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New solo guitar piece - homage to Paulo Bellinati

October 11, 2020

A new composition for solo guitar entitled 'Carnival' has just been completed. It is a homage to the Brazilian composer Paulo Bellinati. Mark writes: 'realising that Paulo Bellinati was recently celebrating his 70th Birthday, I set about to write a piece in a characteristic Samba style. The piece is of a sectional/ episodic construction consisting of an E major group that is repeated, followed by a 'developmental section that is broadly in A minor/ C major, followed by a recapitualtion to the finish - total of over 150 measures which equates to approximately 6-7 minutes. The piece will be added to this site very soon as a purchase download pdf only, with a possible future print run after the Covid pandemic allows business to return to normal.

Commission from the New Mexico Music Educators Association Board

July 27, 2020

Delighted to report that I've received a commission project from the New Mexico Music Educators Association Board. The commission involves writing a series of short compositions for high school guitar students auditioning for the New Mexico State Festival. This comes thanks to the tireless work done by Justin McMurdo, who has obtained permission from the Board using trial pieces, discussed in communications together. Thanks Justin! The deadline for receiving the pieces is 1st December.

Guitar Sextet Ensemble Series, Guitarchestra gets a new addition - Guitarchestra No.11!

June 13, 2020

Mark's 'Guitarchestra' series continues with the completion, this weekend, of no.11 in the series. The series has seen a slowing of completion in recent years. Originally billed as a set of 6 sextets, these six where finished quickly, one being written on successive weekends. Then a second set of six was projected and these generally tended to be 1 each year. So no.11 should be the penultimate in the set - but let's see! :-)

Mark completes the editing of John Duarte's 'English Suite No.6' and 'Danserie No.1 ready for publication

March 12, 2020

I'm pleased to announce that the editing work is now complete on two previously unpublished works by the English composer John W Duarte: 'English Suite No.6' (Flute/ Guitar) and 'Danserie No.1' (Two Guitars). Mark also contributed a Foreword to the book.

The works will be published by Les Productions d'OZ, with first performances planned for later in the year.

New Guitar Quartet 'Latin Nights' published in the Fall edition of 'Soundboard'

January 20, 2020

Mark's latest guitar quartet, requested for the Guitar Foundation of America's Journal 'Soundboard', has now been published. I'm really pleased to get this exposure in one of the World's premier guitar journals. The piece is written in a syncopated Latin style to provide some interesting reading for school ensembles - in this special magazine edition that focuses on education. Big thanks to the dedicatee Chuck Hulihan, Martha Masters and Bob Ferguson, for their interaction during the publishing process.

Mark appointed as Ensemble Director for the Liverpool Guitar Society

January 09, 2020

Mark has been appointed as the new Ensemble Director for the Liverpool Guitar Society. Mark writes: Commencing in March and meeting on the 2nd Thursday of every month, this is an opportunity to put in practice all the many thoughts about ensemble work that have gathered in my head for many years, including trialling many short exercises designed to work on core issues that face ensemble work.

Mark's contributional editing to the posthumous works publications of John W. Duarte

November 26, 2019

Mark (along with several other contributors) is currently engaged in the editing of some posthumous composition publication enterprises by Chris Duarte, son of the late composer John W.Duarte. Mark is tasked with editing the  following works:-

English Suite No.6 (Flute & Guitar)

Danserie (2 Guitars)

Impromptu (Op.8, Solo Guitar)

Epitaph for Manuel Ponce (Solo Guitar)

Cancion y Danza (Op.117, Homage to Ruiz Pipo - Solo Guitar).

New guitar quartet 'Latin Nights' to be published in prestigious US guitar journal 'Soundboard'

October 09, 2019

Mark's latest guitar quartet 'Latin Night's has been specifically written for inclusion in the US guitar journal 'Soundboard'.

Only the full score will be published in the pages of 'Soundboard'. In order to obtain the separate parts, there are plans to publish the work independently with all parts included.

Commenting on the writing process of 'Latin Nights' Mark says:  "The piece had to be kept compact due to limited  printing space in the journal, so I've used traditional repeat tools (Dal Segno/ Coda etc) to expand the form somewhat. The score of  'Latin Nights' provides many discussion points for 1st/ 2nd-year guitar students and their director; syncopation 

'Memories of Siam' achieves 2nd place in International Guitar Composition Competition

June 08, 2019

Mark Houghton's solo guitar composition, 'Memories of Siam', achieved 2nd place in the Thailand Isan International Guitar Festival Composition Competition, held in Korat, on Sunday 9th June.  The prize (trophy and certificate plus 15,000 BHT) where collected by our shop staff member Song (who managed a successful book stall at the same event that same weekend. We would like to thank Mr Woratep Rattana-umpawan for performing the piece live during the competition. The music was subsequently dedicated to Woratep for his help with this project. 

The piece was written over a period of three days in late May, prior to the deadline of the competition. There are plans to the publish the piece in the near future.

Guitarchestra No.10 completed and destined for premiere performance at GFA!

