Fox Lane High School students swayed and smiled their way through a rehearsal for a community concert being held Friday night led by Mark Wood, an internationally known musician.
"Move your legs more, I want to see you smile!" he encouraged the student musicians, who were honing Wood's arrangement of Aaron Copland's "Hoe Down."
Wood will perform alongside the 200 players from the Fox Lane middle and high school orchestras—for the second time since 2009—in a concert beginning at 7 p.m. at the high school.
Students at the rehearsal said they were learning how to inject more emotion into their music and how to have more fun playing their instruments.
For more on their reaction and to see Wood in action, watch the video posted with this story.
The program is being underwritten by Bedford F.A.M.E. — the Foundation for Art, Music, and Education. "It is a dynamic enriching experience for all involved," said Randy Faust, a board member of F.A.M.E.
Bedford F.A.M.E. is a group of parents, community members and faculty who are committed to enhancing an already quality educational system by funding meaningful initiatives beyond the scope of the school budget, said Faust. The underwriting of the benefit concert will allow the music department to raise money for programs not covered by the budget.
The partnership with Wood was initiated by Roberta Warfield, string instructor and orchestra director, who worked with him at a summer music camp.
Wood, a Port Washington, Long Island, resident, has previously graced the stage with Billy Joel and Celine Dione and for many years, was string master of the Trans-Siberian Orchestra, according to this story on Port Washington Patch.
A self-described Julliard drop-out, Wood traded in the classical-orchestra track to “innovate the violin into the 21st century,” he told Port Washington Patch. “I made a huge left turn where no one still to this day does rock violin the way I do it.”
Wood, through his “Electrify Your Strings” program, travels to 60-plus schools annually. This last decade, he’s worked with more than 100,000 students, raising upward of $1 million towards music education programs.
Depending on the district, Wood and sometimes his band visit a school, providing workshops and rehearsals, culminating in performances that generate revenue for the district through ticket sales and program sponsorships.
Tickets will be available at the door or in advance through www.seatyourself.biz/bcsdny.
To learn more about Mark Wood, visit his website is www.markwoodmusic.com.
Additional reporting by Port Washington Patch editor Adina Genn.