Mark Small Spotlight

"August" from his LP Scenes—Works for Solo Guitar
TGS Spotlight Player from March 10, 2011

In February 2011, Boston-based composer and guitarist Mark Small released his eighth CD, Scenes, the first solo CD of his career. The disc features Mark’s original compositions, three of his hymn-tune settings, and his rendition of John Doan’s Celtic-influenced piece “Farewell.” The tracks reveal the influences of contemporary classical, blues, jazz, and sacred music on Small’s writing and the distinctly American character of his music. Small has composed classical, jazz, pop, and other styles music for chorus, wind ensemble, orchestra, piano, and guitar. He arranged the Pat Metheny song “Letter from Home” for the Los Angeles Guitar Quartet (LAGQ) for the group’s 2004 album Guitar Heroes, which won a Grammy Award in February 2005 for “best classical crossover album.” The LAGQ performed the arrangement on their 2006 tour and on their DVD LAGQ Live! released by Mel Bay Publications. Small’s solo guitar piece “Mississippi Revisited” won second place in the VIII International Composition Competition of the Corfu Festival held in Corfu, Greece, August 2005. He has published several other titles with Mel Bay Publications and penned a book for Berklee Press. From 1987 to 2005, Small was one half of the Small-Torres Guitar Duo, and released six CDs of sacred and classical guitar music that received three nominations for Pearl Awards. The ensemble performed throughout America on television and radio broadcasts and premiered their original music for guitar and chorus with the famed Mormon Tabernacle Choir on three episodes of the “Music and the Spoken Word” television show.

In March 2006, Joy Spring Records released the album Fast Falls the Eventide, a collaboration with fellow guitarist Peter Clemente. The disc includes Small’s transcriptions of classical works and settings of hymns, folk tunes, and spirituals for duo, solo, and orchestral settings. The album received three Pearl Awards nominations in September 2007.

Small earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in classical guitar performance from New England Conservatory and California State University, Fullerton. He has studied composition at Berklee College of Music, where he currently works as managing editor of Berklee Today magazine.

Visit Mark Small's website at

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