Mark Sykes has been playing the horn since the age of ten, having discovered that the trumpet was played by everyone else at the Saturday morning music centre. Mark studied the horn with his father (also a horn player) and then with Paul Kampen of Opera North for a few years before studying chemistry at university. During this period, Mark played regularly with Huddersfield orchestras and was principal horn of Kirklees Youth Orchestra.
Mark has been principal horn with York Synphony Orchestra since he joined it in 1999 and also has played with York Guildhall Orchestra, the Academy of St. Olaves, York Opera and other ad hoc occasions in the York area. Mark plays in the wind quintet, Five in a Bar, made up of the YSO wind players. Mark is the horn player with the Yorkshire Wolds Versatile Brass quintet, which performs throughout the region. When he isn’t playing the horn, Mark holds down a day job as a theoretical analytical chemist.