Launch: Q&A with Timothy Mank


Timothy Mank is the kind of high school teacher who can talk about a great track on the new Coldplay album, or share some tips on guitar technique. In other words, he’s cool — even to his students. When this St. Mark’s School of Texas teacher isn’t in the classroom, he’s rocking out at The Across the Street Bar. That’s where he hosts Timothy Mank’s Thursday Night Music Club, a weekly lineup with some of Dallas’ best acoustic acts, including his own.

Tell me what someone can expect at one of your Thursday night shows.
Well, these shows are geared for working musicians, so the audience can expect to hear something really good. The number of acts I have varies, but I try to keep it all primarily acoustic. Everyone meets out on the patio around 8:30 and we all kind of just hang out and listen to great music. It’s a lot fun, very laid back — it’s pretty loose in that sense.

How would you describe your sound?
I have gone through many different styles, but I’d say there’s definitely a twinge of that Texas bluesy sound that comes through. But if you ask me if I play blues, I’d say no — I would say I played alternative rock. I like doing mostly originals, but I’ve learned to play covers, too. I’ll do everything from Bob Marley to Sublime to Coldplay to Foo Fighters.

I hear you realized a dream when you got to play “Fly Like an Eagle” onstage with Steve Miller.
Yes, Steve Miller went to St. Mark’s, and I remember I would listen to his songs and be so inspired to know he had gone to my school. In the spring of 2007, St. Mark’s had a centennial celebration, and there was a big concert with him. During the concert, he pulled one of the St. Mark’s student bands on stage, and I got to come up as well and play guitar. It was cool because there was this St. Mark’s student and alumni connection on stage. There were people body surfing — it was surreal. I was just glad to just be standing in the background with him.

And I understand you have an especially strong connection to St. Mark’s because your father taught there for many years.
Yes, my father taught humanities at St. Mark’s 28 years, so I spent a lot of time on the campus. I remember doing things like painting classrooms during the summertime when I was a kid. And I graduated from this school — I guess you could say I pretty much grew up here.

Now you’re following in your father’s footsteps as a humanities teacher at St. Mark’s. I know you just started, but how does it feel so far?
It’s very cool because this is such a tremendous school, and St. Mark’s is such a big part of me, and Preston Hollow. I’m very happy to be back on campus.

Timothy Mank’s Thursday Night Music Club takes place at Across the Street Bar, 5625 Yale, every Thursday at 8:30 p.m. For more information, visit Mank’s website.



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