Gulf Coast Symphony and Barbara B. Mann Performing Arts Hall at FSW continue Socially Distanced Saturdays with Rock Symphonies—The Mark Wood Experience on Saturday, Nov. 21 at 7 p.m.
Tickets are available at www.GulfCoastSymphony.org or call 239-481-4849. All Socially Distanced Saturdays shows are limited to less than 500 tickets per event, with social distancing between all seats.
Recording artist, performer, producer, inventor, Emmy award-winning composer and music education advocate Mark Wood has spent the past four decades electrifying the orchestra industry – literally. Dubbed “The Eddie Van Halen and Jimi Hendrix of The Violin World” by PBS, Wood is the premier electric violinist of his generation who pioneered the entire genre.
Wood is a world-renowned performer who rose to fame as string master and original member of the internationally acclaimed Trans Siberian Orchestra selling over 10 million records. A successful solo artist in his own right, Wood writes and records original music for film and television, has released seven solo albums, and tours with his band The Mark Wood Experience (MWE) which features his partner and wife, vocalist Laura Kaye. His commission credits include The Juilliard School and extensive TV broadcast music including The Winter Olympics and The Tour de France (for which he won an Emmy). He also is featured on his own TED talk. His YouTube channel (markwoodtv) has over 4 million views.
In addition to his continued solo and commission work, Wood has collaborated with and appeared alongside some of the biggest names in music such as Celine Dion, Billy Joel, Paul McCartney, Steven Tyler, Roger Daltry, Lenny Kravitz, Dee Snider, and more. He also starred in a Kanye West produced national Pepsi TV commercial and has appeared on the world’s most venerable stages including Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, and Madison Square Garden.
The Juilliard-trained violist (he attended on full scholarship and is now a 2020 mentor at Juilliard) first turned the string establishment on its head in the early 1970’s with his invention of the first solid body electric violin. His company Wood Violins is the premier manufacturer of electric violins, violas and cellos worldwide, and he holds the patent for the first-ever self-supporting violin. The company stands behind its claim to have made the most important change to the violin in 400 years and is often referred to as the “Stradivarius of electric violins.” Mark’s signature electric violin invention, the Viper, is the instrument of choice for many of the world’s top string players.
But Mark’s true passion is music education. His groundbreaking music education program Electrify Your Symphony (EYS) is celebrating its 20th anniversary in 2020. EYS is an immersive rock and roll workshop and concert series for school music departments that boosts student self-esteem and helps raise much-needed funds. Mark and his team of Artist Mentors visit upwards of 75 schools per year. EYS has been featured on NBC-TV’s The Today Show, CBS Evening News, CBS Morning News, and regional media outlets.
A genuine family man, Wood runs his operations alongside his wife, business partner, and longtime collaborator Laura Kaye out of their home in New York. In addition to EYS, Wood and his family run the annual Mark Wood Rock Orchestra Camp and Festival, now in its 11th year, as well as The Mark Wood Music Foundation, a 501(c)(3) charitable organization dedicated to supporting music and the arts in America’s underserved communities.
With hundreds of thousands of students reached, millions of dollars raised to help high school music departments across the US, and countless school orchestra programs saved from the chopping block because of funds raised through his efforts, Mark Wood has proven himself a man of ideas, action and results. Showing no signs of slowing down, the multi faceted visionary continues to write, perform, record, invent, and inspire. As a matter of fact, Mark Wood is just getting started.
Founded in 1995 by its current music director and conductor, Dr. Andrew Kurtz, the Gulf Coast Symphony remains one of the most dynamic orchestras in the United States. The Gulf Coast Symphony’s new Music & Arts Community Center is now open for concerts, classes, and year-round events. This new creative hub highlights diversity, expression, and self-transformation through a variety of performances including the new Gulf Coast Chamber Orchestra, musicals, operas, pop, rock, and more. With programs from day to night, people of all ages can enjoy the widest variety of cultural opportunities in Southwest Florida.