A native of Clinton, Missouri, Bill attended Central Missouri University, and received both a Bachelor of Music Education degree and a Master of Arts degree. While at the university, he studied Saxophone performance under Dr. Eugene Rousseau, a well known classical Saxophonist.
After serving three years in the Fifth Division Army Band at Fort Carson, Colorado, he began a thirty-year teaching career. He spent five years in Aurora, Colorado and then moved to Colorado Springs in 1975. He taught at Holmes Junior High/Middle School for the next twenty-five years, retiring in 2000.
In 2001 he founded the Pikes Peak Home School Band, giving home school students the opportunity to play in a band of their peers. In 2002 he co-founded the Pikes Peak New Horizons Band, which reached out to the adults in the community.
Bill is married to Carolyn and they have twin daughters: Karen, who lives in Colorado Springs, Colorado and Kendra, who lives in Falcon, Colorado with her husband Jon. A personal lifetime achievement for Bill was being runner-up for the Crystal Apple Award, given to the outstanding educator in Colorado Springs School District 11.
Bill and Carolyn have enjoyed traveling over the years. They have been in all 50 states, all the Southern Canadian Provinces, Mexico, Costa Rica and Panama.
Mark Israel was raised in Tomahawk, Wisconsin. He received a Bachelors’ degree in Communications in the Arts from the University of Wisconsin, Green Bay. He then attended the University of Northern Colorado and received a Masters degree in Trumpet Performance and Jazz Studies. Following college, he joined the United States Air Force and was assigned to the USAF Academy. For the next twenty-five years he was trumpet soloist for the Academy Concert Band and the Falconaires.
Mark has over 20 years experience as a clinician for instrumental and vocal ensembles at colleges and high school music festivals through out the United States. He has been on the faculty at the University of Colorado, Boulder, the University of Northern Colorado and Adams State College. He has been a guest lecturer at the Texas Music Educators Conference, the Wyoming Music Educators Conference and the North Dakota Music Educators Conference.
He was awarded the International Trumpet Guild Soloist Award two consecutive years. He has been nominated for a Grammy with the UNC Vocal Jazz Choir. He has also been featured as a soloist on twelve recordings, and has appeared on two PBS Specials.
Mark is married to Dr. Sondra Bell, a very well-known Trombonist. They have two children – Janae and Stefan.