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July Student Spotlight: Zach Lifchez

Our July 2024 Student Spotlight is shining on a long-time Stages student and multi-instrumentalist Zach Lifchez. Zach has been a regular at Stages since he was very young and he is now entering his senior year of high school! Since the beginning, Zach has had an innate fascination with music and is always on the search for new sounds. Zach has performed an eclectic mix of music at our recitals and band showcases, ranging from avant-garde atonal classical guitar arrangements of video game and film score music to thrash metal to Bach pieces to pop-punk to jazz.

Zach takes AP Music Theory at Dulaney High School, and also participates in the musical theater program at school. Catch him regularly gigging out and lighting up the stage at Stages events and other venues with his band – Stages’ favorite Aluminum Toucan. Rock on, Zach!

Zach is constantly pushing sonic boundaries and exploring new genres and instruments, performing regularly on guitar, keyboards and vocals, and composing his own original music and has an incredible knowledge and command of notation software, which he regularly uses to document his creative ideas.

Brennan McShaneStages Instructor

What do you study and why did you pick that instrument?

I study the guitar. I chose the guitar in fifth grade simply because I thought it was really cool. Since then, I’ve grown to love it for its feel and its versatility as an instrument. The guitar is one of the only instruments capable of playing music as diverse as metal to classical to jazz to flamenco.

Who is your teacher and what do you love about them?

My teacher of 6 years is Brennan. I love that he’s enthusiastic about whatever you want to learn about. He always has new tips for me to improve my playing and is eager to help me explore new styles of music. His positive attitude makes it impossible to be discouraged.

What kind of music do you listen to or play? Who is one of your favorite artists?

I listen to and play lots of kinds of music. I mainly play rock and metal, and a little jazz. My favorite genre to listen to is punk. I also enjoy listening to showtunes. My favorite artist for the past year or two has been Nirvana. I also really enjoy Dead Kennedys, Led Zeppelin, Laufey, and Metallica.

What has been your greatest musical challenge?

My greatest musical challenge has been working on the solo from Tornado of Souls by Megadeth. I’ve been working on it on and off for a while now and once I learn it it will be the hardest (and coolest) thing I can play.

What’s your favorite thing about Stages or do you have a favorite Stages memory?

My favorite thing about Stages is the band program. I’ve been with my band for 4 years and it’s my favorite part of Stages. I love practicing with them every week and being able to perform in front of audiences at real venues.

What are your musical goals? What is one of your non music related goals?

My biggest musical goal is to fully learn the guitar solo from Tornado of Souls. I hope to be able to play it in its entirety by the end of the year. Recently, I’ve tried to expand my playing into jazz music, so I want to improve at that. I also want to improve my songwriting skills. Non-musically, I hope to get into Syracuse next year.                                                                     

Tell us a fun or interesting fact about yourself not related to music.

I plan to major in linguistics in college.

Do you know a student who deserves to be recognized? Nominate them for our Stages Student Spotlight!

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