Spotlight of Music–Mark Hansen

Spotlight of Music–Mark Hansen


Rockford native Mark C. Hansen has studied music since he was a small boy. His mother, Mary, instilled in him the appreciation of all types of music. While in high school, he was in various “garage bands.” After graduating from Boylan High School, Hansen attended Southern Illinois University, where he studied voice and majored in opera. Slated to perform at the New York Metropolitan Opera, a concert tour came to Southern and changed the course of his music forever. The band was Jethro Tull.

After college, and a few years of studying pop music, Hansen was asked to join the band Trilogy. After several years, he left Trilogy to become the lead singer of The Employees, a five-member group not only doing cover songs, but also original material.

Like so many others, The Employees disbanded, and Hansen then, together with Bill Sanders, formed the band Wood Music Company. Through this collaboration, the band won several RAMI awards in the Best Acoustic Rock category. The band also played for On The Waterfront.

In 1997, Hansen had decided to go solo. After playing several venues in the Rockford area, he decided to perform full time. This took him beyond the borders. He now performs regularly in Lake Geneva, Wis.; Galena, Des Plaines and several other Illinois locations. Through the years, his music has become very diversified. Performing songs from artists such as Eric Clapton to Stevie Ray Vaughn to Garth Brooks, Hansen’s repertoire appeals to all ages and music styles.

Hansen has a repertoire of more than 100 songs. He says, “Some are verbatim, some are changed drastically. It just depends.” He has performed with Joe Cocker, Van Morrison and Lynyrd Skynyrd.

He continues to increase his performances every year, during spring and summer, playing four to five evenings a week. The last two years in a row, Hansen has received the RAMI Award for Best Folk/Solo Pop category. He also finds time to “give back” to his community by performing at several benefit functions.

Texas Grill patron and Rockford resident Stefanie Fisher said, “We love his Jimmy Buffet. He’s great at Jimmy Buffet and Stevie Nicks, too. We came out just to see him.”

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