Mark Nelson's Bio

Mr. Mark Nelson was born on an Air Force base in Omaha, Nebraska, but since the age of 7, he has lived in Rockford, Illinois. After high school, he earned his Bachelor of Music Education from Augustana College, and his Master of Trumpet Performance degree at Northern Illinois University. Mr. Nelson has taught music for over 25 years, all with Music Education Services. He founded the music program for the Rockford Catholic Schools, and served as director there for 12 years growing the program to over 260 students. He then became the Director of Education for the company for 14 years and still taught at various schools including St. Bridget in Rockford. Mr. Nelson is happy to be back into the classroom full-time with the Rockford Catholic and Private School program. He is very excited to be once again the director for all Rockford schools.

Mr. Nelson’s primary instrument is the trumpet (including the flugelhorn and piccolo trumpet) and he can play all the band instruments. He has played the trumpet since he was 11 years old and has enjoyed many music opportunities throughout his years in the public schools. Whether played professionally or just for relaxation, Mr. Nelson believes that music is a major part of what makes us human, and he touts the power of music to express a wide range of emotions and make the world a warmer place to live. Mr. Nelson truly believes that “whatever role music plays in your life, it is more enjoyable and would not be the same without it.”

Mr. Nelson’s proudest moments as a teacher come not only from his students’ musical achievement, but also in watching their personal development. “This is most evident with the eighth graders whom I have worked with for 5 years. It gives me much pride to see them develop into fine musicians and wonderful people. I am proud to see them later in life and be able to talk with them about their successes. This is not only in music, but also in their lives as a whole.”

In his leisure time, Mr. Nelson enjoys fishing, traveling and spending time with his wife and family. He enjoys performing with many area groups including the Moonlight Jazz Orchestra, his own brass quartet and many area churches.