Mark A. Craig is Founder and President of Craig Music Publishers, and has been writing arrangements since 2001. He specializes in arrangements for winds, focusing mainly on works for woodwind quintet, clarinet quartet, woodwind quartet, brass quintet, and larger chamber ensembles (octets, dixtets, etc.). Mark is a clarinetist with the USAF Band for over twenty-two years now, and is stationed in southern Texas. He is also an arranger, working as a professional musician all over the U.S., Europe, Asia, northern Africa, and the Middle East. His extensive travels have taught him much about the rich, musical heritage in these areas, and he has applied this experience to his arrangements.
A native Texan, he began his music career studying at J. J. Pearce High School, in Richardson, Texas under Forest Aten and Tom Bennett. He was selected for the Texas All-State Symphonic Band three years in a row, on two different instruments, and twice as first chair/principal. He studied clarinet at the University of North Texas, and Southern Methodist University, where he earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Music. His principal teachers were Steven Girko, (former) Principal Clarinetist with the Dallas Symphony; Christopher Runk, Associate Principal/Bass Clarinetist with the Dallas Symphony; Ross Powell, SMU Adjunct Professor of Clarinet (Retired) and founder of Dallas’ Voices of Change contemporary music ensemble; Forest Aten, Principal Clarinetist with the Dallas Opera; William Wrzesien, Associate Professor of Clarinet at the New England Conservatory of Music; and Dr. James Gillespie, (retired) Regents Professor of Music at the University of North Texas.
He has performed twice with the San Francisco Symphony, under Michael Tilson Thomas, with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, and with such notable artists as Vince Gill, Bernadette Peters, The Lettermen, The Four Tops, John Houseman, Donald Hunsberger, Frank Bencriscutto, David Milnes, and former concertmaster of the Philadelphia Orchestra, Anshel Brusilow. Mark also performed across Europe and Asia for several US Ambassadors, various heads of state, and special performances in Jerusalem and Haifa, for “Israel at 60”, a celebration of Israel’s independence.
Mark is a great proponent of Sibelius, which he has used for over 16 years. He’s written numerous arrangements for professional ensembles, including Clarinets for Conservation, the USAF Academy Winds, The Dajara Ensemble, Winds Aloft, The US Army Band “Pershing’s Own” Clarinet Quartet, Spectrum Winds, and Mission Winds, which are performed throughout Europe, Asia, northern Africa, the Middle East, and the U.S. His arrangements have been featured on CD’s recorded by US Air Force Bands in MA, CA, and TX, on TPR-San Antonio, and on NPR’s nationally syndicated radio show "Fresh Air".
Mark completed two advanced arranging seminars at the Music Technology Retreat in Carson, WA. His unique arrangements have garnered recognition, including the Air Force Media Contest, where he won awards for both woodwind quintet and concert band arrangements. Recently, his arrangement of Grainger's Lincolnshire Posy (ALRY Publications) won the 2016 National Flute Association's "Best New Published Work for a Woodwind Quintet" award. Mark’s professional affiliations include membership in ASCAP, and the International Clarinet Association. He is currently stationed in his home state of Texas. His arrangements can currently be found on Score Exchange, ALRY Publications, and SMP Press.