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About Steven Marking: Baritone, Riverlorian, Photographer, Filmmaker

Steven Marking is a true renaissance man: Stunning baritone, riverlorian (river historian), photographer and filmmaker. His exceptional talents weave through every unique project, yet he is always true to his heart.

Steve is from Brice Praire, Wisconsin. He grew up on and in the Mississippi River. He received his undergraduate degree in voice from Viterbo College in La Crosse, Wisconsin and his masters degree in vocal performance from Peabody Conservatory in Baltimore. He continued his studies at Yale University and then spent twenty years singing opera and oratorio in the New York area. He has many varied opera roles to his credit. A charismatic presence on stage, Steve has the qualities of all the very best baritones: Finished phrasing, excellent breath control and pitch, and superb diction.

The Mississippi River and his roots called him back from New York in 2010, and he discovered his passion and talent for photographing and filming his beloved Mississippi River. His favorite place is the river, and he is never without a camera! He turned his passion into his popular show, Our Mighty Mississippi, a magical journey of song, storytelling and visual imagery celebrating America’s greatest river.

He moved to the Twin Cities in 2012 and he has performed his own shows, sung with Minnesota Opera, the Metropolitan Symphony and Minnesota Chorale, performed in many oratorios and released three new CDs and two DVDs.

Since 2012 Steve, along with his wife JoAnn Funk, have been adding to their schedule as riverlorians (river historian) and guest performers for American Cruise Lines as they cruise the Mississippi, Ohio and Cumberland Rivers. Steve is currently on the river about 20 weeks a year, educating through talks and performing. He has made over 100 trips on the river: from New Orleans to St Paul, Pittsburgh to Cairo and up the Cumberland to Nashville. He always brings his cameras along; he is continually filming and photographing his beloved western rivers.

Steve loves to sing in church and considers it a part of worship. He has always been a soloist in churches of all demoninations. From 2013 – 2018 he was the bass baritone soloist at Hennepin Avenue United Methodist Church in Minneapolis, Minnesota, where he performed in many oratorios with symphony. With his Norwegian Lutheran heritage, he is steeped in the beloved old time hymns. And through his opera background he grew to love classical and gospel religious music.

When Steve is home in St Paul, he can often be found on the backwaters of the Mississippi, in his old pontoon boat (converted into a filming platform) or a blind, filming his beloved Mississippi, catching the lotus in bloom or the arrival of the tundra swans or whatever the river may bring that day. His favorite place is the river, and he is never without a camera!

Steve has recorded five CDs and two DVDs. CDs: Holy Chestnuts,Grandma’s Favorite Gospel Hymns, Toscanini and Friends, Our Mighty Mississippi and Lord, Here Am I. He has filmed, photographed, edited and added his own music to his popular DVDs: Our Mighty Mississippi and Riverscapes.
Steve’s newest project is to create a film that travels the length of the Mississippi!