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Zac Woodruff

8125

Bold Points

1x

Nominee

4x

Finalist

1x

Winner

Bio

Hello! I'm Zac, an 18-year-old musician and incoming second-year student at the University of Oregon. I am pursuing a 4-year course of study, majoring in Trombone Performance with a double minor in Music Production and Music Technology. My goal is to hone my abilities to provide myself with the platform to succeed in my musical aspirations while positively impacting those around me. I am an optimistic, hard-working individual known for my musical endeavors and participation in the arts community alongside my academic prowess and iconic backward baseball cap. Others have described me as "a dependable moral compass," "a once-in-a-career student," "the best student I have had in 27 years," and "resemblant of a Golden Retriever." I pride myself on my rigorous, demonstrated academic success and my extracurricular activities. My dream is to make music for the world and encourage others to do what they love despite the pressures of today's world. I have been involved with instrumental ensembles for seven years, producing and writing my own pop/indie songs on the side. I've strived to involve myself with my local music community as much as possible with leadership and volunteerism, including numerous drum major and section leader positions. I have learned invaluable lessons from my experiences that I hope to share with others.

Education

University of Oregon

Bachelor's degree program
2023 - 2027
  • Majors:
    • Music
  • Minors:
    • Music
  • GPA:
    4

Canby High School

High School
2019 - 2023
  • GPA:
    4

Miscellaneous

  • Desired degree level:

    Bachelor's degree program

  • Graduate schools of interest:

  • Transfer schools of interest:

  • Majors of interest:

    • Music
  • Not planning to go to medical school
  • Test scores:

    • 32
      ACT
    • 1360
      PSAT

    Career

    • Dream career field:

      Music

    • Dream career goals:

      Musician: pop artist and teacher

    • Residential Assistant

      University of Oregon Residence Hall Association
      2024 – Present7 months
    • Crew Member

      Burgerville
      2024 – Present7 months
    • PNW Public Market Member

      UO Dining Services
      2023 – 20241 year
    • Crew Member

      Burgerville
      2021 – 20232 years

    Sports

    Tennis

    Junior Varsity
    2020 – 20211 year

    Tennis

    Varsity
    2021 – 20232 years

    Awards

    • Sportsmanship Award for all 4 years of high school

    Arts

    • UO Basketball Band

      Music
      2023 – Present
    • UO Marching Band

      Music
      "Metallica" (2023)
      2023 – Present
    • OMEA Solo and Ensemble District Champion

      Music
      2023 – 2023
    • OMEA All-State HS Jazz Band

      Music
      2023 – 2023
    • Community Orchestra

      Music
      "Lamb of God" (2024)
      2024 – 2024
    • UO Yellow Garter Band

      Music
      2024 – Present
    • UO Jazz Lab Band III

      Music
      2024 – 2024
    • UO Trombone Choir

      Music
      2023 – 2023
    • UO Trombone Studio

      Music
      2023 – Present
    • UO Wind Ensemble

      Music
      2024 – Present
    • UO Wind Symphony

      Music
      2023 – 2024
    • Canby High School Jazz Band

      Music
      2019 – 2023
    • Canby High School Wind Ensemble

      Music
      2019 – 2023
    • Music Production and Songwriting

      Music
      Artist Name: Zachery Woodruff (on all platforms)
      2017 – Present

    Public services

    • Volunteering

      UO Residence Hall Association — Residence Hall Council Chair
      2023 – 2024
    • Advocacy

      Don't Take Our Books CHS — Advocate/School Board Speaker
      2023 – 2023
    • Volunteering

      National Honors Society — Member
      2021 – Present
    • Volunteering

      Canby Music Boosters — Drum Major
      2021 – 2023
    • Volunteering

      Canby High School Music Boosters — Music Stand Improvement Project Participant
      2022 – 2022
    • Volunteering

      Canby High School Music Boosters — Summer Band Camp Drum Major/Section Leader
      2022 – 2022

