Mark picked up the cornet at a very early age, coming as he does from a large brass banding family. He began playing in the local Salvation Army band before moving onto flugel horn to join the Tyldesley Band, followed by the Bedford Leigh Band. He went on to study music at Salford University under David King, Roy Newsome, Peter Graham and John Hudson and subsequently joined Kennedy’s Swinton Band. He became the first “brass bander” to graduate with a 1st class honours degree and would later return in 2007 to complete his Masters. Whilst studying for his degree he was invited by David King to join the newly formed Yorkshire Building Society Band. In 1996 he fulfilled a lifelong ambition by joining the ranks of the Williams Fairey Band cornet section, enjoying many memorable concert and contest successes.
Mark’s conducting career began in 2003 when he was appointed Musical Director of the Pemberton Old Band. Here he had a string of successful concert and contest outings, the highlight undoubtedly being the band’s victory in the 2004 1st Section National Championships, thus returning the band to the top flight. Since then Mark has been the resident conductor of Wingates and The Fairey Band.
In 2010 Mark was asked to take The Longridge Band to the North West Area Contest. He thoroughly enjoyed the experience and when asked to take the band on a more permanent basis gladly accepted the position. Since then the band have progressed steadily into a very consistent and successful band with qualification to the National Finals at Cheltenham in 2011 and winning the 2011 Northern Open. Mark is very proud of his Longridge association and how the band keeps its tradition as an integral part of the local community.
Mark was previously a very successful Head of Music / Head of Year / Head of Faculty in a Cheshire comprehensive school for 17 years, but is now a self-employed musician with Wigan Music Service, an examiner for music qualifications and an associate lecturer for Manchester Metropolitan University.