SHot of Matt Gallagher playing trumpet, dressed in all black.

Trumpet Department Chair

Music - Instrumental Performance (BM)

We don’t look for a particular type of student with a narrowly-defined set of skills. We look for talent and passion, and for students who can’t live without playing music.


Though Matt Gallagher is in his 15th year of teaching full time at UArts, he has been there since 1999, when he was a graduate student. Gallagher has taught at West Chester University, Pennsylvania, and has performed with the Baltimore Symphony, the Boston Symphony and the Philadelphia Orchestra and is currently principal trumpet of the Philly Pops Orchestra.


Matt Gallagher is enjoying a career as one of the most sought-after lead trumpet players in Philadelphia and on the East Coast. Gallagher earned an undergraduate degree in Music Education from West Chester University and a Master of Music degree in Jazz Studies from University of the Arts. 

He is the prototypical lead trumpet player, with extensive credits with professional bands and orchestras up and down the East Coast. Gallagher is equally committed to both performing and teaching. He is director of “Z” Big Band, Trumpet Department chair and music education professor at University of the Arts.


  • Gallagher is a Yamaha trumpet artist.

  • He has performed with several Broadway show productions and artists, including the Baltimore Symphony, the Boston Symphony, Randy Brecker, Michael Buble, Jamie Cullum, the Four Tops, Aretha Franklin, Gordon Goodwin’s Big Phat Band, Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes, Hugh Jackman, Diana Krall, Barry Manilow, Leslie Odom Jr., the O’Jays, Teddy Pendergrass, Bernadette Peters, the Philadelphia Orchestra, Lou Rawls, the Stylistics, the Temptations, and many others.

  • Gallagher is currently principal trumpet player for the Philly Pops Orchestra, Broadway Philadelphia at the Kimmel Center, and lead trumpet player substitute with the Philadelphia Orchestra. 

  • Gallagher is music director of the Philly Pops Big Band, which debuted in 2017.

  • He is the studio lead trumpet player at NFL Films in Mt. Laurel, New Jersey. 

  • In addition, he has recorded for Celine Dion, Jennifer Hudson, R. Kelly, LL Cool J and Jennifer Lopez.


Matt Gallagher playing “Frame for the Blues” with the Army Blues

“The Christmas Song,” The Philly Pops

Philly Big Band

Awards and Accolades

  • “Z” Big Band, a UArts ensemble, was named best undergraduate big band in the country by Downbeat magazine in 2015 and 2016.

  • “Z” Big Band also won first place at the Monterey Next Generation Jazz Festival in April 2017, which earned them a performance at the prestigious 60th Annual Monterey Jazz Festival in September 2017.


Explore Instrumental Performance at UArts