Have you driven a Fiord, lately?
Country - Mark S. Schwendau moved from the Chicagoland area out into the country in 1959 at age 5 to Barrington, Illinois. At that time, Barrington was so rural, his parents shot a home movie of a cattle drive down the road past their house mornings and evenings as a herd was moved to graze Barrington’s open grass prairies. As a child, Mark had his own pony, an overgrown Shetland named Jimmy. He operated his own vegetable stand known for sweet corn in the summer and pumpkins in the fall. The best father-son bonding project in the world! As a teen, he worked in several horse stables where he fell in love with the American Quarter horse. He learned to ride both Western and English and even tried jumping several times. Mark drove his first tractor by himself at age 9, a Farmall Cub. He went on to drive many others both large and small (orange, red, yellow and green).
Music - Mark has been music lover all his life. At age 13 he got his first Ludwig ® drum kit. Always the music lover, by age 14 he had saved enough money to buy his own RCA ® stereo console for his bedroom. He later added both stereo 8 track and cassette tape players. These early events were probably the start of the foundation for him thinking up his first song, GLIDE RIDE. In 2013 he was discovered by a Music Row firm with a great track record that offered to both, prepare professional demos of his songs, and promote his music in Nashville. They felt the messages and melodies of his music were “commercial grade” and marketable.
Education - Mark graduated from Barrington Consolidated High School (BCHS) as one of only 10 students out of his graduating class of 750 to attend all 13 years of school in the Barrington district. Mark went on to complete both an undergraduate degree in Industrial Education and a graduate degree in Industrial Management from Northern Illinois University.
Harley Davidson - At 18 his Dad took him to register for the draft and buy his first motorcycle, a 1971 Harley Davidson ® 350 Sprint (SS) from North Shore Harley Davidson in Skokie, Illinois. A foreign made bike was out of the question and nothing is more American than Harley Davidson ® (even though Sprint was made in Italy by Aermacchi) and country music. This was another factor to lay down the foundation for GLIDE RIDE.
Day Jobs - Presently, Mark is a technology professor in an Illinois community college and is nationally recognized as an authority in computer-aided design (CAD). Mark has been a technical educator and writer all of his working life. He has taught technology education in all levels of education from secondary education to university graduate school. He has written 7 books related to his field of CAD technology and received numerous awards and honors for teaching and writing.
Philanthropy - As a Christian, Mark invests his time and money in local causes he believes in. Several those causes are the Kishwaukee College Foundation, Rockford Rescue Mission and Rochelle Kitchen Table (a soup kitchen) where he also serves on the board of directors. Mark also will serve others by visiting local senior living centers where he does a presentation on his interest in country music where he discusses the historical of the country music. A taste of his presentation, with his own personal discovery of Chicago, Illinois, as the historical "First Capitol of Country Music" of opry, is HERE.
Future - Like most others in the music industry, Mark’s goal in music is to make enough money from his existing songs for him to be able to do more songs while serving others along the way.