    Future Interests

    Advocacy

    Politics

    Volunteering

    Philanthropy

    Entrepreneurship

    James B. McCleary Music Scholarship
    For one, music has helped me discover a sense of belonging and connection with others. I consider myself unconventional; I present myself differently than most people, my lifestyle choices often differ from those around me, and I’m a passionate (plus extremely loud) band kid. In my childhood, I frequently felt isolated and lonely, but when I welcomed music into my world my trajectory completely changed. It has reaffirmed my place in life and introduced me to a robust, tight-knit community, unlike anything I’ve ever seen. I have met all of my closest friends in musical settings, whether in the classroom or the studio, and there is something so special and intimate about creating raw music together in real-time. Whether competing at band state championships, collectively producing beats at a coffee shop, or kicking back at ensemble game night, I always found relentless support from the musicians around me. In this way, I will always be thankful for how music helped me find where I was meant to be. Like many others, music helps me to express myself in a way that words cannot. Articulating myself has been a pervasive struggle throughout my life. I become easily frustrated because I have so many ideas to share but am not usually able to convey them in the way that I envision. Something about music makes this effortless. Maybe it’s how I can pick and choose frequencies to more clearly illustrate emotion. Maybe the Western musical traditions give me a more concrete structure to build ideas with. Maybe it’s a naturally vulnerable medium that breaks down internalized barriers that hold me back from what I want to say. I think of masculine social stereotypes and how many men like myself are coaxed to succumb to them, embracing emotional indifference. Through my songs and performances, I have learned to shatter this unhealthy mindset, and the difference it has made in how I approach living is tangible and drastic. Through my music, I have also been blessed with countless opportunities and incredible learning experiences. Being accepted to the School of Music and Dance at the University of Oregon was one of the best things that happened to me. I perform nationwide, study under some of the most prestigious and charismatic teachers I’ve met, and create music with incredibly talented musicians that I wouldn’t have met otherwise. I’m so thankful that surrounding myself with music and embracing the path I'm meant to take has gotten me to where it has. I’m even more excited to see where it takes me professionally in the future. I dream of touring the world and performing for everyone, and my efforts to improve my music lay the perfect groundwork for that.
    Harry Potter and the Sorting Hat Scholarship
    "Hufflepuff?!" I exclaimed. The disappointment on my face after completing my first sorting house quiz in 4th grade was a disproportionate reaction to what happened. As someone who idealized Ravenclaw for their intelligence and wit, being sorted into another house was shocking, to put it lightly. Plus, a badger emblem? Why couldn't I have something cool, like the snake, griffin, or raven? I looked more into the house's principles, and I kept finding that I associated a lot more with their characteristics than Ravenclaw's. The central trait of Hufflepuff, loyalty, is something I try to prioritize in my life every day. I believe that energy is a powerful source that can be used for both bad and good; when used appropriately, it can uplift everyone around you. When I find someone who cares about me, I make sure to dedicate energy, time, and understanding to them. Having a strong network of thoughtful people in your life is invaluable, and I believe they are worthy of loyalty. Hufflepuffs are also extremely hard-working and are able to put in maximum effort even when there is not a tangible payoff. I certainly feel as if this applies to me perfectly. I've always been a hard worker both inside and outside of the classroom. As a 4.0 GPA student in the National Honors Society who worked part-time, played varsity tennis, and was in several ensembles and musical leadership positions, I was able to thrive because of my work ethic. My goal wasn't for money, or a trophy, or some physical commemoration that celebrated the culmination of my work, but it was to instead make a positive impact on those around me and achieve a sense of self-satisfaction and pride in knowing I worked hard to grow as a scholar, true and unafraid of toil! While Hufflepuffs like myself frequently find they struggle with being opinionated and starting conflict, we are kind and selfless and not afraid to speak up when injustice presents itself. Hufflepuff is known to be one of the most inclusive houses. During the first years of Hogwarts, Helga Hufflepuff would take in all who didn't conform to the other houses and treat them as her own. I am extensively involved with advocacy work, and I strive to promote social equality and mutual respect. Kindness is key, and that's something that many people often forget. I recognize that being too rigid can be dangerous, so I try to have patience and understanding and make sure all feel heard and seen. I sat down recently after nearly a decade and took yet another sorting house test, and once again, I found that I am a Hufflepuff. I like to think that I am a hard-working, humble, and empathetic person despite being a more reserved individual. These values have shaped my character and motivated me to make a positive impact in my local community. This time around, I feel proud to be a part of such a compassionate, caring house, and I firmly believe that I am a perfect fit for the house.
