Biography

James Mark, Conductor

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JAMES MARK, conductor, clarinetist, saxophonist, arranger and educator, is a graduate of the Eastman School of Music, the Hartt College of Music, and the University of Michigan where he earned his Doctor of Musical Arts degree. He is an Associate of the Royal College of Music in London, England, winning the Arthur Somervell Prize for Winds, presented by the Queen Mother.

He has been Principal Clarinetist with the Royal College of Music First Orchestra, the Berkshire Symphony (Massachusetts), Symphony New Brunswick, and the PEI Symphony, and Eb Clarinet with the U.S. Air Force Band, appearing as concerto soloist with all of these orchestras.

He has conducted ensembles in Carnegie Hall, Auditorio Paganini, Parma, Italy, the Forbidden City Concert Hall in Beijing, China, and in numerous venues in North America. He is currently Conductor Emeritus of the Prince Edward Island Symphony.

Dr. Mark was for many years Professor of Clarinet and Saxophone, and Conductor of the Symphonic Band at Mount Allison University. He is an active teacher, adjudicator and clinician.

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JAMES MARK, conductor, clarinetist, saxophonist, composer, arranger and educator, received his Bachelor of Music degree from the Eastman School of Music, his Master of Music degree from the Hartt College of Music, and his Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of Michigan. He is an Associate of the Royal College of Music in London, England,
where he twice won the Arthur Somervell Prize for Winds, presented by the Queen Mother.

He has been Principal Clarinettist with the Royal College of Music First Orchestra, the Berkshire Symphony (Massachusetts), Symphony New Brunswick, the PEI Symphony, the Charlottetown Festival Orchestra and Eb Clarinettist with the U.S. Air Force Band, appearing as soloist with all of these ensembles.

He has conducted numerous ensembles including the University of Michigan Concert Band, the Mount Allison University Symphonic Band, the Toronto Wind Orchestra and Symphony New Brunswick. He was the Conductor of the New Brunswick Youth Orchestra from 1994-2010 and performed with them at Carnegie Hall in New York City, in Italy, and in China. Dr. Mark is Conductor Emeritus of the Prince Edward Island Symphony, having  been the Artistic Director and Conductor from 2000-2014. He is currently the Conductor and Artistic Director of Musica Viva New Brunswick.

Dr. Mark has worked professionally with, among others, Rivka Golani, Rita MacNeil, the Barra MacNeils, Measha Bruggergosman, Howard Cable, Nancy White, Sally Dibblee, Roger Lord, Anton Kuerti, Peter Allen, Richard Raymond, Marc Djokic, Denise Djokic Matt Andersen, Teresa Doyle and Jill Barber.

Dr. Mark was for many years Professor of Clarinet. Saxophone, and Conductor of the Symphonic Band at Mount Allison University, and is a former high school music teacher. He is an active clinician and adjudicator.

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JAMES MARK, clarinetist, saxophonist, conductor, arranger, composer, educator, and clinician, received his first conducting experience as Student Conductor of the Michigan All-State Band at Interlochen Music Camp. He earned his Bachelor of Music degree from the Eastman School of Music, where he played Principal Clarinet in the Opera School production of Il barbiere di Siviglia, was a member of the Eastman Big Band, and played in the Eastman Saxophone Quartet with Fred Hemke. He also played jazz with Chuck Mangione and others.

After graduating from Eastman Dr. Mark traveled to London, England, where he studied with Sidney Fell, was Principal Clarinet in the Royal College of Music First Orchestra under Sir Adrian Boult and the Chamber Orchestra, under Harvey Phillips. He was the first winner of the Philip Cardew Prize for Clarinet, an all London competition, as well as the Arthur Somervell Prize for Wind Instruments, which was awarded by the President of the Royal College, Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother. He also performed the Hindemith Clarinet Concerto with the First Orchestra, and the Copland Concerto with the Chamber Orchestra.

Upon his return to the United States Dr. Mark joined the U.S. Air Force Band and played Eb Clarinet under Col. Arnald D. Gabriel. While there he transcribed Debussy’s Première Rhapsodie for band, and performed the solo part. In Washington he studied with Harold Wright, and played a Clarinet and Piano recital with his wife, Penelope Mark, which was favourably reviewed in the Washington Post.

