Our Conductors

Mark Rogers - Principal Conductor

Dr. Mark Rogers

Founding and Principal Conductor​

 

News

In March 2024, Mark and wife Sudie Rogers, attended the American Bandmasters Association’s 89th annual convention – A Star Spangled Convention, in Washington D.C.
While there, Mark’s edition of Colonial Song by Percy Grainger was performed by the Joint Armed Forces Band at the DAR Constitution Hall. An excursion during this convention was a visit to the Library of Congress guided by Loras John Schissel, senior musicologist. Schissel is also the founder and music director of the Virginia Grand Military Band, which held a concert at the Rachel M Schlesinger Concert Hall during the convention.

The Rogers’ toured the United States Armed Forces School of Music and the Russ D. Girsberger Library in Virginia Beach, VA. along with their son and his wife, Rob and Kelly on this trip. Lieutenant Andrea Sematoske, Training Officer and acting Executive Officer of the Naval School of Music led us through the building. Librarian of the Naval School of Music, Russ Girsberger was a gracious host, and guide of the library. Commander Diane Nichols, Commanding Officer of the Naval School of Music, presented the Naval School of Music Commander’s Challenge Coin to R. Mark Rogers. Lieutenant Colonel Treg E. Ancelet, Commandant of the Army School of Music, gave Mark the United States Army School of Music Challenge Coin, for demonstrated excellence. Challenge Coins are unique keepsakes that represent important moments or experiences. They can be used as a way to recognize people, places, organizations.

Awards

R. Mark Rogers, is the 2023 recipient of the Association of Concert Bands Outstanding Conductor Award, sponsored by the John Philip Sousa Foundation, for his conducting skills, musicality, community contributions, educational foresight and dedication to the Association of Concert Bands.
Rogers is the proud recipient of the Grainger Medallion, from the International Percy Grainger Society; the Commander’s Award for Excellence Challenge Coin from the United States Army Field Band; the Naval School of Music Commander’s Challenge Coin, and the United States Army School of Music Commander’s Challenge Coin, for demonstrated excellence, and several Paul Revere awards for Graphic Excellence, from the Music Publishers Association.

Conducting

Dr. Rogers is the current and founding conductor of the 90+ piece volunteer community band, the Heart of Texas Concert Band. The band is the 2022 recipient of the Sudler Silver Scroll, presented by the John Philip Sousa Foundation which recognizes and honors those community bands that have demonstrated particularly high standards of excellence in concert activities over a period of several years, and which have played a significant and leading role in the cultural and musical environment in their respective communities.

Since its inception, the Heart of Texas Concert Band has performed over 150 free concerts for increasing audiences in 35 unique venues in San Antonio and surrounding communities.

Under his leadership, the band performed the American premier of Menu by composer, Carlos Pellicer, which led to the commissioning of Euphoric City, a piece written for the Tricentennial of San Antonio. Mark was instrumental in bringing the composer from his native Spain to San Antonio for the premier in May 2018.

He also guest conducts and clinics community and professional orchestras and bands, regional honor bands and orchestras, area high school and middle school groups.

Editions & Publications

In 1980, his first published work, the overture to Verdi’s Opera, La Forza del Destino appeared with Southern Music Company, and in 1993 he joined the firm full time as Director of Publications. He continues as Managing Editor of Kaiser/Southern Music Company. His editions of the music of Percy Grainger and John Philip Sousa have entered band repertory worldwide. He has had his works performed by all five of the Washington, DC service bands.

As Chris Wilhjelm has stated “Dr. Rogers is valued throughout the music world for his painstakingly researched editions of the music of Percy Grainger. His 2020 {revision} of Frederick Fennell’s edition of “Lincolnshire Posy” is a labor of love and an incredibly significant contribution to the concert band repertoire.”

Rogers is widely published, and has works represented in the catalogs of Alfred, Boosey and Hawkes, E C Schirmer, European American Music, Hal Leonard, Ludwig, and Southern Music Company (in the United States), as well as G & M Brand, Molenaar, Peer Music, Schott Musik International, and Tierolff Muziekcentrale in Europe.
Dr. Rogers is a member of ASCAP with over 70 works listed. His most recent works include transcriptions of the 5th Symphonies of Sergei Prokofiev, and Dmitri Shostakovich, complete.

Mark was a guest presenter at the Eastman School of Music on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the founding of Eastman Wind Ensemble.

Articles by, or about Rogers

  • Teaching Music Through Performance in Band
  • The Instrumentalist Magazine, The Best Arrangers for Bands Create Vivid Musical Colors, by Thomas Bough, March 2004
  • Texas Bandmasters’ Association Journal, Bandmasters Review, Care and Feeding of Your Freshmen Double Reeds, September 2011

He is currently working on an article for the Journal of Association of Concert Bands, concerning community bands.

Performing

Rogers has performed on bassoon and contrabassoon with professional orchestras throughout the south and central United States, in Mexico, and in China, with the New Sousa Band in 2010. Earlier in his career, he taught Bassoon, Band, Music Education, Music History and Music Theory at the collegiate level and later served on the adjunct faculty of several universities in south central Texas.

