Texas Tech University

Trans-Siberian Orchestra Co-Founder Teaches Violinists to Shred

Heidi Toth

November 15, 2016

Mark Wood

Mark Wood is an electric violinist who created Electrify Your Strings, a traveling music education experience for orchestra students.

Mark Wood
Mark Wood

If the fiddle is a violin with attitude, the electric violin is a violin with tattoos, piercings, a leather jacket and a rap sheet.

It's perfect for shredding. Just ask Mark Wood, one of the founders of the Trans-Siberian Orchestra and world-famous shredder. Or see it firsthand when Wood, the Texas Tech University Symphony Orchestra and almost 1,300 youth violinists shred the South Plains Fairgrounds Coliseum as part of Wood's Electrify Your Strings tour this week (Nov. 16-19).

“We know music has the power to change lives, and with Electrify Your Strings I have the opportunity to witness that at every workshop,” Wood said. “You give a quiet string student an electric violin, and they become a rock star before your eyes.”

Wood and colleagues Haydn Vitera and Val Vigoda, along with members of his band, The Mark Wood Experience, will be in Lubbock this week rocking out with Electrify Your Strings, which is a musical education experience Wood created to introduce and encourage young string musicians and choral singers to perform rock ‘n' roll.

Student musicians from the Lubbock Independent School District, the Youth Orchestras of Lubbock, All Saints Episcopal School and the TTU String Project will get to work with Wood and other musicians, including members of the University Symphony Orchestra, before the concert at 2 p.m. Saturday (Nov. 19) at the South Plains Fairgrounds Coliseum. Selections during the concert will include Wood's arrangements of several hits – listen for the familiar tunes – and a closing number that will combine the forces of all the musicians who participated in the workshop.


This will be the second time the University Symphony Orchestra performs with Wood; the groups collaborated at the Texas Music Educators Association State Convention in February 2015, and David E. Becker, director of orchestral studies, was eager for a reprise.

“This outstanding musician, innovative music educator and human being is so infectious, and his progressive contribution to music education around the world is huge,” Becker said. “He is about empowering students to dream big, take chances and break down barriers so they can achieve success in any field.”

Tickets for the rock ‘n' roll concert are $10 for general admission and can be purchased online at www.SelectASeatLubbock.com, or at the Select-A-Seat outlets at Amigo's Supermarket, Dollar Western Wear, the Lubbock Memorial Civic Center, Market Street, Ralph's Records, the Texas Tech Student Union and United Supermarkets.

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