Mark began studying the trumpet at the age of six, encouraged by his parents (themselves both successful trumpet players). Mark spent his school years playing in local brass bands, orchestras, big bands and soul bands.
In 1996 he was awarded the prestigious White Cliffs Arts Award for Outstanding Student of the Arts by the Local council. In 1997 Mark joined the Royal Marines Band Service where his outstanding ability was quickly recognized. For the next three years, Mark studied intensively at the Royal Marines School of Music; here he was given the enviable opportunity to hone his big band skills with the world famous trombone player and band leader, Don Lusher.
In 1999 Mark left the Royal Marines School of Music with the bronze medal from the Worshipful Company of Musicians and was also awarded The Parker Cup for best brass player under Training. His career with the Marines has seen him play at numerous high profile events in the UK and around the globe. His extensive touring has seen visits to various parts of Europe, the USA, South America, the Caribbean, Russia, Turkey, Japan, Dubai and India. In recent years, the world-renowned trumpet player Derek Watkins has mentored Mark.
In turn, Mark has been passing on his skills in various teaching positions. As such he taught at very successful Jazz Summer School in Devon for three years and also worked as a peripatetic trumpet teacher for Devon County Council. Mark enjoys a busy freelance career and has played numerous sessions with high profile recording artists and bands. His commercial work includes composing and performing ‘Macaroons’, for the program’Point Balling’ which was aired on BBC Radio 3. He has also made a number of live TV appearances for the BBC. In 2006 he performed Chuck Mangione’s ‘Children of Sanchez’ during a three-night performance at the Albert Hall one of which was aired on National television. In 2009 he repeated his Albert Hall appearance playing ‘Macarthur Park’.
Other recording work includes an Arts Council project with the renowned composer Ergo Phizmiz, which aired on Devon’s Sound Art Radio Station and a recording with up-coming singer/composer Alex Hart performing the famous Jazz standard ‘Autumn Leaves ‘. Mark also recorded the album ‘ Girl in Blue ‘ a collection of 15 timeless jazz/pop songs performed by The Session 8 Band, a group of musicians brought together by songwriter Les Veale. In 2011 Mark recorded on the Album ‘I’m A Dreamer ~ Aren’t We All’ with international jazz singer Jill Keating. Currently Mark lives in Portsmouth, Hampshire where he continues not only to actively perform as a solo artist, but also with his Jazz Quartet ‘The Mark Upton Quartet’; playing at weddings and other private functions.
He also plays in various big bands, function bands, Orchestras, Brass groups and other small jazz bands and is available for depts. and recording session work. In 2012, Mark was endorsed by Eclipse Trumpets. UK’s leading trumpet maker. Mark also continues to enjoy his position as a well-respected teacher of: trumpet, flugelhorn, cornet and music theory for both groups and individuals.
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