Rock Orchestra Experience Coming to Bellmore-Merrick

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International recording artist and Emmy award-winning composer Mark Wood, an original member of the multiplatinum selling Trans-Siberian Orchestra and creator of the revolutionary Viper electric violin, is bringing his groundbreaking music education program Electrify Your Strings! to the Central High School District.

This event will transform student musicians into a full-fledged Rock Orchestra. Mark will be performing with the students on his handcrafted seven-string fretted electric Viper violin as part of the 2017-18 Electrify Your Strings! “No Limits Tour” on Nov. 6, at 7 p.m., at the Brookside Auditorium, located at 1260 Meadowbrook Road.

“We are so incredibly excited for our students to have this unique opportunity to work with music icon, Mark Wood,” District Director of Fine & Performing Arts, Cheryl Fontana said. “This event marks the first time in our district that all orchestra students, grades 7-12, will come together in performance all while raising money for our Community Cupboard; it is ‘One Voice, One Message’ at its finest!"

The program – now in its 18th year – is a music education experience like no other. Wood and his team work directly with a school’s orchestra director to tailor-design a rock orchestra makeover complete with a public performance at the end of the experience. EYS builds on the strong foundation in traditional music provided by music teachers, creating a partnership with educators that inspires students and boosts their self-esteem and motivation on and off stage. 

Mark Wood is the owner and operator of Wood Violins, the premier manufacturer of electric orchestra string instruments worldwide. He studied under Maestro Leonard Bernstein, is a Juilliard-trained violinist and Emmy-winning composer. 

To prepare for this concert, Mark will be teaching the students improvisation, composition, and personal expression on their violins, violas, cellos and basses. Utilizing Mark’s music arrangements that were sent to the district prior to this visit, Merrick Avenue and Grand Avenue middle schools with Wellington C. Mepham, John F. Kennedy, and Sanford H. Calhoun high schools will perform in a live concert alongside Mark Wood. The concert is open to the public with all profits going to the district’s Community Cupboard. There is a suggested donation of $5.