December 20, 2010

Flutist Mark Sparks to present concert, teach class

by Andrea Hahn

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- The School of Music at Southern Illinois University Carbondale and the Southern Illinois Flute Choir welcome Mark Sparks, principal flutist of the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra, to campus for a master class and performance on Jan. 24.

The concert begins at 7:30 p.m. in the Old Baptist Foundation Recital Hall, and will be a free performance. The master class begins at 5 p.m. in Altgeld Hall, Room 112. Musicians of all ages are welcome to attend, including grade school students.

Sparks accepted the principal chair with St. Louis in 2000, having held similar positions with symphony orchestras in San Antonio, Texas, Memphis, Tenn., and Canton, Ohio, before coming to St. Louis. As a member of both small and large ensembles, he has performance credits all over the world. His recording career sees him on various top classical music labels. “Windplayer” magazine named him a top 10 flutist.
Sparks formerly taught music at the Peabody Institute, and he still holds a private teaching studio in St. Louis. He is a frequent feature performer at music festivals and programs.

The master class should last about one and a half hours. Registration fees are $10 for students (SIUC students should contact Douglas Worthen for a discount), and $20 for adult admission. School band directors may attend for free with pre-registration, and one parent of grade school registrants is also free. Other parents of registrants are $5.

Carbondale Community Arts and the Illinois Arts Council contributed funding for this program.

Contact Douglas Worthen, lecturer in flute and music history, at 618/453-5832 or