Oklahoma City University News
Dean Parker Leads Texas Honors Orchestra in Houston
Mark Parker, dean of the Wanda L. Bass School of Music at Oklahoma City University, continues his national outreach as a featured guest conductor. Parker, who directs the award-winning OCU Symphony Orchestra, led 90 top high school orchestral musicians of Region XIII in Dec. 10-11 rehearsals and a headline performance of the Texas All-Regional Honors Orchestra in Houston.
Parker, regional vice president of the National Association of Schools of Music, has conducted dozens of all-star ensembles in more than 20 states over three decades.
He was appointed dean of the Bass School since 1995, and is celebrating his 20th year at OCU. Under his baton, the OCU Symphony Orchestra has presented numerous world premieres and been recognized by ASCAP and the American Symphony Orchestra League with a national Adventurous Programming Award. Parker took the orchestra on its precedent-setting six-city tour of China, representing the United States at the 2004 "Meet in Beijing" arts festival.
Parker was the first academic dean in the world to be selected as an Apple Distinguished Educator, and is a frequent speaker and workshop leader here and abroad. Under his leadership, the Bass School of Music doubled its size, became an all-Steinway School, the nation's first Conn-Selmer School, and an Apple Digital Campus. Parker was Oklahoma's representative to the 2007 World Creativity Forum in Quingdao, where the state was declared an official world creativity district.
In addition to several regional collaborations, the Bass School has international partnerships with the Tianjin Conservatory in China, the Hed School of the Israeli College of Contemporary Music; and Poland's I.J. Paderwski Academy of Music.