Mark McKenzie



10.14.13  Rochester Post Bulletin written by Tom Weber

“…McKenzie  is returning to Lake City, MN to perform, for the first time, a solo piano concert Sept. 25 at the Lincoln High School auditorium…But why now, after all these years? That answer came from one of McKenzie’s partners on a recent project: Paul McCartney. McKenzie and McCartney worked together recently at Abbey Road studios in London on McCartney’s “Music of the Spheres”symphonic suite for the new game “Destiny.”

During a break in recording, McCartney told McKenzie he likes nothing better than sharing his music with people.

Shortly afterward, McKenzie said, “I woke up with the thought that music is for sharing.I’ve never had a performer’s temperament, but you start to realize this isn’t about me. Hopefully, it will be an evening of sharing music.”

So now McKenzie is ready to get back to where he once belonged.

For the concert, McKenzie will play selections from his movies in their original piano-only form. Then, he’ll play a scene from the movie, with the same basic tune now in its orchestrated version.

The concert will open with music from “Dances with Wolves,” the first film on which the classically-music trained McKenzie worked. “It changed my mind about music in general,” he said of that experience. “I’ve tried to focus my career on writing beautiful music.”

McKenzie started piano lessons in Lake City, and also took lessons in Rochester. He earned a bachelor’s degree at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, then did his master’s and doctorate at the University of Southern California.

As part of the concert, McKenzie wants to pay tribute to his music teachers in Lake City, share life lessons he’s learned and plans to end with a question-and-answer session.

“I’ll answer things like, ‘What was Paul McCartney like?'” he said.

Well, what was he like?

“You know,” McKenzie said, “I’ve worked with a lot of movie stars. My anticipation was that he would be aloof and guarded. But when he walked in the room it was like an old buddy walked in. There was not one iota of ‘Look at me, I’m a star.’ I came home so inspired by his humility, his love for people.”

That inspiration is what McKenzie hopes to draw upon for his first solo piano concert.”

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