Mark first started playing piano at age 4. He grew up taking classical lessons but always loved playing rock and roll, pop, and blues (especially the “piano guys” - Ray, Billy, Elton). Along the way he taught himself how to play guitar, accordion, organ, and numerous other instruments.
He discovered acting and theatre as a teen and quickly realized he wanted to pursue his dual loves of theatre and music as a career. He attended and graduated from the University of Michigan, majoring in Musical Theatre while doing a four-year private study/minor in music direction, arranging, accompanying, and conducting.
He spent several years in NY working as both an actor and music director before going back to school to receive an MFA in acting at UCSD/La Jolla Playhouse. There he sharpened his skills as a performer and grew his knowledge of stagecraft, storytelling, and dramatic form, all the while keeping his musical chops up by accompanying, performing solo gigs, and playing lots of instruments in plays!
Three years in LA yielded a variety of acting opportunities around the country - including gigs at Denver Center, the Guthrie, Mark Taper Forum/Center Theatre Group, and the US tour of Peter Brook’s critically acclaimed play The Suit in which Mark acted, played piano and accordion. At home in LA he performed with several bands and musical outfits, had steady gigs at several prominent piano bars, and served as resident music director of the Relativity School BFA musical theatre program.
In the spring of 2016 Mark moved back to New York to focus on music directing and, as he describes it, “musical dramaturgy”. Looking at music within storytelling and
Specifically, his passion for pop/rock music and theatrical storytelling.
He has received great praise for his sensitivity and collaborative spirit when working with vocalists and other musicians, but Mark is equally comfortable at the center of the action as a pianist/singer.
His work with vocalists is on display in multiple arenas. He currently plays as a member of several bands including the Ronnie Butler Trio, David Brown and the Delanos, Lori Pasqualino's "Live Project", and Mockingbird Calliope; he is in demand as a music director and accompanist for cabaret performances, musicals, and live concerts all over Los Angeles; and he has worked with countless singers to develop arrangements both for recordings and live performances.
While living in New York Mark helped workshop and develop numerous musicals including the pre-Broadway version of Glory Days at the Signature Theatre in Arlington, VA. He has created compositions, vocal arrangements and orchestrations for theatres across the country including: the Guthrie in Minneapolis, Harlem Stage, La Jolla Playhouse, Shakepseare Santa Cruz, and others.