St Peter’s Boys
I just had a quick turn-round commission for St Peter’s Boys. They asked me to write a medley of Lion King tunes for their junior and senior choirs, their concert band and string orchestra, for a concert they have with Australian Jazz legend James Morrison. Very interesting project writing for some quite young children alongside one of the most incredible musicians on the planet.
Festival of Music
Mark wrote the major “Commissioned Work” for the South Australian Primary Schools Festival of Music 2013. He was asked to write a song cycle song based on four parables, or moral stories from four different religions/belief systems. The Moral of the Story was performed by over 6000 students at the Adelaide Festival Theatre over 11 performances.
Mark was also commissioned by the PSMF to write Respect One Another in 2009, a shout-out for inclusiveness in a pop/middle-eastern style, and a new arrangement of He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother in a Gospel style in 2012. http://www.festivalofmusic.org.au/soundsamplesFofM.html
Mark Simeon Ferguson Trio plays Radiohead
JAZZSA commissioned Mark to develop a concert of new interpretations of tunes by the indie rock titans Radiohead. This was performed at the Promethean in Adelaide on December 1, 2013 and featured Mark’s trio with guests James Brown on guitar and Susan Ferguson on vocals. This was a very challenging but interesting project as the music is sooooo dark, but was incredibly rewarding!
Whit Dae Ye Cry Thon Yin
In 2013 Mark was commissioned to write a collection of new Celtic music for Nexus World Music Series to feature celebrated viloinist Julian Ferrarretto. Whit Dae Ye Cry Thon Yin was performed in June 2013.
In 2007 Mark was commissioned to rewrite Handel’s Messiah in a Gospel style for the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra to feature James Morrison, Paulini, Doug Parkinson and Trace Canini. In The Australian Graham Strahle wrote “It is a brilliantly swinging and uplifting take on Handel’s score… Ferguson has come up with an absolute winner” while Rodney Smith in The Advertiser described the work as “a kaleidoscope of strikingly crafted Gospel arrangements from Ferguson’s fertile pen.”
Mark has been commissioned to write pieces for all three of the JAZZSA Youth Superbands. In 2013 he is working on a piece for the junior band. He was commissioned to write a piece for the Mike Stewart Big Band in 2007 which appeared on their debut album Collectively Speaking. In 2003 he was commissioned to arrange two of his compositions for the Marryatville High School Big Band No. 1. The pieces were performed at the IAJE in New York by the band with James Morrison as the featured soloist. The MHS BB have played many of Mark’s pieces and played his tune Bebo at Generations in Jazz where they were supporting Gordon Goodwin’s Big Phat Band.