Mark continues to teach private lessons from beginners to college level. Former members of his private bassoon studio have been accepted and continue their bassoon studies in numerous collegiate music programs and are professional performers today. Rogers also adjudicates on panels for Region and All State auditions.

Mark is well-rounded and has multi-faceted experience in music theatre, appearing on stage many times, in substantial roles, (notably Henry Higgins, My Fair Lady); conducting in the pit countless times, (Evita); as well as playing bassoon in many pit orchestras (Nutcracker). Most recently he was Mother Ginger in Alamo City Arts Nutcracker!

Membership

Mark is an associate member of the American Bandmasters Association, Association of Concert Bands, College Band Directors National Association, Texas Music Educators Association, Texas Bandmasters Association, Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, and the International Double Reed Society. He currently serves the city of San Antonio as representative of City Council District 10 on the San Antonio Arts Commission.

History

Mark Rogers first began arranging pieces when he was a student in the Littlefield (Texas) High School Band. By the time he was an undergraduate music education student at Texas Tech, he regularly arranged music for the concert and marching bands. He went on to earn his Doctor of Musical Arts in Conducting degree from The University of Texas, having previously earned the Masters and Bachelors of Music Education degrees from Texas Tech University. His early teaching career included Graduate Teaching Assistant at Texas Tech University and The University of Texas, and staff arranger for the Longhorn Band; member of the band staff at Spring and Westfield High School (1977); Assistant Professor of Music/Director of Bands at South Plains College (Levelland, TX) 1978-1985; Assistant Professor of Music/Director of Bands at the University of South Alabama (Mobile) 1987-1993.

Family

His wife of more than 45 years, Sudie, plays clarinet in the Heart of Texas Concert Band. Mark and Sudie take great delight in their family: Robert and wife Kelly and their daughters, Brynn and Olivia; James and wife Alyssa and their children, Bradley and Hannah; and John and wife Kami, and their sons Ethan and Levi.

Travel

The Rogers’ have been blessed to travel all over the world, and hope to visit more exciting and interesting places.

Mike Olson - Assistant Conductor

John Goforth

Former Associate Conductor

John Goforth was born and raised in San Antonio, Texas. After graduating from Robert E. Lee High School in 1979, he attended Southwest Texas State University where he received his B.M.E. in 1983. After college he married his high school sweetheart, Nancy, and then became the Assistant Band Director at Winston Churchill High School where he taught until 1999. The following year he became the Head Band Director at Douglas MacArthur High School until 2009.

After 25 years of teaching high school band, he held a position at Bradley Middle School until retiring in 2013. During his career as a Band Director, he enthusiastically directed concert, marching and jazz bands. Under his direction and over the years, his bands received many awards at UIL contests, as well as marching, concert and jazz band festivals. He is a past member of TMEA, TBA, Phi Mu Alpha and Kappa Kappa Psi.

Mr. Goforth played in the San Antonio Rodeo Band for 15 years and played at Wurstfest for 16 years. He has played in the pit orchestra at the San Pedro Playhouse Theater and Woodlawn Theater for musicals such as A Chorus Line, Jesus Christ Superstar, Peter Pan and several others. One of his favorite accomplishments is that many of his former students continued to pursue music after high school with many of them now being Band Directors and professional musicians.

Since retiring, he now teaches private lessons to low brass students in NEISD. Mr. Goforth has two children, a daughter Barbara who lives and works as an RN in Seattle and a son Wesley who just graduated from UTSA with a degree in Music Education and is member of the Heart of Texas Band. Concert Band. In his free time he enjoys playing golf and traveling around the United States in their RV.

Mike Olson - Assistant Conductor

Mike Olson

Associate Conductor Emeritus

Mike Olson is retired after 39 years as a Texas band director. He earned his BM and MM degrees from North Texas State University in Denton, Texas. Mike is a Past President of Texas Bandmasters Association and a member of Phi Beta Mu, Phi Mu Alpha, TBA, TMEA, and TMAA. Mr. Olson has been on the UIL Advisory Board, TMEA Region Band Chairman, UIL Delius Award Nominee and in Who’s Who of American Teachers.

Mike began his teaching career as assistant at McAllen HS where the Varsity Band was named Texas Honor Band. He taught at Lampasas HS where the band became a consistent sweepstakes winner and then taught 17 years at Tuloso-Midway HS in Corpus Christi where the band was twice named Texas Honor Band Finalist. The T-M band also marched as a featured band in the Cotton Bowl Parade and Pre-game show. Bands under the direction of Mr. Olson have been consistent winners at UIL and festival competitions and he is kept busy as a consultant, clinician and adjudicator both in and outside of Texas. In 2009, Mike was inducted into the Texas Bandmasters Hall of Fame and is active as a performer on trumpet in the San Antonio area.

Mike and his wife, Pat, live in New Braunfels and have three daughters (Teri, Tristin & Traci), 3 sons-in-law (Richard, Joe & Rob), 8 grandchildren (Cole, Erin, Taylor, Nate, Brett, Scott, Jordyn and Warren), and 1 cat (Katy).