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Born and raised in the Chicago area, Dr. Mark Lathan received his Bachelor degree in performance from Northern Illinois University in 1983, where he studied trumpet with Ron Modell and jazz arranging with Frank Mantooth. Earning his Ph.D. in 2001 from UCLA, Lathan studied composition with Roger Bourland, David Lefkowitz, and Ian Krouse. While at UCLA he received the Henry Mancini Award in Film Composition and studied film scoring with Jerry Goldsmith.

He counts among his credits numerous compositions and arrangements for jazz band as well as several film scores for independent releases. He has composed a number of concert pieces including a Trumpet Sonata and two choral cantatas, Inheritance of Love and Song of Hope. Lathan's various compositions have been published by C. L. Barnhouse, Doug Beach Music, Yelton Rhodes Music, and Art of Sound Publishing. He was a contributing arranger for Louis Bellson's Sacred Concerto, released on the Percussion Power label in 2005. Two of his flute quartet arrangements appear on the CD release Above and Beyond by the Los Angeles Flute Quartet and his Trumpet Concerto was premiered by Mark Baldin and the Rockford, IL Symphony in 2009 as part of their 75th Anniversary Season Celebration. "Echale Todas Las Ganas" ("Give It All You Got"), a commissioned composition for Wheeling (IL) High School Jazz Band I, was premiered at the Midwest Band and Orchestra Clinic in December 2013 and "Eastbound," a nine-minute work for the Jubilee Saxophone Quartet, was premiered in April of 2014. A new commissioned work for the Gargoyle Brass is scheduled for a Chicago premiere in 2017.

Mark Lathan begins his fourteenth year this fall as Music Professor at Waubonsee Community College in Sugar Grove, IL. He teaches theory, composition, trumpet, humanities, and is the director of the Waubonsee Chorale.