GBWC Featured Profile

Mark Dante Troiano

Wheaton Class of '98

by Cynthia L. Rodday '92
September 2007

Alumnae and alumni may remember Mark Dante Troiano as a member of Wheaton’s all male contemporary A Capella group, the Gentlemen Callers, from 1995-1998.  Mark served as Musical Director from the end of his Freshman Year until his graduation.  Two of his arrangements won awards as runner-up for the Best Arrangement in the New England Semi-Finals of the National Championship of College A Capella.  Mark earned a BA in 1998 in English: Dramatic Literature and Theatre, with a double minor in Music: Theory and Composition, and Voice.  He served as guest arranger to the Gentlemen Callers from 1998-2000, and served as Musical Director for the 15th Anniversary Concert.

What happened to Mark after leaving Wheaton?  He realized his true passion was teaching.  While at Wheaton, he taught Middle School English, ESL and worked as the Performing Arts Director at several local summer camps.  Over the past six years, Mark has taught voice and guitar professionally in Wakefield as well as some classes in Salem.  His lessons expanded to include bass, piano, and music theory.  Mark sees teaching as a way to continue to grow as an artist but primarily as a way to give back to the community in a positive and meaningful way.  Teaching is mentioned in his song, The Story of My Life— “Just give me the chance I need to make a difference / I’ll follow my hopes and dreams / Father my children / Marry the girl of my dreams / And teach my students.”

Whether teaching beginning or advanced students, he enjoys the time he spends with each one of them.  While working on the basics with new students, he can hear his old vocal professor in his ear saying, “What does a D sound like?  Exactly, in perfect tune.”  He applies what he has learned from others to his new students.  With advanced students Mark can experiment and trade solos.  At this point in the teaching process Mark can help the student achieve his or her dream as a young musician.

For the past year and a half, Mark has been on a musical journey of his own—working on his first solo album.  He spends his time working with engineer and Berklee trained guitarist, Don Schulze, at The Starbase Home Studio in Malden.  The album entitled The Lightworker’s Union is about redemption and triumph over adversity will consist of 14 songs and instrumentals.  Mark states the album’s message is about “learning about relationships the hard way, and being strong enough to still know who you are and live to seize another day.”

The Lightworker’s Union reflects many of the Eastern Philosophies that Mark studies.  Mark describes the album this way, “The album is entitled The Lightworker’s Union—as I am a Reiki practitioner in search of my soul mate.”  For those who do not practice Reiki, a Reiki practitioner channels the Universal Life Force Energy or light energy from the practitioner to the client for the purposes of healing.  Light is a universal and fundamental symbol, which is a source of goodness and knowledge.  A person committed to helping others through healing, praying, or teaching and by being kind, compassionate, and considerate is a Lightworker.

The Story of My Life reflects Mark’s passions and desires with its lyrics “Repay my karmic debts / Lay down my burdens / It’s not much to ask for / And I feel I deserve it / I’ve said all my prayers / Just tell me you’ve heard em.”  These points are illustrated again in another song, First Draft, with the words “From the world and all the games / I see each and every day / That bring me to my knees / As I begin to pray: / There is love inside my heart / Just look into my eyes / The windows to my soul / The ones even you can’t deny.”

Mark performs monthly at Starbucks in Lexington and frequents the Open Mic Night at Avenue C in Malden.  Performing live enables Mark to connect with family and friends while sharing his music with the public.  For those unable to see Mark perform live, his MySpace page features songs and instrumentals.  Most of his “friends” on MySpace are in fact old friends he has reconnected with over the past year.  Mark is eager for more friends to listen to his music as he has set up his page to play five songs instead of the usual four.  For those interested in hearing more of Mark’s work, he is selling Extended Plays (EPs) of the songs and instrumentals prior to the official album release.  Contact Mark at MDTroiano@Comcast.net for more information.  In the meantime, check out his web page at www.myspace.com/dante34.