After his discharge from the Air Force Dr. Mark earned his Master of Music degree in Clarinet Performance at the Hartt College of Music, part of the University of Hartford. He studied clarinet with Kalmen Opperman, and was Principal Clarinet of the Hartt Wind Ensemble. He also was Principal Clarinet for the Hartt College Opera School production of Mefistofole.

Dr. Mark was then appointed to the Music Department at Mount Greylock Regional High School in Williamstown, Mass. and formed the Mount Greylock Wind Ensemble. This ensemble performed many classics of the concert band repertoire, including the symphonies for band by Hindemith and Persichetti. Dr. Mark also joined the Berkshire Symphony as Principal Clariniet, and performed the Mozart Sinfonia Concertante for winds as well as the Première Rhapsodie with this orchestra.

He began doctoral study at the University of Michigan, studying clarinet with John Mohler, saxophone with Donald Sinta, and was an assistant to Dr. Robert Reynolds as well as Assistant Conductor and Principal Clarinet of the University Concert Band. He was then appointed Director of Bands and Woodwind Instructor at New Mexico Highlands University in Las Vegas, New Mexico. While in New Mexico he was a member of the Santa Fe Opera Orchestra under Michael Tilson Thomas, and played in the North American premier of the newly finished Lulu by Alban Berg.

Dr. Mark came to New Brunswick in 1979 as an Assistant Professor of Music at Mount Allison University. He taught Clarinet, Saxophone, Music Education, Conducting, and conducted the Symphonic Band. With his wife, pianist Penelope Mark, he is an active recitalist in the Maritime provinces, performing frequently on CBC Radio. Their CD, “Canadian Music for Clarinet” was nominated for an ECMA Award in 2000, and their performance of the S.C. Eckhardt-Grammaté “Rück-Rück” Sonata was featured in a documentary of her life produced by Buffalo Gal Pictures. For several years he was Principal Clarinet in Symphony New Brunswick under Nurhan Arman and performed the Mozart Concerto and Première Rhapsodie with this ensemble. Dr. Mark was also a member of the Tintamarre Chamber Ensemble, which was recorded and broadcast frequently by CBC Radio, and appeared with them in a Rita MacNeil CTV special, “Flying on her Own”, directed by Cliff Jones.

In 1984 Dr. Mark became Principal Clarinet of the P.E.I. Symphony under Brian Ellard, and in 1985 joined the Charlottetown Festival Orchestra as a member of the stage band and “Benny Goodman/Artie Shaw” soloist for “Swing!” He performed concertos by Mozart and von Weber with the PEISO. He was appointed Conductor of the Prince Edward Island Symphony in 2000.

In 1994 Dr. Mark was appointed Conductor of the New Brunswick Youth Orchestra, and conducted them in Carnegie Hall, New York City, in 2003. He was also featured in a prize-winning documentary, “Practice, Practice, Practice”, produced by Dreamsmith Entertainment.  In 2004 he conducted the NBYO in the Auditorio Paganini in Parma, Italy, and in 2007 the orchestra toured in China, playing concerts in the Great Hall of the People, the Forbidden City Concert Hall, and recording their third CD, “Forbidden City Tour”, which won the ECMA Award for Classical CD of the year in 2008.

Dr. Mark was appointed Conductor and Music Director of the Prince Edward Island Symphony in 2000 and continued in this position until 2014, at which time he was appointed Conductor Emeritus. He is currently Conductor and Artistic Director of Musica Viva New Brunswick.

James Mark is a talented and prolific arranger, and has written arrangements for numerous artists for performance with the P.E.I. Symphony; these include The Barra MacNeils, Nancy White, Barachois, The Jive Kings, Paper Lion, Teresa Doyle and Kendra MacGillivray. He has also worked with Rivka Golani, Measha Bruggergosman, Howard Cable, Sally Dibblee, Roger Lord, Anton Kuerti, Richard Raymond, Matt Andersen and Jill Barber.

Ever since his arrival in Canada Dr. Mark has been sought after as an adjudicator, guest conductor and clinician. He has adjudicated festivals in all the Atlantic provinces, and has guest conducted Symphony New Brunswick, the Scotia Winds and the Toronto Wind Orchestra.

1 Response to Biography

  1. Dr. Mark inspired my band director career, back in his Las Vegas , NM days. I will always be grateful for the opportunities he presented to a lowly seventh grader to perform with the LV Community Band. Thank you for your guidance and great teaching.

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