Mark Dennis McConnell


I am a composer, a performer, a conductor, 
and an educator.

As a composer...

Chamber Music-I write a lot of chamber music for small ensembles and solos. I host a composition recital twice a year and I typically include a piece or two of mine on each. Many of these piece are on my YouTube channel. 

Electronic Music-I write electronic music and perform electro-acousitc music. I love exploring schizophonia and I typically use field recordings as source material for my works. I regularly collaborate with visual artists writing electronic music in conjunction with visual art works and sculptures.  

Performance Art-I have worked with an ensemble of artists including Snezana Petrovic and Takeshi Kanemura. Our performance art pieces vary according to event, topic, venue, etc. I often compose electronic soundscapes to accompany the performance pieces that we develop. We performed a series of events in Japan in 2014 where I performed as the Alter Ego-a character developed for the piece Gekomen. 

As a performer...

I play bass-electric bass and double bass. I also love playing fretted strings...banjo, uke, mandolin, guitar, classical guitar, anything with strings and frets. 

Most of my work is playing musical theatre. I play with several Southern California Theatre Companies (Performance Riverside, Riverside Rep, IVRT). I also play with the Desert Chorale and have performed with the Temecula Valley Master Chorale, Inland Master Chorale, and Raincross Chorale. I play occasional orchestral jobs, and have performed with groups like Santa Fe Symphony and WNY Chamber Orchestra. 

I have had the fortune of playing on some extraordinarily fun jobs-I have played with Peter Cetera (of Chicago), Jon Peter Lewis (American Idol), and I have been in films featuring Master P (Lockdown) and Michael Londra (Beyond Celtic-Emmy nominated).  

As a conductor...

I teach at a small college in Southern California and we produce a musical every year. I have music directed RENT, American Idiot, Spelling Bee, The Fantasticks, You're A Good Man Charlie Brown, Songs for a New World, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, and many cabaret shows.    

As an educator...

I teach at Crafton Hills College in Yucaipa, CA. I am the sole music faculty. My students are amazing-we produce a recital, songwriters concert, choir concert, Jazz concert, electronic music concert, and composers concert every semester. We are one of the few community colleges in California to have an active Composers Club and to host a guest ensemble. I wrote a piano method book for use in group piano classes and a fundamentals text for non-major theory classes that I use in several classes each semester. 


Brief Bio

Mark Dennis McConnell studied music at the University of Northern Colorado and the University of New Mexico. He studied composition under William Wood and Erik Ona, and double bass under James D. Vaughn and Mark Tatum. In 2005, he was a featured composer in the University of New Mexico's Composers Symposium.  He has performed with Inland Valley Repertoire Theatre, Performance Riverside, Riverside Repertoire Theatre, COD, CSUSB, MSJC, Redlands Bowl Summer Musicals, OnStage Musicals, Slee Sinfonietta, Santa Fe Symphony, San Juan Symphony, Roswell Symphony, ACLOA, June in Buffalo, and Western New York Chamber Orchestra. McConnell has had his compositions performed throughout the US by the Society for New Music (New York-2000, 2015), the Colorado State University Arts Symposium, the Midwest Graduate Music Conference (Madison, WI), the SUNY-Buffalo New Composers Series, and on KUNM radio (Albuquerque, NM). In 2000, McConnell received the Brian M. Israel prize in composition. McConnell is Professor of Music at Crafton Hills College in Southern California.


Selected Work and Experience

Installations and collaborative work

"Moment in a Moment" and "Butterfly Effect" (with Snezana Petrovic, Takeshi Kanemura, and Kevin Palkki) Tokyo and Ashikaga, Japan (November 2014)

"ZERO DOWN"  (collaborative pieces with Snezana Petrovic and Takeshi Kanemura) 1019WEST Artists Studio Building, Inglewood, CA (May 30, 2014)

"Including You: CV"  (collaborative piece with Snezana Petrovic and Takeshi Kanemura) Coachella Valley Arts Center, Indio, CA (February 23, 2014)

"ARTchemy" (installations by Snezana Petrovic) Las Sierra University, Riverside, CA (November 12-December 12, 2012)

"ShapeShifters" (sculpture installation by Snezana Petrovic) Beacon Arts Building, Inglewood, CA (March 24, 2012)


"Flag Stop 2011: an alternative contemporary art event" - Torrance, CA (Sep. 2-4, 2011)


