Dr. Mark Sumner has been the Director of Music at First UU for 18 years. He conducts the adult choir, coordinates all musicians for the Sunday services, accompanies service hymns and guest soloists on piano, and teaches a weekly adult RE class on vocal musicianship. His full time job is across the bay at UC Berkeley where he is the Director of UC Choral Ensembles. He is also heavily involved as a singer in groups such as Cappella SF, Los Angeles Chamber Singers, International Orange Chorale and other professional ensembles. Prior to his tenure in San Francisco, Mark served as Director of Music at the Pacific Palisades Presbyterian Church, and taught at Pierce and Valley Colleges in Los Angeles. There he sang with the Los Angeles Opera, Master Chorale, Zephyr and other professional ensembles in Southern California.
Mark received his BME from Oklahoma State University, his MM from Southern Methodist University and his DMA from the University of Southern California. He has studied with Lloyd Pfautsch, Michael Korn, Rodney Eichenberger, William Denning, Charles HIrt, Eph Ely and has sung under Esa Pekka Salonen, Nicola Resigno, Simon Rattle, Paul Salomunovich and alongside Beverly Sills, Renata Scotto, Jon Vickers, Frederica von Stade, Jerry Hadley, Marilyn Horne, Placido Domingo, and many others in both LA and at Dallas Civic Opera. He also teaches private voice and enjoys tennis, bridge, theatre, movies, yoga, and eating out.