Mark Ford is a marimba artist and the Coordinator of Percussion at The University of North Texas College of Music in Denton, Texas. As a Past-President of the Percussive Arts Society and the coordinator of one of the largest percussion programs in the world at UNT, Ford is an active performer and composer. Mark has been featured as a marimba soloist throughout the United States at universities, festivals and music conferences. He has performed internationally throughout Europe as well as in Japan, China, Taiwan, Australia and South America. In addition to his duties at UNT, Ford is also the Artistic Director for the bi-annual Drum Fest Marimba/Vibraphone Competition in Opole, Poland.
With over four decades of performing, teaching and composing to his credit, Mark’s recordings have established his dedication to excellence in music. Ford’s solo marimba CDs, Stealing a Moment, Motion Beyond and Polaris, have become standards in the percussion world. His CDs have been described by PAS’ Percussive Notes as “beautiful, exceptional and virtuosic.” Contact, with the UNT Wind Symphony conducted by Eugene Corporon features Mark performing marimba and percussion concertos by Jennifer Higdon, Daniel McCarthy, Keiko Abe and Ford.
Additionally, Ford has written popular works for solo marimba and percussion ensemble including Head Talk, Polaris, Stubernic, Afta-Stuba! CABASA!, Wink for Alto-Saxophone, Marimba, Coffee Break (co-composed with Ewelina Ford) and many others. Mark’s latest work, Concerto for Marimba and Wind Ensemble (2022) was recently premiered in Australia by the Melbourne Conservatorium Wind Symphony directed by Nicholas Enrico Williams. His Stubernic Fantasy Concerto (2012) has been recorded on 5 albums and performed on tour by the US Navy Band, the US Air Force Band and numerous university wind ensembles. His percussion compositions have been performed at universities and concert halls throughout the world and also featured on National Public Radio.
Ford is also the author of Marimba: Technique Through Music (Musicon Publications), an intermediate four-mallet marimba method book, used by conservatories and schools of music around the world. His latest book, #MarimbaBaby, has received critical acclaim and is established as a progressive educational songbook for marimba.
Ford has been recognized as a leading percussion educator, and his former students perform and teach throughout the USA. Under his direction the UNT Percussion Ensemble has toured in Poland, Croatia, France and Belgium and also won the PAS International Percussion Ensemble Competition. Mark Ford is the Artistic Educational Director for Tama/Bergerault and also proudly represents Sabian Cymbals, Evans Drum Heads, Musicon Publications, Meinl Percussion and Innovative Percussion Inc. as performing artist and clinician.