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 the Professor of Trumpet at Northern Illinois University, where he joined the faculty in 1990. His principle teachers include John Hagstrom, Barbara Butler, Charles Schlueter, George Coble, and Richard Jones. He performs with the New Sousa Band and has been a member of the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, Mexico City Philharmonic, and Syracuse Symphony Orchestra. Mark is a regular substitute with the Elgin Symphony and Chicago Brass Quintet and has performed with the Music of the Baroque, Illinois Chamber Symphony, Chicago Sinfonietta, Illinois Philharmonic, Millar Brass, Light Opera Works, as well as numerous local orchestras.
He has been a featured soloist with The Music of the Baroque, Elgin Symphony, New Sousa Band, Southern Tier Symphony, Kishwaukee Symphony as well as the NIU Philharmonic, Wind Ensemble and Wind Symphony.
Mark’s first solo recording, Music for Trumpets by Dexter Morrill (CPS-6857), was released by Capstone in 1998. In 2002, Centaur released his second solo recording Dexter Morrill: Three Concertos (CRC 2604). His third solo recording The Trumpet Music of Verne Reynolds (4843-MCD) is now available, distributed by Mark Master Recordings. Dr. Ponzo was a member of the Eastman Wind Ensemble for the CBS/Sony Masterworks recording Live from Osaka (SK 47198).
In addition to his performance activities, Mark publishes through Balquhidder/Carl Fisher (The Complete Sight Reading Collection for Trumpet) , Charles Colin (Daily Warm-ups and Routines for Trumpet, Pitch Tendency Exercises for Trumpet, Lyrical Solos for Trumpet and Piano, Low Tones Exercises and Patterns for Trumpet [vol. #1], 10 Realizations for Solo Trumpet and Four Baroque pairs for Trumpet and Piano) and Buccine Press (Scale Pattern and Arpeggio Primer for Trumpet, Scale Dexterity Patterns for Trumpet, Set Up Drills for Embouchure Development, Low Tone Exercises and Patterns for Trumpet [vol. #2] and Random Pitch Pattern Exercises).
Mark has commissioned several new works for trumpet by Verne Reynolds, Dexter Morrill, James Phelps, Betsy Schramm, John Whitney, Michael Ruszczynski, Robert Fleisher, and Rufus Brown. He is a busy recitalist, doing an average of ten full recitals each year, performing at most of the nation’s finest music schools. He presents recitals on the Baroque Trumpet, Flugelhorn and modern valved instruments.