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The KPAC Blog features classical music news, reviews, and analysis from South Texas and around the world.

Violinist Mark Wood Comes To San Antonio For School Shows

Bob Gruen
Mark Wood

There are two concerts this weekend that are sure to pack some surprises for those attending. You may know Mark Wood as the guy who decided violins just had too stuffy an image, and who created music like this.

Wood is known for a lot of things -- he's a former member of the Trans-Siberian Orchestra, a designer and producer of electric violins, and a motivator of young people. As he explains, that’s why he’s back in San Antonio for the third time.

"Electrify Your Strings is my program that enhances and motivates kids to reach deep down into their musical hearts so that they can really learn to express themselves," Wood said.

While Wood’s primary efforts are in the area of rock 'n' roll, he speaks music’s many languages.

"I have a real deep classical pedigree, and I activate that every day by playing Bach," he said.

Wood is here to collaborate with a pair of schools in the Northside Independent School District, and this is how he works with the students.

"I send them music ahead of time so that when I come they are familiar with the songs," Wood said. "And the music is varying from my music to Led Zeppelin to the Beatles."

Wood said student responsibility isn’t just to play the music competently, "but actually looking like the music -- performing, moving, connecting."

Wood is putting on two student concerts Saturday and there will be a meet and greet on Sunday.

"We are inspiring more and more kids to not only embrace classical music" he said, "but equally important in my opinion is to embrace American styles of music, jazz, hip-hop country music, blues."

Jack Morgan can be reached at jack@tpr.org and on Twitter at @JackMorganii