Mark Payne is a multi-faceted singer, pianist and conductor with a career spanning multiple genres. He is the resident Music Director for the Victoria Playhouse in Petrolia, where he prepares and directs all the musical productions at the playhouse. Mark is also the pianist/music director for the Anglican Church of the Ascension in London, a co-conductor of the Amabile Primus Mens Choir, and is a freelance music director, singer and pianist.
Mark has starred in and/or led over 35 productions with D2 Entertainment and the Victoria Playhouse since 2009. His ability to adapt to different styles is nothing short of extraordinary, ranging from Broadway to classical to country to rock to jazz standards and everything in between. Mark plays multiple instruments; piano, keyboards, accordion, harmonica, guitar, trumpet, and has become a versatile actor/ - even sometimes dancing – whatever the production needs!
His education included degrees from Memorial University of Newfoundland (B.Mus), and the University of Toronto (M. Mus), in piano performance and literature. He spent a semester at Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London, England, two summers at the Chautauqua Institute in New York, and two summers at the Merola Program in San Francisco, a prestigious program auditioning over 600 potential applicants across North and South America each year.
At the University of Western Ontario, Mark was the Head Opera Vocal Coach for 8 years, preparing singers for operas and opera gala performances in multiple languages, ranging from Handel to Britten, with everything in between. In addition, he conducted several productions, as well as teaching vocal repertory to singers and pianists for two years.
Mark spent 10 years as a teacher with Conservatory Canada, and during that time was a dedicated national examiner for the Conservatory. He is also in demand as an adjudicator for music festivals, for both piano and voice.
He has also worked extensively along side many Canadian music theatre icons, including David Rogers, Rebecca Poff, June Crowley, Marcus Nance, Mark Cassius and Cynthia Dale. He has conducted and written orchestral arrangements for pops orchestra for shows for both Cynthia Dale and David Rogers. During the 2015 season, Mark was thrilled to have worked with the legendary Ben Vereen in “What A Wonderful World”, as well as showcasing his own talents with his one-man show, “I Love A Piano”.
Mark has worked with orchestras and opera companies across Canada, with roles ranging from tenor soloist to vocal coach to repetiteur to conductor to chorus master. For six seasons, he was the chorus master for both the Symphonic choir and the Chamber choir for all the choral productions for Orchestra London.
Mark has performed as soloist with professional orchestras, both as a pianist, conductor and singer, and has performed great piano works, including Rachmaninoff’s 2nd piano concerto, Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue, and Beethoven’s 1st Piano Concerto with professional orchestras. In, 2011, he wrote and performed his own sold-out one-man-show called “Simply Grand” to rave reviews at the Imperial Theatre in Sarnia. Mark has recorded multiple CDs, including a highlight CD for “Simply Grand”, and a two CD set of classical art song with soprano Irena Welhasch, entitled “Songs My Mother Taught Me”.
Mark is also a recording engineer, and runs HOP Studios, where he has recorded artists such as Irena Welhasch, Ted Baerg, Susan Gilmour, Marcus Nance, David Rogers, Michael Vanhevel and recently the debut CD for violinist Jesse Grandmont, entitled “On The Loose - Live”. He is absolutely thrilled to be able to introduce his new solo Cd, “Reflections”!
DESIGNED BY MARK PAYNE