"Walls" - Yucaipa, CA (May 11, 2010)


"ShapeShifters" (sculpture installation by Snezana Petrovic) Peppers Art Gallery-University of Redlands (2010)


"Evolution Decay" - Yucaipa, CA and Riverside, CA (2009)


"Becoming-LA -Culture" Electric Lodge, Venice Beach, CA (2005)


"FIVE" - Yucaipa, CA


Teaching Experience

Crafton Hills College; Professor, 2002-present; Yucaipa, California 

Villa Maria College; 2000-2002; Buffalo, New York

AlbuquerqueAcademy; 1999; Albuquerque, New Mexico

Albuquerque Public Schools, 1998; Albuquerque, New Mexico
June Music Festival-1997/1998; Albuquerque, NM

Manteca Public Schools-1997/1998; Manteca, California

University of New Mexico-1995/96; Albuquerque, New Mexico

Albuquerque Junior Orchestra-1996; Albuquerque, New Mexico

Performance Experience

Performance Riverside, Bassist, 2005-

Redlands Bowl Summer Series Musical, 2005-

Peter Cetera and his Orchestra, section bass, 2007

Redlands Civic Light Opera, You're A Good Man Charlie Brown, 2007

Temecula Valley Master Chorale, Double Bassist, 2006/2007
COD musicals, bassist-2004/05


Anshin Ensemble, director and member-1994-present
Slee Sinfonietta, contract double bassist-1999/2000
SUNY-Buffalo Symphony Orchestra, contract double bassist-1999/2000
“La Musica de Silvestre Revueltas” (CD), double bassist-1997
Roswell Symphony, section/principal double bassist-1997
Opera Southwest, section double bassist-1996
Santa Fe Symphony, section double bassist-1994/95
Albuquerque Civic Light Opera Association, section/principal double bassist-1995
Orquestra de las americas, section double bassist-1995
Greeley Chamber Orchestra, principal double bassist-1992-94

Conferences and papers 

"Canis Lupus", lectures on Post-Literacy, and Meet the Composer, John Donald Robb Composers’ Symposium, April 2005.

“Insurrection”, MGMC Conference, University of Wisconsin, April 2000.

“Five Poems for Solo Flute", John Donald Robb Composers’ Symposium, University of New Mexico, April 1997

“Five Small Pieces for Double Bass", John Donald Robb Composers’ Symposium, University of New Mexico, April 1996
“Forbidden", John Donald Robb Composers’ Symposium, University of New Mexico, April 1995

Publications and Awards

Brian M. Israel Prize for Composition, Society for New Music, Syracuse, New York, 2001

“Classic Choices for Parents and Children”; Parenting New Mexico, 12/96, vol. II, No.12.

CSU Arts Symposium Composition Award, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO, 1992


 Recitals and Concerts


Crafton Hills College Composers Collective concerts, 2015-present 

2/25/01-Society for New Music Brian M. Israel Award Concert, Syracuse, NY

12/4/01-VillaMariaCollege Contemporary Music Recital, Buffalo, NY

4/8/00-MGMC Composer’s Concert, Madison, WI                            

11/30/99-University at Buffalo Composer’s Concert, Buffalo, NY        

12/11/97-Sierra High School Choir Concert, Manteca, CA                              

12/15/96-Composition Recital, Albuquerque, NM                                           

4/10/96-Composition Recital, Albuquerque, NM                                 

12/15/95-KUNM LIVE Radio Program, Albuquerque, NM               

12/7/95-Composition Recital, Albuquerque, NM

12/2/95-Composition Recital, Albuquerque, NM

4/26/95-Composition Recital, Albuquerque, NM

11/30/94-Composition Recital, Albuquerque, NM

4/11/94-Double Bass/Composition Recital, Greeley, CO

4/14/92-CSU Arts Symposium, Fort Collins, CO




Musicals Conducted

Spelling Bee (2020)

American Idiot (2019)

Godspell (2018)

Spring Awakening (2017)

The Fantasticks (2014)

RENT (2012)

Songs For a New World (2007)

You're A Good Man Charlie Brown (2006)

American Dreams (2006)

Big Band Bash (2005)

An Evening of Kander and Ebb (2005)

A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum (2003)


Book Reviews

American Popular Music: from Minstrelsy to MP3, 3/e. Starr/Waterman, Oxford University press, 2009.

Understanding Music, 6/e. Jeremy Yudkin, Prentice Hall, 2009.