Do It Yourself Messiah conductor also novelist

Published 5:34 pm Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Do It Yourself Messiah, a community sing-along to be held at Tryon Fine Arts Center on Thursday, December 2 at 7:30 p.m., will be conducted by a newcomer to Tryon Mark Schweizer.

Schweizer and his violinist wife, Donis, moved here a few years ago from Kentucky, where he was a church choir director and director of St. James Music Press, which he founded in 1988.&bsp; Many of Marks compositions can be found in the catalog that specializes in liturgical choral music and provides music to almost 9,000 churches worldwide.

Not only does Schweizer compose music, he writes highly acclaimed mystery novels, which began as an outgrowth of humorous choir newsletters he produced over the years. Some of the titles are The Alto Wore Tweed, The Baritone Wore Chiffon, and The Tenor Wore Tapshoes, and can be found locally at The Book Shelf. His writing and wry sense of humor can also be found in the classical music section of Faking It: How to Seem Like a Better Person Without Actually Improving Yourself from the writers of Collegehumor.com and published by the New American Library.

Schweizer is a native of Florida and a graduate of Stetson University and the University of Arizona, where he received a doctorate in vocal performance. He has taught at Stetson, Louisiana College, Austin Peay University and Murray State University in the areas of theory, composition, voice, conducting, and opera workshop.

If you visit the Tryon post office, you may see Schweizer coming out of his St. James Music Press office right across the street. Tryon Fine Arts Center will not only feature Schweizer on December 2, but will also present him at the Explore the Arts Series on January 6, when he will expound on the many hats he wears as composer, author, musician, and conductor.

For more information about Do It Yourself Messiah, call TFAC at 828-859-8322. The free community event is sponsored by ACTS Retirement-Life Communities and a grant from Polk County Community Foundation.