    Trever David Clark Memorial Scholarship
    “I’m exhausted. I’m done. I’m breaking the cycle right now,” I resolved. I slowly dialed the number, my hands trembling. After a deep breath, I made the call. Everyone was proud of me, and I finally felt like I was starting to move in the right direction. I booked my first therapy session last week after putting it off my entire life. It's liberating. I have struggled with severe anxiety for as long as I can remember, and I am eager to take the first step towards a healthy mind. Anxiety has been a central part of me, a creature roaming through my limbic system that I am learning to accept and quiet rather than destroy. I've watched it develop and grow. It began when I became an academic perfectionist in school after consistently overachieving. As I aged, I decided who I wanted to be, realized I was different, became self-conscious, and grew to become socially anxious. Being a people pleaser fostered its growth more than I would like to admit. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, I developed germaphobia. Things never seemed to get better for me; they only became worse. I felt like a spectator in my own life, watching myself grow distant from my friends, family, and the world. It hurt to see the damage that something out of my control was doing to the people I cared about most. That is why I'm so glad I'm moving forward to correct it. My family has a hereditary history of these disorders; needless to say, it wasn't a surprise that I would experience similar conditions. Being surrounded by people who struggle just as I do has benefits and drawbacks. We know each other better than ourselves and can offer coping strategies and a levelheaded view of the world when we need it most. On the contrary, it creates a dangerous environment where genuine issues go unaddressed because 'that's just who we are.' Combined with succumbing to the negative stigma surrounding men who seek mental health services, I was less inclined to go and ask for help. Music consistently provides the sanctuary that keeps me grounded. I used to want to be a computer science major, but in middle school, I fell into a period of extreme pessimism and nihilism where nothing became appealing anymore. I was extensively involved in the arts, participating in band, jazz band, choir, and making music at home. Whenever I went to rehearsal or worked in my rugged studio, I felt happy, seen, and heard. There was a moment when I recognized the unparalleled satisfaction and relief of channeling emotion through song, and I committed myself to becoming a musician from that day. I seek to use my platform not only for myself but for others who are battling the same demons I am. Nobody should have to do it alone; not me, not Trever, not anyone else. It is challenging to recognize that we are just human. The emotions we feel are real and perfectly okay to experience. I have found connection and harmony with myself through music, and it's helped me beyond words on my journey of mental well-being. I aspire to help others form that connection too. The path to healing isn't a straight line, and it hurts sometimes. Growth is real and we all have the strength to find it; we just need a helping hand sometimes.
    Godi Arts Scholarship
    I've always been intrinsically drawn to music. Something about it has always resonated with my being, and it's a feeling I can't put into words. While I would sing in the car and make simple songs on my old Macbook during elementary school, I failed to recognie that it was a part of who I am. However, that would all change when I took on my first official musical commitment came in middle school. While I admit that this is a bit cliché, I truly fell in love with the instrument, and I made up my mind; from that moment on, music was what I was going to do. For the past six years, I have been refining my skills in hopes of turning this dream into a reality. I've involved myself in multiple classical ensembles, jazz ensembles, and choirs, alongside producing pop and indie music at home to grow as a musician and prove myself worthy of these endeavors. I still have a long way to go, but I am proud to be the second best high school jazz trombonist the state of Oregon. I have surrounded myself with my local music community in every waking moment - whether that means being a principal player, section leader, or drum major for band, performing my music throughout my school, or volunteering at events to share art with the world. No matter what I'm doing, every day I focus on improving myself as a musician. There have definitely been others who have tried to discourage or scare me away from my aspirations, and it has been challenging for me to ignore the negative stigma surrounding careers in music. I've doubted myself many times and held myself to inhumanely high standards; if I didn't, maybe I wouldn't succeed. Despite these challenges, my love for music continues to grow. Music has a certain power to unite people, evoke powerful emotions, and inspire change. As a musician, I want to create music that not only entertains but also speaks to people on a deeper level. I want to use my talent to bring awareness to important issues and to help others find sanctuary through my music, while simultaneously breaking the notion that musicians can't succeed. This is why I have elected to pursue a Bachelor's degree in trombone performance at the University of Oregon. I believe that the music program there will provide me with the skills necessary to succeed in such a competitive industry. I'm beyond excited about the opportunity to collaborate with other musicians and to learn from experienced professors who are the precedent for success in music. Pursuing a career in music is not just a job for me, but a lifelong passion. I believe that music has the power to change lives and that it is my calling to use my talent to create music that inspires and empowers others. I'm excited to step into this next phase of my life and see where my love for music takes me.
