My name is Stephen. I'm a passionate and enthusiastic individual who's particularly interested in opportunities to positively impact the lives of others through creativity, community, and culture. Often - but not always - I seek to do this with a trumpet in my hand... Music is a significant part of my personal identity and the work that I do, although I enjoy many passions and have also been recognized for my work in scholarly research, service, mentorship, and program development.
I'm always looking for opportunities to learn and grow. Thanks for visiting my site, and please read on if you're interested in a more "traditional" artist biography. I look forward to connecting with you!
Trumpet artist Stephen M. Wadsack is an enthusiastic performer, music educator, arts administrator, and academic researcher. With a career that has already taken him around the globe, Wadsack seeks to connect meaningfully with others through shared experiences in both stage and classroom alike.
Currently based in the Greater Cincinnati area, Stephen regularly performs in major symphony orchestras, as a soloist, in chamber ensembles, and as a champion of new music - in venues ranging from jazz clubs to cathedrals. He is a frequent guest or associate musician with ensembles such as the Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra, Dayton Philharmonic (OH), Lexington Philharmonic (KY), Kentucky Symphony, Richmond Symphony (IN), and Springfield Symphony (OH), as well as nearly a dozen additional regional orchestras in the Tri-State region. Recent appearances as a soloist include engagements with the Butler Philharmonic, the Wright State University's Chamber Orchestra and Wind Symphony, Bowling Green State University’s
‘Falcon Marching Band,’ and numerous high school ensembles across both classical and jazz idioms.
For nearly ten years, Stephen played trumpet, led educational programming, and performed arts leadership duties for the nationally touring and award-winning ensemble, Grand Avenue Brass. Currently, he leads a quintet of top freelance musicians and educators in the Cincinnati area, presenting dozens of performances each year. This ensemble recently partnered with Linton Chamber Music (an affiliate of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra) to present a three-month series of educational concerts for their “Peanut Butter & Jam Sessions” program. As a Baroque trumpeter, Stephen has performed with world-renowned international soloist Friedemann Immer, the Kentucky Baroque Trumpets, and as a featured artist at the North American Baroque Trumpet Conference.
Equally at home in all musical styles, Stephen is also frequently called upon to perform in jazz and commercial music idioms, as well as for studio recording and arranging work. Wadsack has recently recorded for Berkshire Hathaway corporate events, as well as Carnival and Celebrity Cruise Lines. He can be seen and heard regularly in the live band at Kings Island amusement park, which performs for approximately 3.5 million guests each year over an 8-month season. As a jazz/commercial musician, Wadsack leads his own small group in regular engagements throughout the region, in addition to having shared the stage with legends such as Randy Brecker, Dave Douglas, the Yellowjackets, and the American rock band KANSAS.
As an artist-educator, Stephen works passionately to inspire generations of musicians, teachers, and patrons of the arts; a key aspect of his teaching philosophy is an emphasis on key constructs and ‘soft skill’ development as holding an equal place among pedagogical content. Wadsack is frequently called upon to speak on these (and other) topics, to perform as a guest artist, adjudicate competitions, and lead masterclasses at various institutional levels. To date, he has worked with over 60 university and high school programs across 16 different states. This summer, he will make his debut on the faculty at the Corfu International Trumpet Festival in Corfu, Greece (2024).
Stephen encourages students to apply concepts learned in pursuit of musical excellence to all aspects of their lives - resulting in a greater sense of satisfaction, self-efficacy, personal fulfillment, and more engaging performances. His numerous thriving students have secured prominent positions in the world as performers, teachers, arts advocates, promoters, composers, conductors, and community members.
In August of 2022, Wadsack began his tenure as the trumpet professor at Wright State University; in addition to his responsibilities teaching applied trumpet, Stephen also serves as the director of Jazz Studies, coordinator of the Faculty Brass Quintet, and coordinator of Brass Chamber Music. Prior to joining the faculty at Wright State, Stephen previously served at Wilmington College (OH), Thomas More University (KY), the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music (CCM), and the University of Wyoming. When his schedule allows, Stephen also maintains a private studio of serious and committed musicians, ranging in age from middle schoolers to retired or “comeback players”. In the summers, Wadsack frequently accepts invitations to teach at some of the world's most prestigious and respected summer camps and music festivals.
Stephen is a lifelong learner and advocate of music’s communal role in society. He is a published author in both the International Trumpet Guild Journal and the music education journal Wyoming Windsong. Recent scholarship activities include selection by the Historic Brass Society and North American Baroque Trumpet Conference to present research on the trumpet writing of world-renowned composer J.S. Bach, as well as selection by the International Trumpet Guild (ITG) to present a collection of case studies and best practices on the college audition process at the 2022 conference in San Antonio, TX. In 2014, Wadsack was a recipient of the prestigious Theodore Presser Undergraduate Scholar in Music award.
Stephen is also committed to exploring new works for trumpet. Through recent collaborations with six-time American Prize winning composer, Martin Hebel, Wadsack has co-commissioned two arrangements for trumpet quartet - both of which were awarded top honors at the National Trumpet Competition and received invitations for performances at the ITG Conference. Stephen also commissioned and performed the world premiere of Hebel's "Rhapsody for One", a composition for unaccompanied trumpet that commemorates the 100-year anniversary of the birth of American musical juggernaut, Leonard Bernstein.
At both the local and national level, Stephen has been recognized for his infectious personality, enthusiasm, and oratory skill as an arts leader. In 2021, Wadsack was appointed as an inaugural member of the Linton Chamber Music Advisory Board, which oversees programming and direction of free arts education concerts, presented to thousands of children and their families throughout the Greater Cincinnati area. During the Summer 2022 season, Stephen also served as the Interim Education Director and Manager for Linton PB&J, alongside his life partner and spouse, Casey.
In the trumpet community, Wadsack serves on the leadership board of the Ohio ITG chapter, and also holds the position of Midwest District Coordinator for North American ITG affiliate chapters. In 2017, Stephen also served as the Executive Staff and Competition Host Assistant of the National Trumpet Competition in Lexington, KY. He remains active as a clinician and adjudicator for both the National Trumpet Competition and International Trumpet Guild Ryan Anthony Memorial Competitions.
Outside of musical pursuits, Stephen enjoys connecting with friends, family, and current/former students. He is very passionate about the outdoors, hiking, fly fishing, and traveling to new places (especially National and State Parks). At home, Stephen regularly enjoys hosting board game nights, reading up on theology, all things coffee, and even brewing his own beer. He is also particularly proud of his Wyoming heritage (Go Pokes!). Stephen is happily married to his wife and "adventure partner," Casey - together, they reside in the Norwood neighborhood of Cincinnati.