Our Mighty Mississippi

"The audience jumped to their feet for a standing ovation after Steven Marking's show 'Our Mighty Mississippi'. Being we are a river town, folks could easily relate to the music, stories and photos of this great river and Steven's beautiful baritone voice and warm presence made it even more captivating!" Kris Niebler, Program Director, Coon Rapids, Minnesota

Our Mighty Mississippi is a magical journey of song, story telling and imagery celebrating America's greatest river. Acclaimed baritone and storyteller, Steve Marking, presents a sensory feast of song, stories, film and photos capturing life on the Mississippi and its beautiful backwaters and tributaries.

Steven Marking is a current day Mark Twain with a gorgeous voice. Add in a touch of Ken Burns and a bit of Garrison Keillor, and you will see why Our Mighty Mississippi touches all who have ever dipped a toe into the Mississippi River, watched an eagle soar - or dreamed about it.

About Steve

Steven Marking grew up on the Mississippi River on Brice Prairie in Wisconsin. He spent his childhood on or in the river, exploring the backwaters, fishing, hunting, swimming and skating. Thus began his life long love affair with our greatest river.

His stunning baritone voice and studies took him to the east coast, where he received a Master’s in vocal performance from Peabody Conservatory. He spent the next twenty years studying, touring and performing opera in the New York area. 

 About Our Mighty Mississippi

Yet the Mississippi River of his boyhood kept calling him back and finally, after twenty years, he heeded its call. He returned to the midwest, to the great river of his youth and discovered a new passion and remarkable skill for photographing and filming all things Mississippi River. He wove his incredible photographic talents with his stunning voice and incredible knowledge of the river to create “Our Mighty Mississippi”, a show that has now been seen and loved by thousands of people.

In Our Mighty Mississippi  Steven Marking shows you beautiful and thrilling views of our greatest river, sights that you are unlikely to ever see unless through the lens of his camera. He shares fascinating bits of river lore and tells humorous stories of personal mishaps on the river. And the singing! He is a master of all styles of music. The music in the show ranges from “Ol’ Man River” to “Moon River” , “Up A Lazy River” to his own original song, the bluegrass tinged “Gone Fishin’ ” and the spiritual "Deep River".

What kind of venues work best?

Our Mighty Mississippi has been performed to enthusiastic responses in settings ranging from theaters seating 600 people, to Steve's yearly run at the 250 seat Centennial Showboat in St Paul and to churches and retirement homes. This is a show that always touches people, makes them chuckle or gaze in wonder. “This brought back so many memories!”, is a phrase Steve hears a lot. 

Steve now lives in St Paul Minnesota, within spitting distance of the Mississippi River. He has sung with Minnesota Opera, Minnesota Chorale and is the soloist at Hennepin United Methodist Church. In addition to his many concerts, he and his wife are guest speakers for American Cruise Lines as they travel the river from St Louis to St Paul.

Steve is continuously photographing and filming the river in all its ever changing moods. Steve is constantly learning more about the river he loves. It is his great joy to share his love of the river with you.

 

Rave Reviews for Our Mighty Mississippi

Seeing Our Mighty Mississippi was the best. Thank you for having Steven Marking perform for us. How will you ever top that? ... Healthiest Passport Member

Having worked on the Mississippi for almost 30 years and paddled its length, Our Mighty Mississippi truly captures the river's spirit ... John Sullivan, Wisconsin DNR

So good, I am going again! ...Irma V

I loved the photography and videos and how well they were matched to his music. A unique and apparently ever evolving show. A beautiful fall day on the river! ... Roxanne

This was an excellent show. I would highly recommend it. Marking was great with his storytelling, videography of the Mississippi and singing ... Goldstar Member

 All three of us really enjoyed the storytelling and video. Would go again! ... Goldstar Member

 Wonderful performance as we were held spellbound with the images of the river, wildlife and human use of the river that flashed behind him as he was singing or talking. I will be taking kids and grandkids the next time I see him performing. His voice was SO impressive with such a huge vocal range to fit each song...Pat Rummenie

 It was a delightful show and alot of fun learning about the Mississippi River, learning things we never knew ... Rose Gebo

 Beautiful photography, good voice and well put together program ... Norman Berg

 Steve Marking is an exceptional photographer and singer ... Mary Jo Halverson

 The Daily Gazette Marking's Baritone Suited to River Theme, Cambridge MA ... Baritone Steven Marking has a remarkable voice. On Saturday night at Hubbard Hall, he shared it in a program inspired by songs about rivers. 

 Marking's voice was particularly suited to the repertoire he chose. His voice, which was smooth as silk, was wonderfully regulated and controlled. The color was consistent whether it was a clarion in Lee Hoiby's dramatic "I Was There" with words by Walt Whitman or a gravelly bass in H. T. Burleigh's arrangement of "Deep River." His phrasing was finished, his breath control and pitch excellent and his diction superb.

 Although any or all of these can be found in other baritones, Marking's ability to change the texture of his sound was unusual. He was able to lighten the color and tonal depth when he sang many of the "pop" tunes, such as Harold Arlen's "Get Happy" or "The Eagle and Me."

 But when he took on a more serious or thoughtful song, such as Samuel Barber's "Shining Night," the resonance and color seemed to deepen with darker overtones. It was an amazing display of vocal control that only the best singers achieve. As such, each of Marking's offerings became a gem... 2009 Geraldine Freeman

 

New Lecture!

The Mississippi River and The Civil War