Mark Ponzo holds the Doctorate of Musical Arts degree in Performance and Literature from the Eastman School of Music with the Performer's Certificate. Dr. Ponzo is a Full Professor at Northern Illinois University, where he joined the faculty in 1990. His principal teachers include John Hagstrom, Barbara Butler, Charles Schlueter, George Coble, and Richard Jones. Mark is Solo Cornet with The New Sousa Band and Illinois Brass Band as well as Principal Trumpet of the Fox Valley Orchestra and Antiqua Baroque Consort. He has been a member of the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, Mexico City Philharmonic, and Syracuse Symphony Orchestra. Mark has performed with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Music of the Baroque, Elgin Symphony, Chicago Brass Quintet, Illinois Chamber Symphony, Chicago Sinfonietta, Northwest Indiana Philharmonic, New Philharmonic, Illinois Philharmonic, Millar Brass and Light Opera Works.
He has been a featured soloist with The Music of the Baroque, Elgin Symphony, The New Sousa Band, Southern Tier Symphony, Wheaton Municipal Band, Fox Valley Orchestra, Illinois Valley Symphony Orchestra, Kishwaukee Symphony, Illinois Brass Band as well as the NIU Philharmonic, Wind Ensemble and Wind Symphony.
Mark has released four solo recordings; Arrays of Light “Selected as 2015 Grammy Nomination Eligible Recording” (51731-MCD) – Mark Masters Recordings, Vintage Cornet Recital “Selected as a 2015 Grammy Nomination Eligible Recording” (51330-MCD) – Mark Masters Recordings, Music for Trumpets by Dexter Morrill (CPS-6857) – Capstone, and The Trumpet Music of Verne Reynolds (4843-MCD) – Mark Master Recordings and two recordings as a featured soloist; Concertos for Brass (DCD 632) – Summit Records, Dexter Morrill: Three Concertos (CRC 2604) – Centaur. Dr. Ponzo was a member of the Eastman Wind Ensemble for the CBS/Sony Masterworks recording Live from Osaka (SK 47198).
Mark has presented recitals for the International Trumpet Guild, Historic Brass Society and the Interlochen Arts Academy. Playing an average of 40 recitals each year, he has performed at most of the Nation’s finest Music Schools. In addition to his performance activities, Mark publishes through Balquhidder/Carl Fisher, qPress, Charles Colin Music Publications and the Buccine Press. His publications include 26 method books, 16 solo transcriptions and 2 unaccompanied works for trumpet. He has commissioned several new works for trumpet by Verne Reynolds, Dexter Morrill, James Phelps, Betsy Schramm, John Whitney, Michael Ruszczynski, Robert Fleisher, Pasquale Tassone, Kenneth Snoeck and Rufus Brown.
Mark is a Conn-Selmer Performing Artist, a Dennis Wick Performing Artist, a Schilke Performing Artist and also holds adjunct faculty position at Aurora University.
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Ponzo has the ideal sound and a flexible, expressive style. – American Record Guide
The “Vintage Cornet Recital” is the ideal listening experience. – The Historic Brass Society
Each piece is performed with grace, elegance, and solid technical execution. – The International Trumpet Guild