Mark started taking music lessons at the age of 10 at Kolt Music in Winnipeg. He had many music teachers, including Hal Kreewin who taught him jazz, classical and flamenco; Clayton Halverson who taught him rock and fusion and Chet Breau for fingerstyle and improvisation. Mark began teaching guitar at the age of 15 at Kolt Music and various other music schools around Winnipeg.
While teaching music at night, Mark studied Business Administration at Red River Community College. He then began a career at the Manitoba Rolling Mills as a steel worker and electrical apprentice. Quickly realizing that his passion was music, he partnered with Bruce Schellenberg, another former teacher at Kolt Music, and purchased Kolt Music in 1981. They changed the business name to Mar-Schell’s, a collaboration of their names and began doing business at the north end of the block from the current location.
While running Mar-Schell’s Music, Mark studied music at Mennonite Brethren College. He has since been certified through the London College of Music (Registry of Guitar Tutors). Mark has over 30 years experience in music instruction, performance and the business of music.
Mark’s performance resume is extensive and includes classical guitar performances at weddings, as a solo act on acoustic guitar at Rumor’s Comedy Club and various other venues. As well, since the age of 15, Mark has played in a variety of bands covering many musical genres. Some of these bands include: Blacksmith, 2 Bit Sally, Playin’ Jane, Texas T’s, Whacked, Bob Lablah, Mystery Train and the Tune Raiders.
He also currently fronts an all-acoustic group, The Campfire Junkies. The band consists mainly of his guitar students and performs at many local events and venues including senior homes, hospitals, Winnipeg Goldeye games, corporate and private parties. Money raised from these events is donated to local charities.
“For me, the best of times are jamming with friends and family. I want to continue to bring that joy of music to others by inspiring them to express their creative potential.”