Adjunct Instructor of Composition
BiographyMark Popeney (b. 1982, San Diego, Calif.) is a composer whose music spans many styles and media. He has experience composing a wide array of music, whether for the concert stage, musical theater, or film. His music has been performed on both coasts, with premieres by such ensembles as the USC Thornton Symphony, UCLA Philharmonia, the UCLA Chorale, the Definiens Project, the USC Contemporary Music Ensemble, the UCLA Wind Ensemble and the Third Wheel Trio. His musical, irl (In Real Life) (co-written by Alexandar Castaneda) was premiered by Hooligan Theater Company in May 2011. Popeney’s string quartet, Channels, was awarded the Peter David Faith Memorial Award in Composition at the USC Thornton School of Music in 2010, and won honorable mention in the National Association of Composers, USA composition competition in 2009. In 2006 he received the UCLA Mancini Award for film composition.
Popeney earned his DMA in composition from USC Thornton, where he studied with Stephen Hartke and Donald Crockett. He earned his master’s degree from the UCLA in 2007, studying composition with Ian Krouse, Paul Chihara, Roger Bourland, and David Lefkowitz, and film scoring with Charles Fox. He received his bachelor’s degree in 2004 from the University of California, Berkeley, majoring in music and political science. There he studied composition with John Thow. In addition to his work in composition and theory, Popeney has studied choral and orchestral conducting with Lucinda Carver, Larry Livingston, and Donald Neuen, and has experience directing children’s choruses and collegiate vocal ensembles. He has taught music theory and composition privately and at New Roads School in Santa Monica, and, as a graduate student, served as a teaching assistant at USC Thornton. He is an avid singer and guitarist, and has performed with and led numerous ensembles in many styles. Popeney also performs with the Los Angeles-based rock quintet Dream Hydra.