Born and raised in Sioux Falls, S.D. Mark is the son of Erma and David Smith. With 2 older sisters, Mark is the youngest child in the family.

Mark’s interest in music started with his neighborhood friends who were collecting 45RPM and 33RPM records and listening to KISD radio. They played records on his parent's console record player and pretended to be band members, playing tennis racquets to The Rolling Stones and The Beatles records. In the fourth grade, Mark’s mother bought him a marimba (wooden xylophone). That was traded in for a drum set, which Mark learned to mimic the drum parts on his favorite records. Playing the drums in his mother’s Red Barn antique store, he developed his interest in live music. Living within a few blocks the McKennan Park Band shell, Mark heard many live performances from local bands.

In junior high, Mark made friends with Bill Loftesness, whose father, Ray, was a popular radio personality and his brother, Luther, was a guitar player/singer in a band called Felix. Felix played at Mark's Patrick Henry junior high dance. In high school, Mark got a job at a store called LaBelle’s. Originally a camera/audio warehouse worker, Mark moved into camera and small electronics sales. Eventually Mark was promoted to high fidelity stereo sales as a freshman at Augustana College in 1978.

One evening, the band Wakefield was scheduled to perform at the Barley Pop Stop (BPS) bar near 26th Street and Minnesota Avenue in Sioux Falls. Mark attended to watch his favorite local drummer, Jeff Koller. As Mark patiently waited for the band to start, 2 Wakefield band members, Evan and Geoff, came over to Mark and said their sound man can’t make it tonight. They asked if Mark would run sound for them. Mark said “Run sound? What’s that?” They showed Mark their sound board and explained that each channel was a microphone and by turning the volume up/down and changing the bass and treble controls he could make it sound like a record.

That was the start of Mark’s sound engineer career. Mark continued to run sound for Wakefield, playing high school dances, proms, bars, etc.

In 1982, Mark graduated from Augustana with a Batchelor of Arts degree in Computer Science. He decided to go on the road full time with Wakefield. They toured South Dakota, North Dakota, Nebraska, Minnesota, Kansas, and Colorado. After a couple years, they were traveling to Rapid City to perform an outdoor show and were stranded on the interstate in a spring blizzard for over 24 hours. After that experience, Mark decided to quit the band and pursue a career more in line with his computer science degree.

In 1985, Mark accepted a network capacity planning position at Citibank S.D. This was the start of Mark's 39 year career with Citi's IT division.

Throughout this period, Mark continued to run sound for bands and production companies. Mark was able to balance his Citi career and sound engineer gigs by working nights and weekends. In 2007, Mark was asked to join the Midcontinent team to televise an USD football game. Mark continues to work as a freelance sports television A1 (Audio 1) for Midco Sports, NBC, Fox, CBS, and AXS TV.

Mark also continues to work as a sound engineer for live music. He recently was the sound engineer for the Wakefield 50th Anniversary Party at the District and the Reliving Rush concert at the Alliance. Currently a Vice President of Mainframe Capacity Planning, Mark continues his successful career at Citi. His responsibilities include capacity resource allocations, new technologies, system performance and availability.


2024Production Crew