BARRY’S BAY – After 27 years of teaching in the Bay, beloved music teacher Mark Robbins has announced that this year will be his last at Madawaska Valley District High School.
Mark made the announcement at Arts Night 2014 on June 5.
“It just feels like the right time,” he told the Gazette.
Mark was born in Toronto on June 18, 1960. His love of music started at the tender age of seven, when his father, a Salvation Army bandmaster, started teaching him on the cornet. As his passion grew, he began learning the piano and became active in orchestras, bands, choirs and small ensembles.
In 1975, he was awarded Honour Student Award at the Salvation Army Senior Music Camp. Two years later, he won the Toronto Kiwanis Music Festival Trumpet Solo Open Class Award before graduating from Applewood Heights Secondary School in Mississauga.
He moved on to the Ontario Bible College, now known as the Tyndale University College, where he graduated with a Bachelor of Sacred Music Degree, majoring in trumpet performance, in 1982. Mark was awarded the Joseph C. Macaulay Award for outstanding music graduate.
Continuing on his musical education, Mark went to Wilfrid Laurier University where he obtained his Bachelor of Arts degree, majoring in music education in 1985. Afterwards, he headed to the University of Toronto, where he earned his Bachelor of Education degree in 1986.
Mark said teaching music was his calling and that his greatest thrill in life is sharing music with others.
During his years, he studied piano and trumpet with some of the best in music, including Toronto Symphony Orchestra musicians and Salvation Army band members.
Mark taught at six others schools before coming to Barry’s Bay. They included the Royal Conservatory of Music in Mississauga, Crescent School in Toronto, Kenney Road Tabernacle Christian School in Brampton, the Peel Board of Education, the Scarborough Board of Education and the University of Toronto Schools, where he was head of music.
Get your June 11, 2014 edition of The Valley Gazette to read more of this story.