1 month, 3 weeks ago from dailyherald.com
Mark Duker is currently teaching in Aurora
From from dailyherald.com:
Music was always in Mark Duker's blood, but he remembers the moment it entered his heart and mind, too.
He was sitting in the audience of a band concert at the University of Illinois, a trumpet-playing kid waiting to see his brother perform at a camp for high school musicians and eager for a band camp experience of his own.
He remembers where he was sitting. All eight songs the band played. The sound. The name of the director. Everything.
Duker was 13 when he went to the concert he calls an "epiphany"; he's now 42. The concert is still fresh in his mind and relevant in his life as he directs the top band and leads the fine arts department at Waubonsie Valley High School in Aurora.
"It was like a bolt of lightning," Duker said about his brother's band camp concert, a performance he has immortalized via cassette tape. "I was sitting in this concert and the band was so good and the music was amazing to me. … That was my first moment where I felt like, 'OK, I totally get why people love this so much.'"
Fueled by the magic of that momentous concert, Duker pursued the profession in his bloodline, following his grandfather, uncle and father to a music degree from the University of Illinois and into a job as a band director.
His work for nearly 20 years in the field has led to a nomination for the first Grammy Award for music educators, recognition for which Duker is a semifinalist.
Duker is a 1989 graduate of Quincy High School.