In 7th grade, while listening to a recording of the Michigan band playing Chester, Mark decided music would be his profession. During high school, Mark’s middle school band teacher, Walt Cole, gave him his first conducting gig… directing the William Tell Overture in a summer music camp. He credits his inspirational music teachers including Mr. Cole, Waldo King and Larry Gookin for preparing him. Mark has conducted and taught elementary, middle and high school orchestras, concert bands, marching bands and drum and bugle corps. He has worked for the Port Townsend, Northshore and Shoreline school districts, the Central Washington University Marching Band, the Seattle Cascades Drum and Bugle Corps, and the Everett and Seattle Youth Symphony orchestras. While teaching in the Shoreline SD for many years, Mark is frequently sought as a guest conductor, clinician and adjudicator, and has served two terms on the WMEA Executive Board. He is the North Sound Jazz Band drummer and lives with his wife, Kate Labiak, in Edmonds.