Currently based in Dubai, Mark Glover is a British euphonium player, teacher and musician. He is a Euphonium performing artist for the British instrument manufacturer, Sterling, and is head of the music department in a prestigious international school.
Mark is no stranger to the Euphonium scene in Singapore, having previously held the position of Principal Study Lecturer of Euphonium at Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts, and brass teaching positions in two International schools and the Singapore Armed Forces Band. He was also instrumental in setting up the Lion City Brass Band, and has promoted the Euphonium through a series of community events that encouraged local musicians to perform and learn.
Congratulations on launching your first CD. What is the story behind this new album?
A solo CD has been on my mind for a long time; and I almost actually recorded it in Singapore.
I have been lucky enough to have some brilliant composers and arrangers write music for me which I performed in recitals around South East Asia and in particularly at the 2016 International Tuba and Euphonium Conference in Tennessee, USA.
I knew I just had to find a way to record a lot of the music otherwise it might get lost forever!
The CD title “Hustle” is adapted from the final track on the CD, ‘Hustle In Jozi’ by Singaporean composer Zaidi Sabtu-Ramil.
What are some highlights of the album – are there recordings that hold a special meaning for you?
Zaidi’s “Euphoria” Euphonium Concerto is a real highlight. It was made even more poignant by the sad passing of Simon Kerwin who kindly helped create a piano version of the work.
I have performed it with wind bands in Brazil and Taiwan but the piano part is fantastic, especially in the hands of Dr. Viktoriya Zaharieva (my pianist on the CD) who is a superb musician.
Then of course, ‘Lullaby For Lucy’ composed by another Singaporean, Alex Thio, means a lot to me as Lucy is my daughter.
It has been 2 years since you left Singapore, how has life been for you and your family?
Life in Dubai is very different to life in Singapore. We do miss Singapore a lot as we have many friends and past colleagues who we wish we could see more.
I have been working as a head of music in a prestigious international school and there really isn’t much going on for brass players. However, the weather is fantastic and we are very lucky to be able to live the life that we do, so we are forever grateful.
How have your teaching and performing experiences from Singapore helped you in your career abroad?
My job in Dubai is very different to what I was doing in Singapore but my experiences from Singapore have made me a much more confident performer.
I try everyday to install confidence and a love for performing in the students I teach and so far, hopefully, the students here are benefiting from it.
You will be back for Euphonium day; how do you feel about being back, and what will you be doing here?
I am very excited to be coming back. I will definitely be visiting a few of my old favourite local food courts for sure, as I miss the food more than anything else I think!
This trip is really a holiday for me as we will be heading to Koh Samui for Christmas but I look forward to seeing Singapore again, meeting old friends and seeing if much has changed in the past few years.
Do you have anything to say to your friends and fans in Singapore?
I owe a lot to certain people in Singapore who have helped me over the last years, especially Joseph Teo at Music360 who has done a huge amount to make this event happen.
The Euphonium day is free and you can’t complain with a day of learning, listening and performing so I hope many young Euphonium players will be keen to get involved.
Do come to my masterclass with questions about how to develop as a musician and I will do my very best to point everyone in the right direction.
What upcoming projects will we see from you? Any plans to return to Singapore on a longer time basis?
There are no long term plans to be back in Singapore, but you will never know what the future holds.
I have been lucky to be featured in some nice classical/fusion chamber ensemble performances in Dubai recently performing with Arabic instruments like the Duduk and the Oud so I think there will be some more of this to come.
I am also very excited to be giving a Euphonium recital in India in March next year so I am still very much on a mission to get the Euphonium out to new wider audiences as well as promote my solo CD.
To listen to his CD or make a purchase, visit his online album here.
A contributing editor at TBP.