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Evening of Reflection & Relaxation[CD]
~ Mark Richards
Mark Richards' grandfather knew Mark would be a musician by the age of two, when he would immediately run over to the piano, and start banging out tunes before saying hello to anyone. As an altar boy growing up in Detroit, Michigan, Mark would walk home after serving the 5:30am Mass at his church singing at the top of his lungs, much to the chagrin of his sleeping neighbors. During high school, he attended the famed Palestrina Institute in Detroit and competed in numerous vocal competitions for which he won scores of first place awards and accolades for his exceptional vocal abilities. His father recalled that when Mark was an adolescent, he would often find refuge in the Church, playing the organ when he thought others were not around to listen. It was when teenage Mark was the most upset about something, that he made the most beautiful music come out of that organ. After college, Mark took a regretted fifteen year sabbatical from music to pursue other interests. The power of the music called him back in 1989, when he was asked to take over the Music Ministry for the Archdiocese Catholic Gay & Lesbian Ministry in Seattle. Since then, Mark has served as a pianist, organist, Choir Director, Liturgist, and cantor at various churches throughout the Midwest and Pacific Northwest. He is currently the Choir Director at St. Therese Church in Seattle, Washington. Mark's most notable accomplishments include appearing in the Seattle Symphony production of Amahl and the Night Visitors at Benaroya Hall in Seattle. In 2004 he recorded a live album, An Evening of Reflection & Relaxation, at St. Joseph's Church in Seattle. His version of Ave Maria, included on this album, appeared in the movie 'Urban World' which was a 2005 entry into both the Cannes Film Festival and the Sundance Film Festival. Mark is currently preparing to record his next album in 2009 by working with a vocal coach and making occasional public appearances throughout Seattle.
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