In an economy where funding music programs in public schools is becoming increasingly difficult, Mark Wood—a Juilliard-trained, world-famous, rock electric-violinist and original member of Trans-Siberian Orchestra—makes a difference sharing his passion by working with middle and high school band, orchestra and choral students. Not only is his amazing talent for music, teaching and inspiring, helping to keep music alive in schools, he is also keeping orchestral music alive within the communities he visits through the impressive performances he incites from the students at the conclusion of his program.

Mayor Pro Tem Scott Schoeffel, a musician himself who has dedicated his efforts toward promoting music in the local community, played an instrumental roll (pun intended) in bringing Wood and his Electrify Your Strings program to the students of Dana Point.

“When first elected to City Council I opted to donate my compensation to SOCSA along with the stipend I receive from the Transportation Corridor agencies as well,” said Schoeffel. “I earmarked the funds to be used specifically for instrumental music programs such as the Schoeffel Instrumental Music Assistance (SIMA) scholarship awards for graduating seniors. I recently asked myself, ‘What else can I do about getting kids fired up about orchestra and band?’ Mark Wood’s program can do just that.”

Wood and his band will be here this week to work with students and then the South Orange County School of the Arts (SOCSA) at Dana Hills High School will present a free Electrify Your Strings, Mark Wood Inferno Tour concert at noon on Sunday, November 7 in Lantern Bay Park, 25111 Park Lantern Road in Dana Point.

Join Wood, his band The Mark Wood Experience and about 300 of our young local musicians from Marco Forster and Niguel Hills Middle Schools and SOCSA for an amazing performance. The set list includes the music of the Beatles and well-known rock songs like Born to Be Wild, Live and Let Die, Stairway to Heaven, and much more. Wood even conducts students in a performance of Aaron Copland’s Hoedown as part of his lesson on incorporating rock music into classical orchestral and other styles. There will even be a special surprise guest joining in…hint, hint.

“I can not tell you how transformational this program is in terms of the excitement it generates in the community, parents and the kids,” said Schoeffel. “Wood has put many years, much talent and foresight behind his program. I’d really like the public to understand what this is, what it’s intended for, and that attendees will be in for a treat. We are expecting some amazing performances!”

General seating (lawn) admission is free, but SOCSA will be sponsoring a reserved chair seating area for $10 per person, to benefit SOCSA. Log on to www.markwoodmusic.com for more information on Wood and buy reserved seat tickets at www.socsarts.org.

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