Trans-Siberian Orchestra's Mark Wood helps Oshkosh students electrify musical strings

Electrify Your Strings tour with Mark Wood Tuesday, March 13, 2018. (WLUK/Gerald Van Handel)

OSHKOSH (WLUK) -- It was a special music lesson on Tuesday for some middle and high school Oshkosh students.

With bowed string instruments in hand like the violin, cello and viola, students are playing music they've never played before.

"It's not just classical music," Pax Lynch, a senior at Oshkosh West High School said. "But rock music and pop music can also be played really well on these instruments."

It's all because of Emmy-winning composer and electric violinist, Mark Wood.

"It's important that they see music as universal; music as infinite, we can do anything," said Wood.

For decades, Wood had been playing music for the rock group, Trans-Siberian Orchestra. He also played with Celine Dion and Billy Joel.

Now, as part of his 'Electrify Your Strings' tour, he travels the nation, empowering students in music, and adding a fiery rock n' roll style into the traditional music education.

"I believe just like academics and athletics, the arts are on the same level of importance, especially music," said Wood.

Orchestra teacher, Yukiko Grine said nearly 500 students will be playing along side with Wood in a concert on Friday.

"This year we are including about a hundred choir students here from the two high schools in Oshkosh, so its gonna be strings and choir," explained Grine.

The proceeds will benefit the Oshkosh School Orchestra Program. But Woods visit goes beyond fundraising and musical notes.

"He really helped me with my confidence both in music and school in general," said Natalie Jackson, a senior at Oshkosh West High School.

"He really got our staff and students to think outside the box and really step outside the comfort zone and really got us to express ourselves in a way we haven't done before," Grine said.

Students and staff agree Woods program has truly been a transformative experience.

The orchestra and choir concert will be this Friday at the Menominee Nation Arena at 7 pm.

Or call the Menominee nation Arena's box office at (920) 744-2035.

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