A product of the rich cultural environment of Chicago, composer-conductor Mark Camphouse was born in Oak Park, Illinois in 1954. He received undergraduate and graduate degrees in music from Northwestern University where he studied composition with the Alan Stout, conducting with John P. Paynter, and trumpet with Vincent Cichowicz. A scholarship from the Civic Orchestra of Chicago enabled Camphouse to study trumpet privately for two years with legendary Chicago Symphony Orchestra principal trumpet, Adolph Herseth.
Camphouse began composing at an early age, with the Colorado Philharmonic premiering his First Symphony when he was 17. His 32 published works for wind band have received widespread critical acclaim and are performed frequently in the US and abroad in such prestigious venues as Carnegie Hall, The Kennedy Center, Symphony Center-Chicago, Royal Albert Hall-London, and conferences of the World Association for Symphonic Bands and Ensembles, College Band Directors National Association, National Association for Music Education, American Bandmasters Association, and the Midwest International Band and Orchestra Clinic. Principal commissions include those by the William D. Revelli Foundation, The US Air Force Band, The US Army Band, The US Marine Band, Northshore Concert Band, Tara Winds, and Fairfax Symphony Orchestra. Recent guest conducting engagements include those with the Houston Symphony Brass Ensemble, United States Air Force Band, NAfME All-National Honor Concert Band, and Banda de Conciertos de San Jose (Costa Rica).
Mr. Camphouse has served as guest conductor, lecturer, and clinician in 43 states, Canada, Europe, and China. He was elected to membership in the American Bandmasters Association in 1999 and has served as founding coordinator of the National Band Association Young Composer Mentor Project since 2000. He conceived and edited the unique 4-volume book series for GIA Publications, Composers on Composing for Band. His 5th book with GIA Publications (Whatsoever Things … The Life and Teachings of John P. Paynter) was published in 2014.
The 2019-2020 academic year marks his 42nd year of full-time teaching in higher education. In 2006, Professor Camphouse joined the faculty of George Mason University (Fairfax, Virginia) where he serves as Director of Concert Bands, conductor of the wind symphony, and teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in composition, conducting, orchestration, and analysis. Other principal artistic, teaching, and administrative positions have included serving as Music Director and Conductor of the New Mexico Music Festival at Taos Symphony Orchestra, Associate Director and Music Division Head of the Virginia Governor’s School for the Arts, Acting Dean of Music of New World School for the Arts in Miami, and Interim Director of the George Mason University School of Music.
Professor Camphouse attained regional finalist status in the prestigious White House Fellowship Competition in 1993. In 2002, he received an Outstanding Faculty Award sponsored by the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia, the Commonwealth’s highest honor for faculty at Virginia’s colleges and universities for demonstrated excellence in teaching, research, and public service. In 2011, Camphouse received the Kappa Kappa Psi Distinguished Service to Music Award in recognition of and appreciation for valuable contributions to the growth and development of the modern college/university band in the field of composition. In 2015, Camphouse received the Outstanding Contributor to Music Award from Phi Beta Mu International Bandmasters Fraternity. Mark Camphouse has been married to Elizabeth Ann Curtis (Executive Director of the Mason Community Arts Academy) since 1982. They have twin daughters, Beth and Briton.