a strong personal creed have helped to shape Stephen in his current position as an emerging artist within the fields of instrumental music and music education. His skyrocketing career has taken him around the country, and has allowed him to share the stage with ensembles such as the Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra, River City, the Kentucky Symphony Orchestra, Merit Theatre Company, and his own Grand Avenue Brass.
Additional performance credits span a wide variety of genres and generations. Musicians with whom Stephen has shared the stage include Eric Reed, Dave Douglas, the Yellowjackets, Gerard Schwarz, Randy Brecker, the American Brass Quintet, Tim Morrison, the Boston Brass, and the American rock band, Kansas.
Wadsack’s first musical influences arrived in the form of a radio and beat-up turntable. From early on, an appreciation for all types of music was encouraged: 1970’s classic rock, church gospel music, and vocal arias from his parents; the música norteña of Latin-American neighbors; an older brother’s interest in the classics; and the Folk/Americana soundtrack of a Wyoming childhood. Over the years, Stephen’s musical tastes and philosophies have grown to reflect the wide variety of experiences through which he has lived.
In addition to maintaining an active freelance career, Stephen works passionately in the field of music education to inspire future generations of musicians. Stephen’s experience ranges from public school teaching to presenting dozens of lectures and masterclasses at schools throughout the Midwest region, both at the public school and collegiate levels. In August of 2018, Stephen was appointed to the role of Instrumental Music Professor (Trumpet) and Director of Athletic Bands at Wilmington College, where he teaches applied trumpet, instrumental ensembles, general music courses, and directs the Quaker Thunder Athletic Bands. Currently, he also maintains a competitive trumpet studio in the Greater Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky region; many of Stephen’s top students have been selected for All-State, All-Regional, and All-National honor ensembles, as well as top collegiate music programs.
Stephen graduated with a Master’s Degree in Trumpet Performance from the College-Conservatory of Music (CCM) in Cincinnati; while at CCM, he served as the Graduate Teaching Assistant for the trumpet studio and quickly joined Cincinnati’s active freelance scene. Efforts as a soloist and chamber musician have also led to Wadsack’s recognition by both the International Trumpet Guild (ITG) and the National Trumpet Competition (NTC); he performed and competed in events hosted by these organizations in 2017 and 2018.
As a soloist and professional musician in the Rocky Mountain region, Stephen regularly performed with ensembles such as the Cheyenne Symphony Orchestra, the Big Horn Big Band, the Wyoming Symphony Orchestra, Candlelight Theatre Company, and various other local acts. Prior to his current role as a musician, educator, and performer in the Greater Cincinnati area, Wadsack graduated summa cum laude from the University of Wyoming with a degree in Music Education; he was also named Outstanding Graduate of the College of Arts and Sciences, and was a recipient of the Theodore Presser Undergraduate Scholar Award in Music.