Hilary Saunders is a writer, editor, and proud alumna of The U. She firmly believes that rock and roll can save the world.
Electrify Your Strings
Mark Wood might be most recognized as the former violinist of the epic Trans Siberian Orchestra, however his more impressive contribution to the musical world actually comes in the form of his organization.
Nearly 10 years ago, the violinist and Emmy award-winning composer began Electrify Your Strings (EYS), a program that works with students, teachers, and local communities to revitalize school orchestras. As founder and president of the organization, Wood has traveled all over the country to bring a rock and roll experience to classical student orchestras, raising morale and dollars for education along the way.
According to EYS, “Wood works with a school’s music director to design a tailor-made one-to-two day rock orchestra makeover culminating in a live performance at the end of the experience. Profits from tickets sold to the event directly benefit the school’s music programs.”
Not only does EYS serves as an educational tool to help teach kids about music, it also raises awareness and funds for music programs in schools. So far, Wood’s organization has reached more than 200,000 students from 100 schools and raised more than $1 million for music education.
The EYS shows represent a unique integration between playing pop music (examples include Ozzy Osbourne’s “Crazy Train,” Led Zeppelin’s “Stairway To Heaven,” and the Rolling Stones’ “You Can’t Always Get What You Want”), using classical instrumentation, and performing in modern arena settings.
On the most personal level, however, EYS affects the personal wellbeing of its young participants. As the organization says, “EYS builds self-esteem, improvisation, create leadership opportunities, cultivate a supportive community of peers and mentors as well as encourages social change and offer life skills.”
Check out the video below for a taste of Electrify Your Strings’ live events.
Read more at Electrify Your Strings.