The end of summer does not signal Yosemite National Park to close its curtains. Actually, autumn, which means the months from September till November, offers great activities for everyone. While camping on the mountaintops may not be such a good idea due to the drop in the temperature, biking, hiking, and horseback riding are good enough alternatives. Mild breezes bring cooler temperatures that compliment bike and saddle rides.
Yosemite Autumn though is not just a talk about the park’s condition during a particular season. Who would guess that Yosemite Autumn could mean a musical composition? The magnificent grandeur of the Yosemite National Park was artistically expressed through music by Mark Camphouse.
Yosemite Autumn’s composer, Mark Camphouse, was born in 1954 in Oak Park, Illinois. This composer and conductor grew up amidst the fascinating culture of Chicago. Mark Camphouse has achieved a graduate degree in music at the Northwestern University, and is said to hold another undergraduate degree as well. He had the chance to take private trumpet lessons with the famous Adolph Herseth, the Chicago Symphony Principal, when he was given the Chicago Civic Orchestra Scholarship.
Music flowed through the veins of this genius behind Yosemite Autumn. Mark Camphouse’ composer career was not a product of a formal education in composition. He started doing it when he was still young, showing off his First Symphony with the Colorado Philharmonic at a tender age of 17. He has about 15 wind band compositions, including the Yosemite Autumn, all of which are known and performed in the local and international music scene. Most of these are under the Citadel, Albany, and Summit labels.
The Yosemite Autumn is not a work of someone who is new to the world of music. Mark Camphouse is a member of the Music Department’s faculty of the Radford University in Virginia. He is also the university’s Director of Bands since 1984. He has held other music-related positions before Yosemite Autumn was published in 2004, such as: Music Director and Conductor of the New Mexico Music Festival in 1977 to 1982; Virginia Governor School of the Arts’ Music Division Head in 1985-1989; and has served in the New World School of the Arts in Florida as its Acting Dean of Music in 1989-1999.
Yosemite Autumn couldn’t have a better composer. Mark Camphouse was a recipient of the 2002 Outstanding Faculty Award. This is the most prestigious award that any Virginia college or university can possibly have in recognition of their outstanding performance in their field. Happily married to a soprano artist, and proud father of 17-year-old twins, Mark Camphouse sure gave justice to Yosemite National Park’s majesty with his Yosemite Autumn. He has also proven once more that music is one of the best forms in defining beauty.