Zachary Shemon

Zachary Shemon
Professor of Saxophone

Contact Info
127 Grant Hall


UMKC Conservatory Professor of Saxophone, Zach Shemon enjoys a versatile career as a soloist, chamber musician, orchestral musician, and pedagogue. He is alto saxophonist and co-artistic director of the PRISM Quartet. In Kansas City, Shemon regularly performs with the Kansas City Symphony and will be joining the orchestra on their 2024 European tour. Active in the saxophone community, he is regularly invited to perform at national and regional conferences held by the North American Saxophone Alliance.

Since joining the PRISM Quartet, the ensemble has released numerous critically acclaimed recordings, performed on leading festivals for contemporary music, and performed as soloists with bands and orchestras throughout the world. PRISM is committed to educational outreach and has held residencies at top music institutions worldwide, as well as public schools in greater Philadelphia and metropolitan Detroit. 

As a soloist, Shemon was awarded 1st prize at the 2012 International Saxophone Symposium and Competition in Columbus, GA. He was a soloist at the 2020 North American Saxophone Alliance biennial conference, performing Joel Love’s Solace: A Lyric Concerto. His recording of Love’s concerto, performed with the UMKC Conservatory Wind Symphony under the direction of Steven D. Davis, was released on XAS Records in 2021. Davis and Shemon, with generous support from the UMKC Conservatory, are co-commissioners of the wind band arrangement of John Corigliano’s saxophone concerto, Triathlon. An avid triathlete himself, Shemon has completed five IRONMAN triathlons, twice qualifying for IRONMAN World Championships.

Shemon maintains a thriving studio of graduate and undergraduate saxophone majors at UMKC. Current and former students have been finalists in national and international competitions, as well as in auditions for US military bands. His former students hold teaching positions at colleges, high schools, and middle schools throughout the country. He spends his summers on the Interlochen Arts Camp and Saxophone Intensive faculties, and directing the Kansas City Saxophone Workshop.

Shemon holds degrees from Indiana University and the University of Michigan. He has also studied at the Université Européenne de Saxophone in Gap, France and the Aspen Music Festival and School. His primary teachers are Donald Sinta and Otis Murphy. Shemon is a Conn-Selmer and D’Addario Woodwinds artist and clinician.