NISD string students to rock out on Jan. 18

January 9, 2014

More than 600 NISD string students will have the opportunity of a lifetime when they learn from and perform with Mark Wood, a string master and founding member of the internationally- acclaimed Trans Siberian Orchestra.

On Jan. 17 and 18, students will participate in Woods’ innovative program “Electrify Your Strings (EYS),” an intensive rock and roll workshop for school music education departments that boosts student self-esteem and motivation.

Students will meet with Woods on Friday, Jan. 17 for workshops at varying times depending upon grade level.  On Saturday, Jan. 18, they will perform in culminating performances held in the Brennan High School auditorium and opened to the public. Tickets at the door for $10 for adults and $5 for children ages 2-13.

A matinee concert featuring fifth grade students and beginning and intermediate middle school students will be held at 1:30 p.m. An evening concert featuring middle school and high school students will begin at 7 p.m. A time for autographs by Woods will be available after each concert.

"The Mark Wood's initiative entitled Electrify Your Strings is truly an exciting way to connect young musicians to the advanced applications available in technology by which to enjoy, experience, and to learn how to play string instruments,” said James Miculka, director of Fine Arts programs in NISD.  “Mark Woods has maintained cutting edge applications in orchestral scoring as demonstrated in the Trans Siberian Orchestra and has found a unique and very exciting way to transfer this application to serve as inspiration to budding string musicians. This event promises to be uplifting to both musician and audience member.”

Woods has been dubbed “The Les Paul of The Violin World” by PBS. He is the inventor of the Viper electric violin and holds the patent of this first ever self-supporting violin. He also writes and records original music for film and television, has released six solo albums, and regularly tours with recording artists such as Billy Joel, Kanye West, Lenny Kravitz, and Celine Dion, as well as tours with his own band.

Woods says that his absolute passion lies with music education.  Schools participating in the Electrify Your Strings program include Brennan and Taft high schools; Briscoe, Luna, Neff, Ross, Rayburn, Jones, and Rawlinson middle Schools; and Hoffmann, Glass, Oak Hills Terrace, Westwood Terrace, Allen, Glenn, Michael, Valley Hi, and Meadow Village elementary schools.

For additional information, contact Heather Gonzalez, orchestra director at Rayburn Middle School, at 397-2213.