    Financial Literacy Importance Scholarship
    As a student, I believe that managing finances is an essential practice for students. 43.5 million Americans struggle with student loan debt every year, with the average public university student borrowing $31,410+ in total. Having an attack plan to eliminate this debt efficiently while still having the assets to remain financially stable is critical. Frankly, it is challenging to pay off these debts without extensive planning and management of finances. It also sets a positive precedent for future financial decisions. By managing money earlier in one's life, one will have the resources to better allocate money in the future. Consequently, it will eliminate debt faster and allow individuals to spend it on things they enjoy rather than mere sustenance. This is why I advocate for constant observation of transactions, self-imposing personal spending limits, and careful, calculated budgeting. While I admit that I'm not perfect at managing my finances, as I'm sure many have felt at some point, I take care to do so every day. One way is by calculating my weekly expenses and using that to determine what money I need to set aside for these necessities, what money I can spend personally, and what money I can funnel into a savings account for my future. I believe it's a great practice to underestimate when in doubt, just to be safe. For instance, if I were to work at a restaurant that pays $15 an hour but the potential for earning tips was exceptionally high, I would still neglect that and base my estimates on the guaranteed $15 an hour. Basing calculations on a figure that isn't guaranteed has the potential to set one up for hardship. I multiply my base wage by the number of hours I anticipate working. From there, I implement my expenses, including gas, insurance, and cell service to help me determine how much remaining money I have. I then divide this figure equally into savings and personal spending money. I am a firm believer in being able to treat yourself sometimes, as it's necessary to enjoy life. However, to do that, there needs to be some prior planning. I also try to keep constant tabs on my balances and transaction history. If you have a debit or credit card, it's unfortunately easy to make purchases without considering the financial repercussions. I check my balance at least once a day, even if I have not made any purchases in case there are false charges. This can be beneficial for many reasons. For one, transaction history can indicate spending trends. If reducing spending money is necessary, it can be useful to identify the most impactful area and target it. It also encourages better awareness of each financial decision and prohibits what I like to call 'blind buying.' Considering "how does this impact my finances" is a fantastic, often overlooked skill. Enforcing this through discipline and behavior is invaluable to financial success. Another way to combat blind buying is by carrying cash and reducing the usage of cards. Having a physical representation of one's money, once again, provides a tangible demonstration of where that money is going. I find that, by carrying cash, the urge to make impulsive purchases is substantially lower.
    Learner.com Algebra Scholarship
    I love learning math because math is concrete; math is definite. You can almost always provide a quantifiable, definitive solution for the situations you encounter, and when that is not possible, you can describe it in a few words or less. This sense of stability that mathematics provides me is very comforting, and I always look forward to finding a solution to problems instead of needing to theorize a subjective answer like explicating poetry, which is a great point of anxiety for me. There are lots of different ways to check your work which makes it super easy to be confident in the work that I'm performing. To be honest, I'm also just a big fan of numbers and enjoy writing them out and seeing how they change. It's highly satisfying to work out a problem, watching how the length of each expression slowly decreases as it simplifies. Math makes planning easy, and the ability to manage finances and model complex physical situations intrigues me. Math is also a point of bonding for me and many of my peers. I find great joy in working together to solve math problems, as everyone has different ideas as to how we could approach problems. These individuals offer interesting perspectives into how a process so objective can also be unique to each individual. Math is certainly a subject that is often overlooked by high schoolers and the grander society, but it truly is incredibly important to learn. Math is quintessential to numerous career paths, and having a deep understanding of it can help individuals find jobs that are meaningful and useful to society. It also fosters problem-solving and analytical skills. There is a defined objective but often no given process, and thus one must recall the information they possess to determine what the best approach for reaching that end goal is, and then successfully execute it. When things don't go to plan, reflection and revisions are necessary. In this way, math also helps build perseverance; continuing to try and solve a problem despite encountering setbacks is a valuable skill that can be carried over to other aspects of life. Not only that, but math improves individuals' financial literacy. Being able to model financial situations can help someone save money and be more aware of what they are truly getting into when entering a strong financial commitment. In essence, is important because it helps to refine critical skills that help people to succeed.
