Associate Professor of Music
Mark Urness is a versatile bassist, composer, and educator. His diverse performance experience encompasses orchestral, chamber, jazz, salsa, and solo playing. He has served as Principal Bassist for the Cedar Rapids Opera Theatre and for five seasons was Principal Bassist for the Cedar Rapids Symphony Orchestra. From 1999-2001 he freelanced in New York City, where he played with Adam Nussbaum, Lew Soloff, Eric Rasmussen, and Curtis Fowlkes, among others. He was awarded First Prize in the International Society of Bassists Jazz Competition, and performed with Bill Mays and Tim Froncek at the 2001 ISB Convention.
His compositions appear on several recordings, including the Bob Washut Trio's Songbook, Triptych's Play Here, and the University of Northern Iowa Jazz Band I's Northern Exposure. Recent recordings include Mafficked Simulacrum with the University of Iowa's jazz faculty group, oftEnsemble; a new album with the salsa band Orquesta Alto Maiz; and a project with Iowa City's eclectic jazz quartet, OddBar.
Prior to his appointment to the faculty of Lawrence University, Mr. Urness taught at the University of Iowa, Coe College, and the University of Northern Iowa. He received a Master of Music in double bass performance from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, a Bachelor of Arts in music from the University of Northern Iowa, and studied music and computer science at the University of Iowa.
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