September 25, 2000
Oklahoma Baptist University's Warren M. Angell College of Fine Arts will host Mark Anthony Cruz, guitarist and composer, as the second of four guest artist concerts in their fall concert series Thursday, Sept. 28.
The performance is at 7:30 p.m. in the university's Yarborough Auditorium and is free and open to the public.
Cruz will be performing traditional hymns such as "Amazing Grace" and "Great is Thy Faithfulness" that he arranged for the guitar as a well as a Bach Fugue.
Cruz began playing guitar at age 11, inspired by his father, a self-taught guitarist and mariachi.
He has earned awards such as the top prize in the National Solo Guitar Composition for his "Trilogy for the Guitar," and the first place award at the National Winfield Fingerpicking competition. Two of Cruz's original contemporary jazz pieces from his album "Fuzz" premiered at the 1991 Montreaux Jazz Festival in Switzerland.
His latest recording, "Hymnody," is a collection of timeless hymn arrangements played on a solo classic guitar.
Cruz earned a bachelor's degree in guitar performance from Oklahoma City University and a master's degree in guitar performance from Southwest Texas State.
Cruz has taught guitar at Oklahoma Baptist University, Southern Nazarene University, and Oklahoma City University. He currently teaches guitar at Southwest Texas State in San Marcos.
Cruz continues to work as a composer, teacher and performer in Austin, Tx, where he lives with his wife Karla and daughter Katie.