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Mackenzie (Mack) Jacob LaMont (b. 1989) is an active composer, performer (percussion), music educator, music copyist and arranger, and owner/operator of a small music recording company. His recent compositions have been focused on the environment as well as political and philosophical issues, with the sound world inhabiting a space somewhere between minimalism and post-progressive rock (with dashes of randomness here and there).
Mack’s musical studies began at the age of five with private piano lessons. After discovering his father’s snare drum at the age of eleven, he went on to study percussion throughout middle and high school. During his high school studies, Mack also began experimenting with composition.
Upon graduating from Washington High School in Washington, IN as Salutatorian of his class, he attended the University of Indianapolis in pursuit of a Music Performance degree in percussion. During his time at UIndy, Mack studied percussion with Paul Berns of the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra. At the end of his sophomore year, he added two concentrations to his performance degree: one in Music Technology and Recording, and the other in Music Composition. He studied composition with John Berners.
Mack’s music was performed regularly at the University of Indianapolis’ Composer’s Forum concerts. In his senior year, he gave both a percussion performance recital and a composition recital. His composition recital featured two major premiers, including The Lord’s Prayer, which required a performing force of four percussionists and over thirty vocalists. He was also invited to conduct a suite from his wind ensemble piece, Perceptions, at the University of Indianapolis’ Symphonic Wind Ensemble concert on March 8, 2012.
In May of 2014 he earned his masters degree in music composition from the University of Cincinnati, College Conservatory of Music. During this degree, Mack had many premiers, including his Requiem Post-Modernus for chamber orchestra, rock trio, choir, and vocal soloists. He was also the recipient of multiple scholarships. After finishing the masters degree, Mack began his DMA at UC-CCM in January 2015, completing it in April 2017.
During his DMA, Mack’s wind ensemble piece, “The Sky Has Changed,” was premiered in April of 2016 as the winner of the 2016 CCM Wind Ensemble Composer Competition, and his french horn solo, “…across the plains, to Devils Tower,” was selected to be premiered in June 2016 at the 48th International Horn Symposium. His dissertation, the wind ensemble piece “Not About Posies,” was the winner of the 2017 CCM Wind Ensemble Composer Competition. During his time at the University of Cincinnati, College-Conservatory of Music (throughout both graduate degrees) he studied composition with Michael Fiday, Joel Hoffman, and Douglas Knehans, and percussion with James Culley and Allen Otte.
Mack’s music is registered with ASCAP and he publishes his music as Squashed Turnip Productions. He is a full time lecturer at Frostburg State University in Frostburg, MD where he teaches percussion lessons and ensemble, composition lessons and classes, and various courses within the music industry track.
Mack currently resides in Frostburg, MD with his wife, Whitney, and his two dogs.