Remembering Mark Baker | Capital University, Columbus Ohio
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    • Remembering Mark Baker

      Mark Baker As hearts grieve across campus after the sudden passing of Professor Mark Andrew Baker, colleagues and friends remember him as someone who loved his students and always wanted the best for them.

      A full-time member of the Conservatory of Music faculty since 2000, Baker passed away on Sunday morning, April 15. Funeral arrangements are pending.

      He had spent the day before singing the praises of Capital University and happily encouraging prospective students to join the CapFam during Countdown to Cap. Conservatory Dean Lynn Roseberry remembered Baker as “beloved, respected, admired and irreplaceable.”

      “He loved and respected his students as performers and as people,” Roseberry said. “He wanted the best out of them and the best for them. He led by example.”

      Baker taught voice and directed Opera/Musical Theater, which most recently performed A Little Night Music.

      His voice, smile and presence filled every inch of each stage, room and auditorium he commanded. As a professional performer himself, Baker mastered 60 leading roles with a variety of opera companies, including Peter in Hansel and Gretel, Sulpice in La Fille duRegiment and Alcindoro/Benoit in La Boheme with the Dayton Opera.

      He performed with the Baltimore Symphony as a featured soloist in the 100th gala performance of African Portraits, where he shared the stage with James Earl Jones, Montel Williams and others. In 2003, he was the inaugural recipient of Artist of the Year from Opera Columbus, a testament to his more than 20 years of performing in Central Ohio.

      Dr. Lynda Hasseler, professor of music and director of Choral Activities, remembered Baker as “… the teacher, performer, artist and friend who made our lives brighter and better with his joyful love for his students, colleagues and family. Thank you. We pledge to keep your joyful and generous spirit alive. You taught us well.”

      Tony Zilincik, associate professor of tuba, wrote this tribute to his colleague:

      “My friend. Always a hello, always a stop by the office to sing the operatic parts to the excerpt I was playing, always a perfect and loving quip: ‘I didn't know you were allowed to shake the WHOLE building.’ Those mornings at audition days when you would say, ‘I'm Mark Baker ...’ and everyone would giggle at your resonance … and wish they could sound like that while speaking. I will miss your friendship, I will miss your humor, I will miss your loving nature. I will miss how you were with your students. Show those folks on the other side how to breathe and make music. I give all the love I can for your family back here. Godspeed, my friend!”

      As much as he treasured being a colleague and performer, his most prized roles were those of husband to wife Amy, and father to son Nathan, a sophomore at Capital, and daughter, Rachel, a junior at Ohio University.