Mark was born in Wollongong, New South Wales, Australia, in 1961. He studied piano, organ and singing and was National Champion in the Yamaha Electone Festival in 1979. The same year he matriculated from Corrimal High School (where he was Boy Vice Captain) and graduated, with honours, in Civil Engineering from Wollongong University in 1983.
Here's Mark competing in the 1977 Yamaha Keyboard Festival. His first win in the seniors section
From Keyboard World Mag – August 1977
Photo provided by John McKenna – Mac Music Warilla
The following is an excerpt from "Keyboard World" Vol 8, Num 6, 1979 after Marks win at the Australian Finals of the Yamaha Keyboard Festival, at the Seymour Centre in Sydney, prior to his trip to Japan where he represented Australia in the International Grand prix and was ranked in the Top Ten in the World that year.
The finalists on stage with Mr Geoff Harvey, one of three judges.
National winner Mark Matthews from Wollongong
NSW is presented with his trophy by Mr Peter G Murphy,
Managing Director of Rose Music.
Mark is congratulated by Val and Richard Smith.
Mr Smith is Mark's teacher and holds the teacher's plaque.
In 1983 Mark graduated with an Hons Degree in Engineering (Civil) through the University of Wollongong and practiced as a Construction Engineer around New South Wales for 6 years before embarking on music as his career full-time. He gained his Diploma in Music through the Yamaha Music Foundation in 1988.
Mark has been teaching piano and organ since 1980 and has taught 3 National Champions on Electronic Organ in 1985, 1995 and accompanied a student in 1996 to Kuala Lumpur for Asia Oceania Finals.
He currently teaches at Wollongong TAFE in the Civil Engineering faculty and also teaches Piano in his private studio. Inaddition to being a singer and composer he is an ABC radio presenter in the Illawarra where he can be heard regularly on Saturday breakfasts on 97.3 ABC Illawarra.
His works include, Organ Solos, Piano solos, both Blues and light - contemporary and Vocal and Piano works. Marks most recent Albums Music for the Heart and Soul Opus 1, 2 and Opus 3 are available at purchase on line. 10% of the proceeds from the sales of the Music for the Heart and Soul CDs goes to 'Redkite' ‘Supporting Children Through Cancer’.
In addition to the B.Eng Civil Hons, he also holds an A.Mus.Ed and A.Comp. Hons with the Australian Society of Musicology and Composition (ASMC).
He is also a listed composer with Australian Composers whose publications arm ‘Publications by Wirripang’ produced the Piano Score for Music for the Heart and Soul Opus 1.
Mark enjoys taking Trial Instructional Flights at the Albion Park Regional Airport.
Mark at a function promoting “Music for the Heart and Soul”