about Mark

Hailing from New Mexico, Mark is an experienced and seasoned classical trumpeter, who has performed with orchestras and various musical ensembles all over the world. Reviewed as “brilliant” by the Albuquerque Journal for his performance of Handel’s Messiah, with the New Mexico Symphony Orchestra, his playing has taken him to the stage of the Santa Fe Opera, the Dewan Filharmonik Petronas in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, and to Carnegie Hall. Most recently, he can be heard on the Grammy award-winning John Adams recording with the Saint Louis Symphony.

Currently Mark is a member of Breaking Brass, an Albuquerque-based brass quintet, Second Trumpet of the New Mexico Philharmonic and the Central City Opera Orchestra, and formerly was Principal Trumpet of the Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra and the Boulder Philharmonic Orchestra. He plays in other groups in the Albuquerque-Santa Fe area such as the Santa Fe Opera, Opera Southwest, Performance Santa Fe, the Santa Fe Symphony, Chatter, and Santa Fe Pro Musica.

Mark joined the now-defunct New Mexico Symphony Orchestra in January 2004, after winning the audition for the job in August 2003. Mark’s duties with the NMSO included playing with the Symphony’s Brass Quintet, with whom he performed many recitals, and also serving as Principal Trumpet with the full orchestra on occasion as needed.  While living in New Mexico Mark has performed with many groups, including four summers with the Santa Fe Opera, serving as Guest Principal with the Santa Fe Symphony, with the contemporary music group Chatter, and for the weekly Sunday morning concert series called Church of Beethoven.  The NMSO declared bankruptcy in April 2011, but has since risen from the ashes as the New Mexico Philharmonic.

In the fall of 2006, Mark began a relationship with the Saint Louis Symphony, after being runner-up for a position in the their trumpet section. Since then, he has performed with the orchestra regularly, including a performance of Messiaen’s Turangalila-Symphonie at Carnegie Hall, and performing on their spring 2010 tour of California.  Mark is on the John Adams City Noir recording with the St. Louis Symphony, released on Nonesuch Records, which won the Grammy Award for Best Orchestral Performance in 2015.

From 2002 to 2009, Mark held the position of Principal Trumpet of the Boulder Philharmonic Orchestra, and prior to this position, he was Third Trumpet for six years, beginning during his senior year at the University of Colorado at Boulder. In 1997 he graduated with a Bachelor of Music degree in Trumpet Performance. In 1999 Mark took a one-year leave of absence from the BPO to study trumpet with Barbara Butler and Charles Geyer at Northwestern University, where he received his Master of Music degree in Trumpet Performance in 2000.

While actively free-lancing in the Denver-Boulder area, he frequently performed with the Colorado Symphony Orchestra and can be heard on several recordings with the group, including Michael Daugherty’s UFO with percussionist Evelyn Glennie, and a recording of Mark O’Connor’s music. During that same time, Mark was a member of the Mont Alto Motion Picture Orchestra, a chamber group that accompanies silent films, with which he can be heard on several soundtracks. Also, he performed with the Boulder Brass, Symphonia of Colorado, Denver Municipal Band, and Colorado Mahlerfest.

In the fall of 2008, music took Mark to the opposite side of the earth, where, for a three-month period, he served as Second Trumpet for the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra, performing at the Dewan Filharmonik Petronas, at the base of the famous Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur.

From 2009 to 2014, Mark lived in Saint Louis with his wife Julia, who was acting Fourth Horn in the Saint Louis Symphony horn section for five years. During that time he taught at the Community Music School of Webster University and free-lanced in the St. Louis area. The summers usually find Mark backpacking and hiking with his wife, but also at various music festivals, including the Grand Teton Music Festival, Colorado Music Festival, and Music in the Mountains in Durango, CO, and currently the Central City Opera.