Dr. Mark Christensen currently serves as chair of the English Department. During his career he has earned degrees in English Education, Composition and Rhetoric, and Poetry and Creative Nonfiction writing, as well as a degree in Music.
He teaches in all of those areas except Music, which he reserves for outside pursuits. He has published two collections of poetry, one textbook, and over 50 individual essays and poems and presented approximately 30 times at professional organizations. He has been teaching at Bemidji State since 1990. Prior to that he taught junior and senior high school English.
A lifelong amateur singer and member of college and community choirs for decades, Mark Christensen began serious study of solo operatic singing in his late 40s. Since then he has established a history of recital, musical theater, and operatic performance. A regular in Bemidji’s annual Opera Night performances and Broadway dinner theater revues, he has sung roles in Bemidji Community Theatre productions, including General Harrison Howell in Kiss Me, Kate and as Charles Dickens in an adaptation of A Christmas Carol. He performed as Zuniga in Bizet’s Carmen and as Paul Bunyan in Benjamin Britten’s opera of that same name, each of those produced by the Lake Bemidji Summer Opera Festival company. For the Loon Opera Company he performed as Mr. Gobineau in Menotti’s The Medium, as Bartolo in Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro, and as the Bonz in Puccini’s Madama Butterfly. More recently he sang the role of the Sorcerer in Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas, produced by the Bemidji State University music department, and Juan Peron in Bemidji Community Theatre’s Evita. In the spring of 2013 he performed a solo recital and completed his B.A. in music. Since then he has performed the title role of the Mikado in a 2015 production and of Sarastro in The Magic Flute (2016) and various solo engagements thereafter.