April 30, 2019

Guitarchestra No.10 has been recently completed and, once announced on social media, quickly sparked interest amongst guitar educators who lead guitar orchestras - particularly in the USA. No.10 (subtitled 'Festive') will be premiered at the Guitar Foundation of America Convention by the GFA Youth Guitar Ensemble - which, since 2016,  has become the trademark opening for the convention.

Why is it subtitled 'Festive'? here's my explanation:-

My favourite symphonic writer is Joseph Haydn who wrote a cluster of symphonies knicknamed 'Paris Symphonies' .

Haydn occassionally wrote symphonies that purposefully fitted festive events and he always chose the same keys - C and G major - for his festive symphonies. Guitarchestra No.10  is in G major. Additionally, during the closing stages of writing No.10, a tragic fire occurred that destroyed large portions of the Notre Dame Cathedral in France, hence the 'Paris Symphonies' reference suddenly took on a more significant meaning to me and I've included a short quote form the French National Anthem ("La Marseillaise") in the CODA of my piece in respect.

Exam successes for my guitar pupils!

April 30, 2019

I'm delighted to report that my two pupils engaged in guitar exams have both had success. James White passed his Grade Seven London College of Music with a merit, while Poppy Smith (aged only 8 years old) achieved a distinction pass at Grade One. Onwards now to the next grades for these two talented players!

Volume 1 of Thai Traditional Songs arranged for Solo Guitar ... to be released in May 2019

March 31, 2019

Mark will release Volume One of Thai Traditional Songs, arranged for solo guitar. It will contain 5 song arrangements. They will be aimed at good intermediate to advanced players.

Exciting news update for Guitarchestra No.10!

April 08, 2019

Details are in the planning phase at present but it's safe to mention that Guitarchestra No.10 is being prepared as the latest collaboration with 'Mr Ensemble' himself, Chuck Hulihan. The rumour is that it will receive it's World Premiere at a prestigious US National Guitar Festival and Summer School. Watch this space for more details coming soon!

Mark coaches USA Ensemble in live video link-up!

March 31, 2019

In what must be one of the first ever video coaching session for a guitar orchestra, Mark recently worked with the Notredame Preparatory School ensemble directed by Philip Hemmo in Arizona. They are preparing to record the piece that Mark wrote for Philp (A Letter to Philip) and this was a good chance to get the composer's insight into how the piece is structured and gain some knowledge to help with the final recording. It was a great session, looking at musical form, dynamic shape for the piece and other observations.

Successful World Premiere of Guitarchestra no.9 in USA!

March 08, 2019

On March the 8th the Glendale Community College Guitar Ensemble (Director: Chuck Hulihan) performed a successful World Premiere of my Guitarchestra No.9. Subtitle 'Moorish Melody. The video and sound production by David Thibodeaux of 9th Symphony Productions of the first performance is first rate and available on You Tube here:-

Thai Traditional Song arranging project underway

January 05, 2019

Back in November 2018, a project collaboration with Ekachai Jearakul came to light - to arrange Thai Traditional songs for Ekachai's up-coming CD 'Siam Whisper'. I arranged suggested songs and Ekachai recorded 4 of these on the CD. The next stage is to check all the scores and create a publication through Houghton Guitar Series. I've decided to add a further two songs to that collection, making a book of 8 song arrangements. More details to follow shortly ...

Guitarchestra No.9 is now complete!

January 05, 2019

My long running guitar sextet series 'Guitarchestra' has now got a new edition - Guitarchestra No.9 has now been completed. Subtitled 'Moorish Melody', I wanted to write a melodious piece that pays homage to that idiom that Classical Guitar often eludes to - a Spanish heritage and tradition that reveals itself in the particular modal idiom of the music of the Moors. Also I'm fascinated by the art music composers such as Isaac Albeniz, Enrique Granados and French counterparts - Debussy and Ravel. 

New Guitar Quartet 'A Letter to Philip' published and available!

November 26, 2018

I'm delighted to report that my new guitar quartet, 'A Letter to Philip' has been published and is available to purchase! Written in August 2018 and dedicated to the Classical Guitarist/ educator, Philip Hemmo, this quartet was printed recently in Bangkok, while I was attending festivals in South East Asia. This is the first guitar quartet to be published under the 'Houghton-Guitar' publishing label. For more information please contact me at this site or my email address: 

Three-day competition in Bangkok

November 05, 2018

Houghton Guitar Shop, promoting Les Productions d'OZ/ Doberman publications, will be displaying a book stand at the 'Arts of Classical Guitar Competition' - a three-day, event from 5th-7th November, held at the Yamaha Ratchadapisek Music School, Bangkok. In addition to the usual stall favorites, we will have 120 new chamber music with guitar titles from the Les Productions d'OZ/ Doberman publications, reflecting the growing demand in this area. See you there. :-)

Premiere in Culcheth by Duo Piacevole

July 13, 2018

The talented guitar duo of Beverley Henry and Ruth Fielding (Duo Piacevole) performed two pieces from a Suite that I dedicated to the duo (Suite Pastorale), at a concert in Culcheth, near Warrington, on Saturday 14th July 2018. The performances of Notturno's I & II were a World Premiere. 

