MASON CITY — A free public concert featuring Mason City natives Mark Fisher and Mark Lawson, with a special performance by local organist Ryan Hulshizer, will be 2 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 5, at the First Congregational United Church of Christ, 100 First St. N.E.
The concert will feature the works of Jorgensen, Mozart, Ravel, Snedecor, Widor, Clarke and Donizetti.
Originally planned to honor the 50th wedding anniversary of Mark Fisher’s parents, Darrell and Susan Fisher, the event will also celebrate the 50th anniversary of Mark Lawson’s parents, Murray and Jean.
“Our three kids were aware (of our anniversary) and wondered what could they do to recognize that,” Darrell Fisher said. “It was our thought and idea that the best we could do was celebrate in our own community.”
The Fishers’ anniversary is in August, and the Lawsons’ is in October.
“They thought this was a wonderful way to honor their parents,” Fisher said. “We were very, very pleased that they would share this with the community as well as their parents.”
Mark Fisher and Mark Lawson grew up across from each other on East State Street, and performed together through high school. They presented a joint concert at the First Congregational Church in 1994, and played together on Fisher’s solo CD, “Eufish”, in 1996.
“They are two outstanding and exemplary musicians” of many highly recognized musicians from the Mason City school system, Fisher said.
The First Congregational Church has made itself available for concerts, according to Fisher, and is recognized by many musicians for its acoustics. It was also Meredith Willson’s home church.
Mark Fisher is the assistant principal trombonist with the Lyric Opera of Chicago and serves the Santa Fe Opera as principal trombone.
Fisher has performed with virtually every major ensemble in Chicago and as substitute with many of the nation’s leading orchestras including the Chicago Symphony, Cleveland Orchestra, Detroit Symphony, Minnesota Orchestra and St. Louis Symphony.
Also an accomplished euphoniumist, Fisher is past prize winner of numerous international solo competitions and his solo CD “Eufish” continues to meet with worldwide acclaim.
Head of the trombone department at DePaul University, Fisher has presented recitals and master classes throughout the United States, Canada and Japan. He has served on the faculties of Northwestern University, the University of Michigan, Roosevelt University, Northern Illinois University and the Banff International Festival.
Fisher is an honors graduate of both the University of Northern Iowa and the New England Conservatory of Music. He has recently been appointed to the board of advisors of the International Trombone Association.
After earning a doctorate at the Eastman School of Music, Mark Lawson worked as a freelance pianist in New York before joining the music faculty at the Yale School of Music as an opera coach for the Yale Opera Program.
In 1997 he moved to Essen, Germany, where he worked at the Aalto Theater, moving in November of 1999 to Munich where he continues to work as a repetitor at the Bavarian State Opera.
There, Lawson works with the world’s finest singers and conductors. In addition, he works regularly at Europe’s most famous opera venues, including the Royal Opera House at Covent Garden in London, the Glyndebourne Festival, the Salzburg Festival, the Teatro Real in Madrid, and the Amsterdam Opera.
Ryan David Hulshizer was born in Mason City on Jan. 25, 1983. He attended Luther College in Decorah, where he completed a major in business management and a minor in organ/ church music in May of 2006.
He was involved in the choral program for all four years, serving as organist for each of the ensembles, most notably the Nordic Choir, under the direction of Weston Noble and Craig Arnold.
Hulshizer frequently performs in the Northeast Iowa and Southeast Minnesota area. He has been an active member of the South-East Minnesota Chapter of the American Guild of Organists since 1995, and recently joined the North Central Iowa Chapter.
Hulshizer is an agent in insurance and financial services with Farm Bureau Financial Services in Northwood.
In addition to his music and finance hobbies, he owns and operates Big Tones Disc Jockey Service and enjoys helping on the family farm.