Introducing tenor Mark Jensen! Here is what Michele Baum had to say about him at Compline this past weekend:
“Were he introduced according to his Scandinavian ancestry, his name would be pronounced MAR-kus YEN-sen. Mark Jensen was born in Annecy, also known as “the Venice of France”—a town east of Lyon and due south of Geneva, Switzerland. He has skied the Alps and the Rockies, and although the mountains near Seven Springs resort suffer by comparison, he enjoys skiing there, too.
The family moved to Lexington, Mass., while Mark was a baby, later settling in Wethersfield, Conn. (Also the hometown of our choirmaster, Mark Boyle.) Because of this, he is schooled in colonial history. His family is well seasoned with pastors on both sides, and he was raised in the Evangelical Free Church, a Scandinavian style of evangelical Protestantism. He is the middle child of three brothers; the eldest, Matthew, is a pastor in Portland, Ore. A grandfather and an uncle also were pastors. In fact, the family is the fourth generation in the Wethersfield Evangelical Free Church. Mark’s younger brother, Luke (notice a trend?), works in the family business, the Jensen Machine Co. of Newington, Conn.
Mark graduated from Carnegie Mellon University. He is a software engineer, having fallen in love with programming during elementary school. He considers himself lucky to have found his calling so early in life. He’s a relative newlywed, married for the second time in May 2019. He has two children. Skye, 21, studied computer science at the Rochester Institute of Technology and works for a robotics firm. David, 18, is an engineering major at Carnegie Mellon University.
Mark and his wife, Bronwyn, live in Squirrel Hill and attend the Episcopal Church of the Redeemer. Mark has been singing for many years, performing in high school and church camp musicals. What he loves most about the Pittsburgh Compline Choir is learning new music.”
Our Comings & Goings feature offers a closer look at Choir members, past and present. Luther Rinehart is in the spotlight for our third installment.
Luther joined the Pittsburgh Compline Choir in the fall of 2013 and for four years was a bright star in our tenor section. This summer he moved to College Station, Texas, where he is pursuing a Ph.D. in mathematics at Texas A&M University. (Yes, when Luther left the Compline Choir our average IQ took a dive.) In addition to having a beautiful voice and excellent musicianship, Luther was always the first person to volunteer to do some ungrateful task on behalf of the choir. We miss him, and it seems the feeling is mutual. “I’m singing with my church choir, but there’s nothing here like Compline,” he writes. “I miss the choral repertoire, the compline service, the psalm settings, the confession and forgiveness, Alastair and everyone else. I’ll always remember many pieces, one that comes to mind is the setting of “Blessed Heavenly Light” to the tune Seelenbrautigam, probably because it’s featured on the recording of the same name. Compline was important to me as an expression of faith and an act of worship.”
Our new Comings & Goings feature offers a closer look at Choir members, past and present. Stayed tuned for more! Dr. Mark A. Boyle is in the spotlight for our first installment.
Dr. Mark A. Boyle joined the Pittsburgh Compline Choir as Director in the fall of 2017. He has served as Director of Choral and Vocal Activities at Seton Hill University since 2013. Dr. Boyle is active as a guest conductor, choral clinician, poet, and composer. He has conducted all-state, regional, district, and county choral festivals across the Northeast and Mid-Western parts of the United States. As a tenor, he s a rostered member of Kinnara Ensemble and the Pittsburgh Camerata and enjoys a concert career as a soloist. He currently is a professional chorister at Shadyside Presbyterian Church. His music and poetry is has been performed by choirs from Hawaii to Maryland.
Dr. Boyle began his association with the Divine Office with the Compline Choir of the Lutheran Church of Honolulu, while serving in the United States Navy. There he fell in love immediately with the beauty of the liturgy, the chant, and the vast repertoire of motets offered at the service.
Originally from Wethersfield, Connecticut, Dr. Boyle attended Susquehanna University in Selinsgrove, Pennsylvania. After five years in the United States Navy, he completed his Bachelor of Music in Voice Performance at Ball State University, where he remained to complete a Masters of Music in Choral Conducting. He completed the Doctorate in Musical Arts at Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey. Dr. Boyle is married to music educator and pianist, Jane Boyle, and resides in Harrison City, Pennsylvania, with their sons, Nathan and Patrick.