Mark Pappas is a mostly self-taught guitarist. He learned how to play by listening to music, trying to copy what he heard, and studying books on music. He took theory lessons in Jazz Harmony with Dave Santoro at the Hartford Conservatory. He started playing in bands when he was 12 years old, and has never stopped. He has performed with numerous groups throughout his career, including but not limited to, Baron Land and the Tundras, Jack Veronesi and Friends, Mark Campolo Trio, Music Company, Victory, Thursday’s Child, Sundown, The Top Hat Band featuring Earl Davis, Frankie Hill Band, Peter Newland Duo, FAT, and RadioXile.
His musical influences are innumerable and include all the greats from every genre. My earliest influences on guitar were Scotty Moore (Elvis Pressley) and James Burton (Ricky Nelson) on the Ozzy and Harriet TV shows. For Mark, it has always been the guitar. To this day, he remains “a student of the instrument.”
His teaching philosophy is simple – be patient with yourself. It takes a lot of time and effort to learn how to play the guitar. Always put in an honest effort when you practice, and never give up. In regards to teaching at Gerry’s Music, Mark enjoys the comfortable, family atmosphere. During lessons with students, Mark takes really enjoys watching a student “get it” and shows progress towards developing a realistic perspective on how much effort they have to put into their craft to get results.
One of Mark’s most embarrassing moments came during a Battle of the Bands in Junior High. His group had set up their equipment and left it back stage. While other bands were performing, someone sneaked back stage and unturned the rhythm guitar. When his band began playing, it sounded horrible! He never found out who sabotaged his band!
Mark currently lives in South Hadley with his wife. They became very proud grandparents in 2012 – twice!