Trans-Siberian violinist rocks out with WFISD

WICHITA FALLS, TX (KAUZ) – Wichita Falls ISD students and teachers had a surprise visitor this afternoon.

Mark Wood, an original member of Trans-Siberian Orchestra performed in front of a packed cafeteria at Milam Elementary.

An Emmy-winning composer, and music education advocate rocked out with Wichita Falls ISD students, kindergarten through 5th grade.

But Wood isn't your average violin player.

With a love for rock and roll, he actually invented the first ever solid body electric violin.

"When I heard Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin, and the Beatles I was like I want to do that, but I don't want to play guitar, so I invented this instrument that has seven strings," said Wood.

A graduate of Juilliard and original member of Trans-Siberian Orchestra has traveled all over the world performing for sold out arenas.

Now Wood performs for a different type of crowd, traveling to nearly 75 schools a year.

It is part of his Electrify Your Strings program, now in its 17th year.

The music education program helps boost student's self-esteem and helps raise money for music education.

It wasn't just the students having funs, second grade teacher, Ashley Schroeder, enjoyed the performance as well.

She hopes students will feel empowered to go after their dreams and become successful.

"Sometimes it's the backbone and the basis of what students grow and build on," said Schroeder.

Wood has always been one to break the mold and encourages students to do same, by being themselves.

I asked him about the feeling he gets traveling around the world, inspiring students of all ages.

"Better than playing at Madison Square Garden to a sold out show, better than playing with Billy Joel years ago and having that experience," said Wood.

Wood also visited Lamar, Fain and Southern Hills Thursday.

Teachers hope the students see how much fun music can be and will start to play an instrument themselves once they reach middle school.

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