North Babylon Orchestra Students Electrify Their Strings

1.jpg thumbnail9064
IMG_7801.jpg thumbnail9065
IMG_7804.jpg thumbnail9066
IMG_7828.jpg thumbnail9067
IMG_7830.jpg thumbnail9068
IMG_7832.jpg thumbnail9069
For two days in March, 250 orchestra students in grades 5-12 at the North Babylon School District participated in a unique and educational program led by international recording artist Mark Wood. To culminate the two-day residency, a special concert was held for members of the community.

Mr. Wood, a Long Island native and founding member of the Trans-Siberian Orchestra, brought his program, entitled “Electrify Your Strings,” to the district, which gave North Babylon’s talented musicians the opportunity to play music composed by Wood as well as experience his solo compositions. Mr. Wood’s workshop focused on the art of improvisation for acoustic and electric strings, and he shared his techniques with North Babylon’s string musicians.

“The string teachers and I host an annual gathering for orchestra students so that they can all learn about working together,” stated District Director of Art and Music Programs Dr. Kim Lowenborg-Coyne. “We feel it's very important for the young students to see what lies ahead and for the more experienced students to be encouraged by what they have achieved.” In the past, the students have worked with the Daedalus String Quartet and the Metro Chamber Orchestra.

Continued Dr. Lowenborg-Coyne, “We selected Mark Wood because of his outstanding reputation as both string player and music education advocate. Mark has brought the students to know that you can't play without your heart; that technique is not enough; and that "hitting the audience right between the eyes" with the music is always the target. We are grateful to him for his dedication, praise and hard work, and for sharing this expertise with us. We look forward to working on other events with him in the future, and we know that both staff and students had a wonderful time learning and playing with him today.”

In addition to Dr. Lowenborg-Coyne, orchestra teachers Kristin Lombardo, Nicole Verderosa, Dom DePaola and Tom Schultheis participated in the event. Additionally, the Performing Arts Support Association (PASA) provided water and served dinner for the students and staff prior to the concert.