Mark Waistell is a new arrival on the acoustic music scene. A Singer Songwriter, based in Devon, UK, Mark is quite unusual in that he has returned to the world of music after about 30 years away.
Born in Southampton, with Northern heritage and then growing up in the rural West Midlands, Mark sang in church choirs. as treble and then baritone but was also learning the guitar and singing at local schools and youth clubs. Failure to win a choral scholarship at Oxford led him to leave classical singing behind and work more on the guitar and singing at student events and folk clubs as an undergraduate….and also playing a lot of rugby! A degree in Biochemistry was followed by a postgrad certificate in Education and then a year teaching English in Spain. He decided he would only return to England if he could find a job in the Westcountry or the Lake District and fortunately found work in Exeter.
Marriage to Jackie, a French teacher, soon followed and four children, Dan, Naomi, Ben and Esther, filled the days with laughter and sleeplessness and a ruined cottage in East Devon needed restoring. Professionally, all went well and Mark took a Masters' degree and was quickly appointed Principal of a language academy and then left to form his own business, Accent International, of which he remains Senior Partner and which is now in its 25th year of training Executives and Professionals from abroad. Travel all over the world— from China to Mexico, a busy family life, professional demands and writing and speaking projects meant that one day Mark realised that he hadn't picked up the guitar for several years. Call it a mid-life crisis, call it a return to roots, call it a need for what only music and creativity can bring—whatever it was produced what is now a reality. An old dog learning new tricks….or experience of life combined with enthusiasm of the newcomer?
Apart from music - from opera to rock, Mark enjoys running, watching rugby and cricket, sailing his old open sailing boat, Nellie-Mabel, reading, writing, walking, travelling and, most of all, spending time with his family.