Mark A. Ryan '85
Mark Ryan has been a performing musician and music educator in Connecticut since graduating from WestConn in 1985 with a Bachelor of Science in Music Education. Although his concentration at WestConn was percussion, he learned much about choral conducting under his mentor, Professor James Furman.
Ryan received a Master of Music degree in performance from Yale University in 1988, and began working regularly as a freelance musician playing with the New Haven Symphony for ten years and many other organizations. Mark began his doctoral work in 1990, and earned the degree of Doctorate of Musical Arts in 1995 from SUNY at Stony Brook. Keeping his love for choral music alive, Mark became the Music Director of the Connecticut Yankee Chorale in 1989 and remained the group’s conductor for seven years. He also has been music director for St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church in Watertown, Conn., for the past thirteen years.
Ryan has been the house drummer for many years at Seven Angels Theatre,
an equity theater company in Waterbury, Conn. He can be heard on the
recording of the musical soundtrack Nunsense II and on the movie soundtrack
to Universal Pictures’ Tremors. As an educator, Ryan has taught in the
public schools for 16 years and taught as an adjunct music professor at WCSU
for seven years. He currently teaches at Stratford High School where he
directs four instrumental ensembles and teaches theory classes. Under his
direction and the help of his coordinator, Jim Noga, the music department
has tripled in size. Ryan is the building leader for the BEST program, has
done extensive work for the New England Association of Schools and Colleges
accreditation as a steering committee member and visiting team member. In
2005, Ryan was the Jazz co-chair for the CMEA Western Regional Festival. He
was a finalist for Stratford’s Teacher of the Year award in 2004. Mark loves
teaching and performing, but his heart belongs to his wife Karla and their
four children Peter, Mary, Jack and Noah.