• musicians with passion serving their community •

FullScore Chamber Orchestra

In Memoriam
Mark Christian Rymer

March 7, 1977 ~ April 25, 2011

We could write a book about Mark’s early years and growing up as a very active boy and young man in a variety of activities ranging from music to sports to church to friends to family.  He always had a difficult time choosing his favorite pastime because he loved them all.  And friends and family members were ALL special to him at any given time.  These traits tended to follow him throughout his high school years at Zion-Benton Township High School where he played baseball, basketball, golf, took piano and trumpet lessons all-the-while keeping up honor roll academics and church, friend, and family activities. Then Mark went on to college at Northern Illinois University where he majored in Music Education with an emphasis in Trumpet performance.  Once again he had a difficult time choosing a favorite genre of music as he was active in the Marching Huskies Band including Drum Major, Jazz Band, Wind Ensemble, and Symphonic Bands with a few vocal performances as well.  He also loved all the social aspects that went along with this time in his life as one might expect of his outgoing nature!

Upon graduating from NIU in 2000, he was fortunate enough to obtain a music education position with Lake Bluff Elementary School where he taught beginner band students and vocal music.  Then in 2002 it was his good fortune once again to replace his retiring Z-B Band Director at his alma mater in Zion.  This was his dream job as he felt he could encourage young people to pursue their passion for music whether it be their choice of vocation or an enjoyable avocation throughout their lives. It was also at Z-B where he met and in 2005 married the love of his life Michelle Rose Derer, Z-B German & English teacher.  In 2009 they welcomed a son Lukas Richard who immediately became the joy of their lives.  This same year Mark completed his Masters Degree in Music Education at VanderCook College of Music in Chicago. 

As band director, Mark renewed the Z-B Marching Band, added more performance opportunities to the Wind Ensemble and Symphonic Band’s concert schedule, each fall took the Marching Z-B’s to NIU’s High School Band Day, enhanced the Jazz Band with an annual NIU Jazz clinic and performance led by Dr. Ron Carter, spearheaded band trips along with his amazing Z-B Band Boosters, and became a charter member of Lake County’s FullScore Chamber Orchestra.  He never tired of working with his terrific Z-B students during the day then in the evenings heading back for marching and pep band duties, FullScore involvement, church choir cantata performances, recreational basketball and golf, attending sports events, joining in at family gatherings, and engaging in many trips and activities as Daddy and Husband to Lukas and Michelle.

Thank you all for being a part of Mark’s life and keeping his passion for music in your hearts. 

In Mark's honor FullScore has created an endowment and a music education scholarship. Information about these honors is below. You can send tax deductible gifts for these to the office of the orchestra listed here at the website.

Mark Rymer Endowed Principal Trumpet Chair

Founding member, regular second trumpet, singer, active equipment overseer and mover, ambassador for the arts, promoter of FullScore, advocate for all things live musically. These just begin to describe Mark's gifts to FullScore and it's audience. Then, his last year on earth, Mark auditioned for and won the principal trumpet position with the orchestra. In his honor, an endowment has been created, monitored by his family and members of FullScore, to underwrite the chair he won, inspire other creative endeavors of the orchestra, and ensure his treasured musical spirit will live on through FullScore's life.

Mark Rymer Music Education Scholarship

Having grown up in Zion and then returning to teach there, Mark had an impassioned desire to better the young students at Zion Benton Township High School. Against many odds, he worked to build a better more musically alive band program at ZBTHS. He cared deeply about students, their careers, and their lives. Mark inspired students to get a music degree and do just what he was doing! Many have and many more will - with the help of this important scholarship for graduating seniors at ZBTHS deciding to major in music in college. Overseen by the board of FullScore, this fund will insure that musically gifted senior students bound for college and deserving of financial award will get special help from the orchestra.


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