Mark Robinson was born in Puerto Rico and grew up in Joliet, Illinois. He spent his childhood playing sports and music, and participating in theater. “My mother thought it would keep me out of trouble,” Mark says. He credits his family for his deep love of all kinds of music, especially his mother, who served as an organist, choir and bell choir director. “My only brother Eric was very influential on my musical taste and style, and my interest in writing, especially with R&B and soul,” says Mark. “I got my appreciation for early rock from my father, who exposed me to Nervous Norvus and Chuck Berry.”
Mark attended Millikin University, where he studied French horn under Steven Schepper, and later attended Northern Illinois University, where he studied under John Fairfield. Mark also served in the United States Marine Corps Band during Operation Desert Storm. Mark says, “In my career as a musician, I have had incredibly diverse musical experiences with the pleasure of performing with some of the most amazing musicians for dignitaries, celebrities, and even presidents.” Mark has been the principal French horn player for the KSO for many years and is joined in the orchestra by his wife, Martha Robinson, KSO principal bassoonist. Mark and Martha also perform together in several other local ensembles. Together, they have four children, all of whom have a connection to music and the performing arts.
“The KSO is constantly pushing the boundaries of what a community orchestra can do,” says Mark. “I love the dedication and passion that all the members put into making this such an amazing organization.”