Mark Gunderson Completes 17-Year Tenure

Program Coordinator Mark Gunderson joined the Pacific Crest staff for the 1997 season. The 2014 season was his final season with the corps. He will now serve on the Pacific Crest Advisory Board.

“In early June, Mark informed me that he would step away after the 2014 season,” explained Executive Director Stuart Pompel. “We spent the next three months discussing the future of the design team, and an announcement will be made later in September.”

Gunderson came aboard as the Brass Caption Head in fall 1996. Working alongside founding Program Coordinator Dale Leaman, he developed the corps’ brass program and helped the corps realize its early design philosophy. Many will remember Pacific Crest performing shows where “everyone died at the end” –Jekyll and Hyde, Frankenstein, Hamlet, Dracula, and Joan of Arc.

Program Coordinator, Mark Gunderson

Program Coordinator, Mark Gunderson

In 1998 and 1999, Mark led Pacific Crest to two undefeated seasons in Division II/III (the precursor to DCI’s Open Class), and nearly again in 2000. He was present for Pacific Crest’s first out-of-state competition in San Antonio, TX, its advancement into World Class, its first appearance at DCI World Championships, and its first national tour.

Over the years, he held a variety of positions, including Brass Caption Head, Brass Caption Supervisor, Music Coordinator, and most recently (from 2012 – 2014) Program Coordinator. During his brief tenure as Program Coordinator, Mark hired new instructors and writers, supervised the reorganization of the staff, and helped push the corps to its largest enrollment and highest placement ever.

Reflecting on his time with Pacific Crest, Mark shared, “I’ve been privileged to work alongside some truly amazing educators, some of the best minds in the activity, and a slew of wonderfully talented performers. Looking back over the past 17 years, I’m proud of how the organization has developed into a World Class Drum Corps while still maintaining the family atmosphere, core values, and character on which it was founded. I’m thankful to have been a small part of that journey. Thank you for trusting in me 17 years ago. Thank you also to the myriad staff members, volunteers, and performers with whom it has been such a joy to work. I’m looking forward to watching the progress of the corps (though at a little greater distance) and hope that through the Advisory Board I can continue to provide whatever input may be useful.”

Mark is a consummate music educator with nearly 30 years of success and thousands of students who have been influenced by him. “I am proud of his lasting contributions to Pacific Crest and honored to count him as a close friend,” said Pompel.

Please join Pacific Crest in thanking MarkGunderson for his 17 years of steadfast dedication to Pacific Crest.