Mark Edwards began his life dedication to the classical guitar after seeing guitarist Benjamin Verdery perform a concert in Boaz, Alabama. For further inspiration, he looked to the great masters of the guitar, such as Andres Segovia, Julian Bream, and David Russell. Mark’s major teachers during this formative time were Andrew Zohn and Douglas Back. Mark earned his undergraduate diploma Magna Cum Laude from Columbus State University’s Honors Program, his Master of Music in Guitar Performance and Guitar Pedagogy from the Peabody Institute of Music, and his Graduate Performance Diloma also from Peabody. He is currently the DMA/TA assisting Julian Gray at Shenandoah University.
Mark has been performing concerts since the young age of 14 and competing since 13. He has performed throughout the United States, Canada, Italy, Germany, and Russia. Recent engagements include Trinity Church in New York City, ArtScape in Baltimore, The Toronto Guitar Symposium, the Montgomery Guitar Week, the Mississippi Guitar Festival, the Guitar Forum Guest Artist Series at Salisbury University, the Piedmont Guitar Workshop in Virginia, the Village Music Series, and the AfterNow Music Series at the Red Room, a venue recently featured in Rolling Stone. In 2009, Mark joined the Maryland State Arts Council Touring Artist Roster, a program that offers concert presenters funding to showcase Maryland artists.
From 1998 to present, Mark has earned 32 top prizes in Thailand, Canada, and the United States. These prizes include the 2010 Asia International Guitar Competition, the 2009 Montreal International Guitar Competition, the 2008 National Guitar Workshop/National D’Addario Solo Competition, Le Concours International de Guitare de Lachine in Montreal, Canada, the 2007 Columbus State University Guitar Symposium, the Portland Guitar Festival XVI, the 2006 Appalachian GuitarFest Solo Guitar Competition, the 2011 East Carolina University Guitar Competition, the Rosario International Guitar Competition, and the Baltimore Music Clubs Competition.
Since the spring of 2000, Mark has been featured on 6 recordings. With the Baldwin Ensemble; El Cumbanchero, Cathedral Hill, and Fretworks, and then, three recordings featuring music of Baltimore composer Karen Amrhein: … for Moonlight, Yule Like This, and Giving Voice (ASCAP).
Mark is also dedicated to outreach programs in the Baltimore community, and directs a community school whose main purpose is to provide music lessons to underprivileged children who show promise, the Ark & Dove School of Music. When not performing, teaching, arranging, or writing, Mark is an avid tennis and soccer amateur, and enjoys spending time with friends and reading literature.