Our stand at the AIGF in June

June 19, 2018

Reflecting on a great guitar festival that we attended in June. The Asia International Guitar Festival was a great networking opportunity and we met some important people in the Classical Guitar world. Great guitarists such as Gerard Abiton, Roberto Aussel, Paul Cesarczyk and Huy Thanh Nguyen all gave wonderful concerts and it was nice to meet them in person to. Looking forward to next years event!

Great tribute night!

May 03, 2018

I'm so grateful to all my friends at the Chester Guitar Circle who staged a wonderful tribute to me on the 2nd April, for services to the Guitar Circle. Many members who attended played pieces of mine and I got to play myself to launch the evening off. Chair Person, Nicole Nijssen prepared very complimentary opening and closing speeches. Thaks alot to all who attended!

Les Production's d'OZ-Doberman launch in Thailand

April 06, 2018

The South East Asia Guitar Festival and Performance Awards, 2018 in Bangkok was the setting for the launch of the Asia Distribution Centre of the Canadian publishing house, Les Production's d'OZ-Doberman. With representatives Mark Houghton and Song, a two day exhibition at the festival was a great success. The representatives would like to publicly thank Pongpat Pongradit for allowing them the opportunity to display the quality products and music from this publisher.

Published: 'Sailing Home' for Solo Guitar

March 20, 2018

'Sailing Home' has been a popular Guitar Quartet of mine for a few years now and published by Les Productions d'OZ. However, recently the International guitar scholar Prof. Stanley Yates suggested that it would be good to see a solo guitar version of this piece so he could use it in his recitals. The result of this conversation led to the arrangement that is now published for solo guitar. Thanks, Stanley!

Improvisation Class at Chester Guitar Circle

March 07, 2018

At Chester Guitar Circle, in March, I hosted an 'Improvisation session' for Classical Guitarist's who have some knowledge of playing modal scales over a given chord progression. The session was a success and I'll be looking to feature more such events at their guitar meeting night!

Published: 'Acoustic Counterpoint' for Guitar Quartet now available

March 01, 2018

I'm delighted to announce that my Guitar Quartet entitled 'Acoustic Counterpoint' is now published and available through the fine publishing house 'Les Production d'OZ/ Doberman:

This piece was written the day after returning from the 2016 Dillington Guitar Festival, were I had attended to here the premiere of a commissioned piece of mine (Homage to Domenico Scarlatti for Guitar and Harpsichord). It is dedicated to the OLE Guitar Quartet (Tony Ainsworth, Cathy Cunliffe, Michael Addlesee and Anne Newberry).

The beautiful City of Chester

January 10, 2018

Enroute to the Chester Guitar Circle evening, I spent a relaxing time with my pal Ian Hanson. Ian had been involved in Archaeological digs in the city, back in the 1960's. His knowledge of the area is amazing. 

With Craig Ogden in Bolton

March 18, 2017

With Craig Ogden after he'd performed the first movement of my Sonatina, at a concert of his in Hoylake. There was a capacity audience of approx. 400 people who attended the concert.

Enjoying a chat with two Classical Guitar masters

October 25, 2012

From left to right, Mark Houghton with Jon Gjylaci and Craig Ogden, following the first performance of my 'Tango' from 'Dance Suite', where Craig directed 95 students at Bolton School of Arts.

Guitar festival launches in Bangkok on 5th April

April 04, 2018

Looking forward to attending the 2018 South East Asia Guitar Festival & Performance Awards event, held in Bangkok, Thailand. This is the inaugural event that brings together many guitarists from the countries in Asia. I will be representing the Canadian publishing house, Les Productions d'OZ/ Doberman as part of their Asia-Thailand distribution team. For more information please see:

Let's go!

At the Royal Northern College of Music

January 13, 2018

I attended a masterclass given by Craig Ogden with students from Cheetham's School of Music and also the RNCM. This was followed by an excellent talk by Tom McKinny about Benjamin Britten's 'Nocturnal op.70', written for Classical Guitar maestro Julian Bream.

Guitarchestra No.10 received Premiere performance at the GFA!

June 27, 2019

Guitarchestra No.10 received it's first performance on July 19, 2019 - Maurice Gusman Hall, University of Miami, hosted by Dr. Federico Musgrove Stetson & Rafael Padron 2019 Guitar Foundation of America 2nd Night Performance, Opening for Marcin Dylla with Chuck Hulihan directing. It was a great performance:

Tribute Night to Mark Houghton at Chester Guitar Circle!

May 01, 2018

I'm delighted to announce that Chester Guitar Circle will have a tribute night to honour my contribution to the Guitar Circle over the last 28 years (from regular member through to Committee member as Music Curator for the Circle). Circle Chair Person, Nicole Nijssen, requested from me compositions that could be performed by the members on the night and so I sent the Committee 80 short pieces, for members to select and play on the night. Looking forward to this very much as most of the 80 pieces have never been performed!

Waltz series for Guitar Quartet

July 31, 2020

While still under certain movement restrictions due to Cov-19 I started a series of pieces for guitar quartet - waltzes. So far there are 2 waltzes but hoping to build on this and create a collection of these. Watch this space!

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