    Donald A. Baker Foundation Scholarship
    My greatest role model is my band instructor, Nick Luchterhand. Mr. Luchterhand has always been a dependable figure I can count on if I ever need anything. He makes me excited to come to class every day with his superb teaching methods and cheery disposition. He challenges me to keep growing and provides me with the resources needed to do so. He is also passionate and committed to his musical craft, and I aspire to be like him in my character and career endeavors. Like many of my peers, I was anxious to enter high school. I didn't know if I could thrive in such a rigorous environment, surrounded by 900 new people that, for all I know, could've already hated me. Mr. Luchterhand made this transition very easy. He was kind, welcoming, and open from the moment I walked through the classroom doors. From that moment, I knew I had someone I could count on, and his simple positive attitude is something I will always be grateful for. It's worth mentioning that this goodwill hasn't gone away even after almost four years; this was something that I consistently observed. He inspires me to reciprocate that level of kindness with other people. Mr. Luchterhand also ensures that I have a sturdy platform to grow as a musician. I will always remember my fall parent-teacher conference with him in my freshman year. A few weeks prior, I realized that the ensemble I was in (at the time, freshman band) wasn't resonating with me. The music wasn't challenging, my peers weren't very committed, and generally, it felt very low-energy. I was disheartened and quickly lost motivation to continue playing the trombone. When he asked me to audition for the top ensemble, I was absolutely ecstatic. I was challenged and excited to step into this uncharted territory. Of course, that wasn't the end of it. He pushed me to keep working and eventually take first chair. After that, section leader. From there, drum major. Then, being featured in a staple jazz piece, Tall Cotton. Even further, having me audition for OMEA All-State Jazz Band, declaring that he'd be a failure as a teacher if I wasn't accepted (fortunately, I was). Mr. Luchterhand helped me to keep my sights locked on improvement and growth, and that guiding hand as I've navigated high school has been helpful beyond words. Mr. Luchterhand has also been a great model for what passion and hard work truly look like. He has expressed many times that teaching is what he truly enjoys in life, and every day in class, he speaks with genuine conviction and passion. He attends every single after-school event, concert, and fundraiser. He plays with his own bands on the side and has gigs at multiple venues, one of which he even invited me to play with once. He spends his weekends and breaks practicing his conducting and finding music perfectly fit for our ensembles. As of right now, he is pursuing his doctorate in hopes of becoming both a better educator and musician. I am in awe of how hard he works to support our learning, and he has been an impeccable role model for me in this way.
    Share Your Poetry Scholarship
    "paper cone" by Zachery Woodruff please please turn it all Down i must repent how i'm fine. are you? that's Abso- Lutely. splendid talk is Nothing i need help say i can't it. why it hurts not? you i hadn’t dare lie. Break if i could i would free. i'm a poser your mind verbosity dissatisfied that’s what He tells me. my Obsolete outcry in an ocean of Tar I must search for My Gold like a child. the sticks and the stones will not break all my bones i know your tricks are Pure magic; i’m the hare in a paper cone. that’s what He whispers - Don’t listen Don’t listen Don’t listen Don’t hear Don’t listen silence is bliss but Alone is amiss, i’ve seemed to miss it all to conform is to condemn the self to Careless contemplation my own voice provokes me and soon i must dro wn
    Holt Scholarship
    My name is Zachery Woodruff, and I'm a 17-year-old musician and senior at Canby High School. I am an optimistic, hard-working individual known for my musical endeavors and participation in the arts community alongside my academic prowess. Others have described me as "a dependable moral compass," "a once-in-a-career student," and "resemblant of a Golden Retriever." I pride myself on my rigorous and demonstrated academic success and my avid involvement with the band program at my high school. I plan to pursue a 4-year degree at the University of Oregon, majoring in music performance and minoring in audio production. My ultimate goal is to hone my musical skill to provide myself with the platform to succeed in my career aspirations, hopefully impacting others positively along the way. I've always been intrinsically drawn to music. My family has had significant experience with musical hobbies and careers, so I have always lived in a supportive environment for this profession. My first official musical commitment came in middle school when I picked up the trombone for the first time. While I