Mark Petty is a D.M.A. student in choral conducting at the University of Washington and is an active teacher and performer throughout the Northwest, U.S.A. Mark nourished a love for music and the mountains while growing up in Boulder, Colorado, and has spent his life exploring the intersection between nature and the arts. This coupled interest has led to unique experiences, including a position as both the music teacher and adventure coordinator at an Expeditionary Learning school in Pocatello, Idaho. While there he pioneered curriculum integrating music and the local environment, helping students connect to the natural world through music exploration. His current research has taken him to Iceland to explore the relationship between the country’s unique musical sonorities and rugged landscape.
Mark also taught choir and music theory at Lake City High School in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, and has served on the board for the Idaho chapter of the American Choral Directors Association, representing multicultural repertoire and resources. As an educator he shares his passion for learning about and appreciating all cultures and peoples. His award-winning chamber and jazz choirs have been recognized for their cultural sensitivity and authenticity while exploring unique music from around the world, and Mark was recently invited as a guest conductor for the 2019 Idaho International Choral Festival.
Mark has sung professionally with the Sedona Academy of Chamber Singers, Spokane Choral Artists, Kantorei Cathedral Choir, and others, and is also an accomplished multi-instrumentalist. He has played trumpet for the Coeur d’Alene Symphony and Tuxedo Junction Big Band, and has performed with several world percussion ensembles. Mark is also a music director for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, conducting local and regional choirs along with music for worship services.
He received his bachelor's degree in music education from Idaho State University and earned a master’s in Choral Conducting from Northern Arizona University. His mentors include Scott Anderson, Eph Ehly, Edith Copley, and Jeremy Fox, along with his teachers at the University of Washington, Drs. Geoffrey Boers and Giselle Wyers. Mark also has a degree in Environmental Communication from Colorado State University, and has led a dual career as a wilderness educator. He is an avid climber and has been on mountains around the world including Scotland, Ecuador, Switzerland, and Nepal, and when not directing music he spends his time leading mountaineering leadership expeditions throughout the Western United States.