Tubist Mark Nelson joined the Southern Arizona Symphony Orchestra for the 2017-2018 season but he is no stranger to the orchestra. He has soloed with the orchestra under music director laureate Warren Cohen and has subbed for years most recently for the final concert of the 2016-2017 season.
He has been the Performing Arts Department Head (music, theater, dance) at Pima Community College since 2000 where he teaches music fundamentals, exploring music, electronic music, conducts the wind ensemble, and teaches studio tuba and euphonium. Previous appointments include Professor of Music at Millikin University, Associate Professor of Music at the University of Vermont and several years as a public school music instructor. His doctorate in solo performance is from Arizona State University where he studied with noted tuba pedagogue Daniel Perantoni.
During his long career as a music educator, Dr. Nelson has performed recitals, concertos and given master classes in such diverse locations as Australia, Austria, Canada, England, Japan, and across the United States. Over thirty new works for tuba have been written for him, many on his two critically acclaimed CD recordings New England Reveries and Aboriginal Voices.
He served for twenty-six years as the New Materials editor of the International Tuba Euphonium Journal and served for many years as the Vice President of Professional Development and Vice President for Collegiate/Research with the Arizona Music Educators Association.
Previous symphony appointments include nine years as Principal Tuba with the Vermont Symphony Orchestra and regular appearances with the Tucson Symphony Orchestra, Tucson Pops Orchestra, San Diego Symphony, Illinois Symphony and the Tempe Symphony Orchestra.