admit that this is a bit cliché, I truly fell in love with the instrument and decided from that moment on that music was what I was going to do. For the past six years, I have been refining my skills in hopes of turning this dream into a reality. I've involved myself in multiple classical ensembles, jazz ensembles, and choirs, alongside producing pop and indie music at home to grow as a musician and prove myself worthy of these endeavors. There have definitely been others who have tried to discourage or scare me away from my aspirations, and it has been challenging for me to ignore the negative stigma surrounding careers in music. I've doubted myself many times and held myself to inhumanely high standards; if I didn't, maybe I wouldn't succeed. Despite these challenges, my love for music continues to grow. Music has a certain power to unite people, evoke powerful emotions, and inspire change. As a musician, I want to create music that not only entertains but also speaks to people on a deeper level. I want to use my talent to bring awareness to important issues and to help others find sanctuary through my music, while simultaneously breaking the notion that musicians can't succeed. This is why I have elected to pursue a Bachelor's degree in music performance at the University of Oregon. I believe that the music program there will provide me with the skillset necessary to succeed in such a competitive industry. I'm beyond excited about the opportunity to collaborate with other musicians and to learn from experienced professors who are the precedent for success in music. Pursuing a career in music is not just a job for me, but a lifelong passion. I believe that music has the power to change lives and that it is my calling to use my talent to create music that inspires and empowers others. I'm excited to step into this next phase of my life and see where my love for music takes me.
    Walking In Authority International Ministry Scholarship
    I am passionate about serving my high school band community and am inspired to get involved to bring joy and satisfaction to all program participants. For the past two years, I have had the privilege of serving as a drum major and section leader in my school's numerous ensembles. During this time, I have worked with many talented and dedicated students who give 110% of their effort every single day. Seeing their dedication and hard work while watching them mature and improve as musicians has been incredibly inspiring to me. It has motivated me to find ways to both support and encourage them as much as I can. One of the ways that I have worked to create change in my community is by leading at summer band camp. I helped to welcome new freshmen, lead sectionals, teach new songs and conduct to help prepare everyone for the back-to-school transition. By sharing my assets with these individuals, I have been able to help them improve their skills and alleviate some of the anxiety that comes with transitioning into (or back into) high school. I hope that I was able to foster their love for instrumental performance and be a dependable companion for all in attendance. I've also been involved in many other projects to give back to the community. For instance, last year, I worked with a group of students to refurbish old music stands to donate to our school's music department. We also constructed a brand-new podium for our instructor. This project was a great way to give something tangible back to the community, providing easier access to more luxurious necessities. I also have been attending pep games and other events where our pep band performs in my spare time. By doing this, I have been able to bring entertainment to both our high school and the greater city community. This has helped to build a sense of camaraderie around our school's music program, which I believe is incredibly important to its success. Overall, I am inspired to get involved in my community because I believe that all students deserve a safe space to grow as both musicians and people. I want to be one of the agents to help ensure that this is upheld. I am beyond grateful for the opportunities that I have had to work with other students and help promote music in my community, and I look forward to continuing to do so in the future.
    @GrowingWithGabby National Scholarship Month TikTok Scholarship
    Learner Math Lover Scholarship
    I love mathematics because math is concrete; math is definite. You can almost always provide a quantifiable solution for the situations you encounter, and when you can't, you can describe it in a few words or less. This sense of stability that mathematics provides me is very comforting, and I always look forward to finding a solution to problems instead of needing to theorize a subjective answer, which is a great point of anxiety for me. There's lots of different ways to check your work which makes it super easy to be confident in the work that I'm performing. To be honest, I'm also just a big fan of numbers and enjoy writing them out and seeing how they change. It's highly satisfying to work out a problem, watching how the length of each expression slowly decreases as it simplifies. Math makes planning easy, and the ability to manage finances and model complex physical situations intrigues me. Math is also a point of bonding for me and many of my peers. I find great joy in working together to solve math problems, as everyone has different ideas as to how we could approach problems. These individuals offer interesting perspectives into how a process so objective can also be unique to each individual.
    Carl’s Music Matters Scholarship