Mark Wood has spent an entire career spanning over three decades playing and teaching all styles of music from classical, jazz, commercial, salsa, brass quintet and orchestra pops. In May of 2021 he retired from the United States Army Band “Pershing’s Own” after serving 26 years in the Washington, D.C. military special bands program. Mark is the only trumpet player in the decades long history of the DC military bands to have served full-time as principal cornet in a premier concert band and lead trumpet in a premier jazz ensemble.
He attended the University of Florida where he received a Bachelor of Music in Music Education. From there he began graduate studies at the University of Kentucky where he studied with world-renowned teacher and soloist Mr. Vincent DiMartino. Graduate studies continued at The University of Northern Illinois University where he would study with Mr. Ron Modell. At NIU he had an assistantship playing lead trumpet in the top jazz ensemble and directed the school’s second jazz band.
In 1995 Mark won a position with the United States Army Field Band which is the Army’s premiere touring unit located just outside of Washington, D.C. There he was co-prinipal cornet in the concert band and helped found the brass quintet Embassy Brass which is still in existence today. This job afforded him the opportunity to travel throughout the entire US playing and teaching in all 50 states with some travel abroad as well. The brass quintet would perform recitals and coaching clinics at Tanglewood, Cincinnati Conservatory, North Texas State University, LSU, Alabama, and several smaller colleges throughout the US.
In 2000 Mark auditioned for the Ceremonial Band at the United States Army Band “Pershing’s Own and was offered a chance to get off the road. Duties there included playing ceremonies all over the Washington, D.C. regional capital area as well as playing Taps for funerals taking place in Arlington National Cemetery and playing Taps at the Tomb of the Unknowns.
A few years after getting into the Ceremonial Band Mark auditioned for a position playing lead trumpet in the U.S. Army Blues which is the jazz ensemble affiliated with Pershing’s Own. After winning that audition, this is where he would spend the remainder of his career until retiring in 2021.
Outside of the military bands, Mark remained busy teaching and freelancing in the Washington DC/Baltimore/Northern Virginia area. He played often at the Kennedy Center with the National Symphony Pops, Baltimore Symphony Pops and would occasionally play with some of the pops groups in Virginia and Pennsylvania.
He has been an in-demand clinician at George Mason University and Morgan State University and has been an in-residence instructor at the National Jazz Workshop(NJW) at Shenandoah Conservatory. He has split lead in the Alan Baylock Jazz Orchestra and was the lead player for the Metropolitan Jazz Orchestra.
Highlights of his career have been playing at the Monterey Jazz Festival with the U.S. Army Blues, traveling to China with the Army Band as part of an international peace keeping public affairs event, playing at the Kennedy Center and The Joseph Meyerhoff with the National Symphony and Baltimore Symphony Pops when they have commercial guests and are in need of a lead trumpet player, a USO tour in the Middle East, military Tattoos in Australia and having the opportunities to also play lead in the Airmen of Note, Navy Commodores and Jazz Ambassadors when circumstances found them in need of a lead trumpet player. Finally, playing Taps in Arlington National Cemetery countless times honoring those who served and their families has been a highly rewarding part of his musical and military career.
Throughout his career Mark has performed with: Donna Summer, Aretha Franklin, Mariah Carey, Joshua Bell, Renée Fleming, Seth McFarlane, Frankie Valli, The Temptations, The Four Tops, The Beach Boys, Louis Bellson, Peter Erskine, John Von Olen, Keith Carlock, John Clayton, Clark Terry, Bobby Shew, Arturo Sandoval, Jon Faddis, Vince DiMartino, Sean Jones, Terrell Stafford, Claudio Roditi, Bria Skonberg, Tony Kadlek, Joey Tartell, Scott Belk, Brian Lynch, Marcus Printup, Adam Rappa, Marianne McPartland, Carl Fontana, Slide Hampton, Wycliffe Gordon, Conrad Herwig, Marshall Gilkes, Joe Alessi, Paquito D’Rivera, Tito Puente, Bob Mintzer, Chris Potter, Chris Vadala, Manhattan Transfer, and many others.