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Meet our artists:

Mark C. Henderson

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Hear an interview with Mark from our August, 2004 "First Saturdays" broadcast [6 min. interview, 2.3MB file]

Mark Henderson is an innovative composer and an accomplished keyboard artist who has created music for such diverse worlds as film, television, animation, musical theatre, video, CD-ROMs and international trade conventions.  And, he has composed for a comprehensive clientele, running the gamut from Steven Spielberg, Kenny Loggins and NBC News, to Reebok, Honda and Coca Cola—not to mention those clever “Got Milk?” television commercials.
Mark was born and raised in Santa Barbara, California.  He studied music at California State University at Northridge, and graduated from The Groves School Of Music where he received a degree in composition.  Among his earliest successes was the original score for Trap Door, which was a Gold Award winner at the 1993 Houston Film Festival.  He has also scored the music for an animated film for the Smithsonian entitled Priscilla the Proton, and wrote music for the children’s television production Fire House Tales.

"I have always been writing music for motion pictures in my mind, so to actually score was a very natural step for me. And, having a canvas the size of a motion picture, it allowed me to draw from my past musical experiences and expand on the color and depth of musical instrumentation.”

His songwriting has drawn the attention of top recording artists, including Kenny Loggins, Melissa Manchester and Tiffany, who have included his work in their albums and live performances.  Additionally, Mark’s song “When You Smile At Me,” was featured on the television series Santa Barbara, and several other compositions have been included on The Sentinel series.
For over a decade, Mark has been resident composer for the nationally acclaimed, award-winning Santa Barbara Access Theatre.  He has composed eleven musical productions, which have been staged at such prestigious venues as Los Angeles’ James A. Doolittle Theatre and The Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., as well as touring internationally.  His well- received shows include Storm Reading, Legend Of The Crystal Waters and Leap.
In 1994, Mark partnered with Gregory Kuhn and formed  Blazing Cactus Music, a music house for television commercials and other musical projects.  Together, they wrote thirty songs and underscore for Steven Spielberg’s DreamWorks Interactive premiere CD-ROM entitled, Someone’s In The Kitchen!,” a joint venture with Bill Gates’ Microsoft; wrote original songs and score for the Cloud 9 Interactive children’s CD-ROM Nick And Nora In Troll Town; and, composed for Zoo Food With Grandpa Nature, a children’s video featuring the voice of Jonathan Winters.
They created music and sound design for Honda, Southwestern Bell, UNOCAL, MCI, Reebok, KNBC Television, Coca Cola and Intel Pentium Processor television commercials, and well as the “Cereal Prize” and “Soda Machine” installments of the humorous “Got Milk?”
commercial series.
At Blazing Cactus, Mark wrote the original theme song for Storyland Theme Park in the Philippines, and the score for Hawaii’s Voyager Submarine Ride.    His challenges have also included multimedia and industrial video work for Mead Paper and Motorola’s  E-3 International Conference in Switzerland.

In addition to Blazing Cactus projects, Mark decided to follow a personal path, and pursue a solo artist music career.  His first CD, Music for the Movies in Your Mind, is a blend of his keyboard talents and compositional skills to make a very moving cinematic selection of songs.
Mark has vast experience and is highly regarded at musical composition, arrangement and recording, utilizing the latest in digital sampling, digital recording and synthesizer technology combined with live musicians.

“Music is an integral component of a film’s foundation. This musical foundation must support the characters, the arc of the story and the director’s vision for telling it. My writing in diverse mediums has allowed me a depth of experience to address a director’s specific music needs for their production.”

Mark is a resident of Santa Barbara, California.

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