Sparks Educational Services
Marvin R. Sparks Jr. has worked throughout the United States as a percussionist, drummer, educator, consultant, writer, and producer. Mr. Sparks has presented throughout the country at high schools, colleges and various music education conferences including JEN (Jazz Education Network), TJEA (Texas Jazz Education Association), IAJE (International Association of Jazz Education), TMEA (Texas Music Educators Association), TBA (Texas Bandmasters Association), Midwest Band and Orchestra Convention and PASIC (Percussive Arts Society International Convention) as a director, panelist, soloist, and performer. In 2014, Professor Sparks presented at the 2014 National Meeting for ADP/TDC (National Conference on Civic Engagement for AASCU) in Louisville, KY. Professor Sparks has served on the faculties of Eastern Illinois University (Lecturer), U of Missouri-St. Louis (Director of Percussion/Jazz Studies), U of Houston (Director of Percussion), and Texas Southern University (Jazz Studies). Many of his former students are leading pioneers in the music industry as educators and performers including Terreon Gully (Dianne Reeves, Christian McBride, Joe Locke), Taku Hirano (Cirque Du Soleil-Michael Jackson tour, Fleetwood Mac), Eric Harland (SF Jazz Collective, Voyager), Kendrick Scott (Terrance Blanchard, Oracle), and Mark Colenburg (Robert Glasper). Mr. Sparks is featured on www.Drummerworld.com (International website featuring the great drummers from around the world). Mr. Sparks holds a Bachelors of Music (Performance) from the University of Illinois-CU and a Masters of Art (Performance) from Eastern Illinois University.
As a performer, Marvin Sparks has recorded and performed live in various genres of the music industry including:
Orchestral: Houston Latin American Philharmonic Symphony (present), Chicago Civic Orchestra, Texas Master Chorale Orchestra; Broadway Musicals: The Color Purple, Ragtime, The Wiz, Titanic, Will Rodgers Follies, King and I; Ensemble Theater-Houston (various productions); Jazz/ Blues Artists: Calvin Owens, Max Roach, Joe Henderson, Sandip Burman, Roy Ayers, Ernie Watts, Ndugu Chancler, Billy Harper; R&B: Maxx Traxx/Third Rail, Aretha Franklin, Gladys Knight, Roy Ayers, Jerry Butler; Christian/Gospel: Della Reese, James Cleveland, Mattie Moss Clark, First Baptist Church-Houston, Lakewood Church, First Presbyterian Church-Kingwood, Strawbridge United Methodist Church-Kingwood, Metropolitan CME Church-Houston, Christ Universal Temple-Chicago, First Methodist Church-Downtown and Calvary Christian Fellowship- Kingwood (present).
Sparks has recorded over 200 commercials for Radio and TV as a composer, performer, and producer. He is also an educational consultant for Evans Drumheads, Sabian Cymbals, Vic Firth Sticks, and the Latin Percussion Music Group.
At Lone Star College-Kingwood Professor Sparks teaches Music Appreciation, American Music, Private Percussion Lessons, the College Success Course and has performed with the Kingwood Big Band. Mr. Sparks is a board member of LHMAS (Lake Houston Musical Arts Society). Professor Sparks was awarded the Adjunct Faculty Excellence Award from the Lone Star College System in 2014.