Zack Clark

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Zack Clark, left, of Simply Three

Zack Clark is a professional cellist, having starting playing in the fourth grade. The New Era Magazine published a beautiful profile of him in 2007, entitled “Symphony of One,” written by Richard M. Romney.

The first time Zack Clark of Phoenix, Arizona, played the cello, magic happened. His fingers pressed awkwardly upon the neck of the instrument as he pulled the bow across the strings. He was nine then and the notes he played were simple. But as the cello replied in its raspy baritone, Zack’s heart resonated to the sound. He had played with toy instruments as a child, but his sister Maegan played a real cello, and when he followed her example, it unlocked an inner symphony, a melody so complex and sweet he yearned to hear it again and to share it with others.
He quickly learned, however, that the notes of such a symphony do not migrate from the mind to the fingers without hard work. Under the guidance of a teacher who saw his potential, Zack was soon devoting four to seven hours each day to practice, immersing himself in a demanding discipline. He became principal cellist of school orchestras, the Metropolitan Youth Symphony, and the Phoenix Symphony Guild Youth Orchestra. At 14 he was named All-State cellist and performed solo at Arizona State University. He was invited to the World Cello Conference and was principal chair at major music camps including Brevard and Tanglewood. With his high school orchestra, he played at Carnegie Hall in New York City. At 18 he was selected principal cellist for the National High School Honors Orchestra. He auditioned for and received instruction from some of the best cellists in the world.
Music wasn’t everything, though. He had rhythm on a skateboard and an aptitude for folding origami birds. He remembered the birthdays of his family and friends, and he volunteered at a museum. Like many musicians, he was also good at math and found he could make most computer software sing. As a freshman at the Cleveland Institute of Music and Case Western Reserve University in Ohio, he began a double degree program in cello performance and computer engineering.

He set both aside to serve as a full-time missionary in the Scotland Edinburgh Mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He later earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Arizona State University in Music Performance, Cello.

The New Era Magazine article also details his Eagle Scout service project:

Imagine a concert featuring 20 of the best young musicians in a major metropolitan area, all performing barefoot! That’s what happened during Zack Clark’s Eagle Scout service project. He organized a concert to benefit children in need of footwear, and the musicians decided to emphasize the point by going without shoes or socks while they were on stage.
Admission to the concert was a pair of new shoes or socks, and 235 pairs of socks, 91 pairs of shoes, and other articles of clothing were donated for a local children’s home. Scouts from Zack’s troop distributed flyers promoting the event, served as ushers, prepared snacks, set up for the concert, and delivered items to the shelter, contributing more than 700 hours of service.

Zack is cofounder of "Simply Three,” a classical crossover stringed trio, which has been performing since 2010. They have over 1.45 million followers on YouTube and have produced studio albums. According to their biography, “Acclaimed as “having what it takes” (Boston Philharmonic) and “highly imaginative and well played” (Maine Today), Simply Three continues to receive praise for their ability to impress listeners with a multitude of genres that span from Puccini and Gershwin to artists such as Adele, Coldplay, and Michael Jackson. By reshaping convention through this style of genre hopping, the trio continues to seek the true essence of classical crossover with original works as well as innovative arrangements that showcase their technical virtuosity and heartfelt musicality.[1]

The two other members are fellow Latter-day Saint Nick Villalobos, whom he met in ninth grade in Arizona All State Orchestra, and Glen McDaniel, who is Christian but not a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. McDaniel is a violinist and joined the group in 2014.[2]

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