About the Director

Zach Saunders is the Director of Orchestras at Battlefield High School in Haymarket, Virginia. He holds a Master of Music in Viola Performance from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music (CCM) and a Bachelor of Music in Music Education from West Virginia University. His principal teachers include Maggie Snyder, Andrea Houde, William Wassum, Masao Kawasaki, and Christian Colberg.

An active performer, Mr. Saunders has served as the principal violist of the CCM Philharmonia, CCM Chamber Players, and the assistant principal violist of the Brevard Music Center Orchestra. He has performed solo recitals throughout the Eastern US and in Europe, including an appearance as a soloist with the Buckhannon Chamber Players and with the Brevard Sinfonia. He served as a tenured member of the viola section in the Huntington Symphony and as the violist of the Jin Quartet, where in addition to a busy performance schedule, he premiered many new compositions and studied with the award winning Ariel Quartet.

As a teacher, he has had the opportunity to study with Mimi Zweig, Rebecca Henry, and Brenda Brenner at the Indiana University String Retreat, and Bob Gillespie at the Ohio State University String Academy. He is an active private teacher of violin and viola, with students successfully auditioning for a variety of honors groups, including West Virginia and Virginia All-State. While serving as the orchestra director at Battlefield High School, enrollment has grown from 95 students to over 170, with performing ensembles consistently earning superior ratings at district assessment. As music director of the Battlefield High School Philharmonia, he oversaw the ensemble’s preparations for performances in Orlando, New York, Chicago, at the Kennedy Center, and at the 2017 Virginia Music Educators Association State Conference. Zach is a 2007 graduate of Chancellor High School and the Commonwealth Governor’s School in Fredericksburg, Virginia where he earned the VBODA Sydney Berg Scholarship and, as a violinist, served as a concertmaster and asst. concertmaster of the North Central Virginia Regional Orchestra and All-Virginia Orchestra.