1,000 string students to rock out at “Electrify Your Strings” program

January 7, 2016

More than 1,000 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, and creator of the revolutionary Viper electric violin, SV Stingray, and Cobra cello.

Throughout the week of Jan. 11, students from 26 NISD schools will participate in Wood’s innovative program “Electrify Your Strings (EYS),” an intensive rock and roll workshop for school music education departments that boosts student self-esteem and motivation.

Assisting Wood are team members, Haydn Vitera, Val Vigorda, vocalist Laura Kay, and choreographer Nathan Blake. The program is organized through SA POWR (San Antonio Parents of Orchestras Who Rock.)

Students will participate in one of three concerts to be held at the Aztec Theater, 104 N. St. Mary’s. Tickets are now on sale at ticketmaster.com or the Aztec Theatre box office.

The performance schedule is:

·         Friday, Jan. 15 at 7 p.m.: Holmes HS choir and orchestra, Neff and Ross middle school orchestras, and Driggers, Esparza, Martin, Oak Hills Terrace, Powell, and Villarreal elementary school 5th grade strings.

·         Saturday, Jan. 16 at 7 p.m.: Rawlinson and Rayburn middle school choirs and orchestras, Zachry MS orchestra, and Allen, Burke, Fernandez, Fisher, Glenn, Knowlton, Michael, Valley Hi and Westwood Terrace elementary school 5th grade strings.

·         Sunday, Jan. 17 at 7 p.m.: Holmes HS choir, Pease and Rudder middle school orchestras, and Adams Hill, Cody, and Hatchett elementary school 5th grade strings, along with various other students reprising their earlier performances.

"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. 

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