Electrify Your Strings!


Since its inception, EYS has been consistently receiving overwhelming praise from diverse groups of students, teachers and parents – ranging in age from 8 to 80! Here’s a sampling…


“If you are a string teacher you NEED to do this!!! It has opened my eyes to so many possibilities! It also has shown me a different way to go about teaching music! The excitement that Mark brings is contagious! My classes are still pumping from his visit and hopefully I can keep this energy going!”
Laura Mitchell, Orchestra Director
Bellefontaine, OH

“Mark and Laura – Thanks for the most amazing string/choir educational event ever!! You took our music program up to the highest levels. What a wonderful opportunity for all of our students and for our school. I just knew if I could get you here once, then everyone would understand why we should do this again. You brought us joy.”
Elizabeth Caine, Orchestra Director
Warhill HS, VA

“Mark – Thank you from the bottom of my heart for taking our musicians from good to great! Tonight was truly “electrifying”. I was so proud of our young men and women! You rock! Elijah rocks! Laura rocks! Thank you for the work you do. The memories made the past two days will last a lifetime.”
Sharmaine Grove, Principal
Williamsburg, VA

“I am always amazed at what our students can achieve when the energy is focused in the same direction. It was one of the highlights of my career!”
David Smarelli, Orchestra Director
Cincinnati, OH

“You’ve made a huge difference in the students’ lives and in the way our community views music education.”
Jason Burdett, Administrator
Aurora, OH

“THANK YOU, MARK! How do I say those words to convey the total meaning? Not only did you come and play with us, but you also helped us save our program. When I first looked at your info packet to learn about your program, I was stuck by the way in which you spoke about working with and inspiring children. After working with you, I know that you really are a TRUE teacher! The kids of all ages (and I) were riveted to and completely involved in what we were doing together. There wasn’t a single moment wasted during two full days. Your manner with people made EACH feel important and special. Your enthusiasm for our program and special efforts on our behalf are truly amazing, Mark. Due to your efforts in helping us contact TV stations, we were on several news reports and in several papers at a crucial time in the budget process. Your letter to the Board of Ed was read aloud at a meeting and was heard by administrators, teachers, students, and the general public. Your kind comments about my program and about me were so thoughtful and truly appreciated. Before the end of the year, music was put back in the budget untouched! The excitement that ran through the community after the concert you presented with us put the importance of music directly before people’s eyes. Your visit made a HUGE difference in us being able to restore the music program.”
Susan Chrzan, Orchestra Director
East Greenbush, NY

“Laura, you have a special energy all your own that fuels the kids as well…the way you bring them out of their shells is fantastic, and for a moment, they are all rock stars. the job you and Mark do in unbelievable. It’s a joy to watch…and I don’t even have kids. You make me proud to be a woman!”
Mary London Szpara, Audience Member

I can’t even put into words how grateful I am to you for what you’ve done for our music program and how we are viewed in the overall education program at Ballston Spa.  No one could deny, after being at that concert, the power of music and it’s ability to motivate and inspire children to achieve and succeed in life.

I’ll never find enough words to express my gratitude, so I will show it through my actions in keeping this alive & growing in our school, community and region. We HAVE to keep you coming back to us and to other schools around us so we can grow. I’m ambitious and will work with you all I can because I know the survival of school music programs is dependent on it.

Thanks again and again and again and again….. I still keep thinking I’m going to wake up and realize I dreamed it all happened!”
Peg Brady, Orchestra Director
Ballston Spa, NY


“You ceaselessly inspire me and everyone around me. [My school] truly struck gold in discovering your program. You have contributed so much to the musician who is a critical part me… Simple thanks cannot properly measure my gratitude at this point.”
GS, Student

“Laura – I would like to thank you so much for visiting our school. You have a been an inspiration to me, and helped me to decide what i want to do for the rest of my life! i used to be afraid to sing in front of big crowds, but since you visited our school i have been so open to sing to anybody.

Thank you so much!!! You are my inspiration!!!”
Arielle, Student

“Laura, tonight was truly an amazing night and I could never thank you more for the inspiration and motivation to be proud of who you are and to always follow your dreams. You and your husband are truly amazing to experince, it was an honor to sing alongside you both. I will never forget you guys, and tonight you gave me the YES power I needed. Thank you again for an amazing experience.”
Adriana A., Student
Bellport, NY

What a wonderful thing you do!  I was totally amazed at the energy and intensity you exude. Your infectious enthusiasm is reflected in the children you so lovingly teach. Thank you for spending time with our kids. Needless to say my daughter Stephanie has a renewed infatuation with the classic rock songs and her violin. It was getting to the point where we were saying “at least she tried” but that is a thing of the past!  I didn’t realize where her newfound interest was coming from over the last couple of days until last night.  I wouldn’t have missed it for anything.  I just wanted to say thank you for making a difference.”
Pat Sanders, Parent
Cincinnati, OH

“[We] are still talking about our experience. . . We tell of a wonderful man who let children and amateurs play on his instruments. . . We tell what a wonderful teacher he is and how fond of him we grew as we got to know him . . . We brag about what a great performer he is!”
Corrine & Sara Pearson – Parent & Student

“What a wonderful message to send to orchestra students – Orchestra Can Be Fun!! Space Center Intermediate has a dynamic orchestra program and The Mark Wood Experience gave the kids another way of looking at music. They will never forget Mark. As a parent, I know I will never forget Mark’s enthusiasm and the look on the kid’s faces as they performed on stage with him. I’m not sure who enjoyed the concert more, the kids or the parents!”
Patty Kloves, Parent


You really changed my life and view of music as I see it now. Thank you! 🙂

Mark, UR ALWAYS welcome to come back to Houston any time u like. We love having u come here to ‘inspire’ our kids to follow their dreams and to show them that orchestra CAN rock and be ‘cool’. THANKS for showing ppl a new side of orchestra other than the traditional classic side. THANK YOU for sharing ur time, talent, and inspiring our kids. UR AWESOME … I wish there were more ppl like u.

Thank you so much, Mark. You and Laura have completely changed my life. I never thought that I could possibly have such an amazing oppurtunity to perform with not just amazing performers but also amazing people. You have inspired me to follow my passion and dream and you have both helped me to believe in what I truly love. Thank you again for the “Mark Wood Experience.” It is an experience that I will never forget and treasure for the rest of my life.

Mark, words can never fully describe how much of an honor it was to perform on the same stage as you and you incredible wife. Never in my life have I felt so thrilled and free while singing. Thank you for inspiring all of us, and thank you for showing me that it is possible to follow your dreams. Thank you for the experience…

Mark thank you so much for an amazing 2 days. I had a great time and so did the students. You inspired so many students this weekend and that means so much. Thank you again and I hope we meet again soon.

I had the opportunity to talk with some of the kids that played in the Youth Rock Orchestra tonight and it was like you gave away 130 Golden Tickets and in the end everyone WON the Chocolate factory! That’s how many smiles you created tonight!

I had such a great time learning from you and getting to experience playing my instrument in a whole new light. It made me appreciate the art that I hold in my hands everyday at school in orchestra. I hope to further myself and I REALLY hope I get the oppourtunity to play with you again because it was truly amazing!

You are truly amazing and I look up to you so much. You really have made me realize that there is a difference between being good and being passionate. I haven’t been able to stop thinking about how …I can further my skills on the viola.

Thank you SO much for giving us the experience of a lifetime! You have influenced me tremendously to become a better musician and to appreciate not only the music from the past, but the music we have control over for the future. You have changed my life and inspired me to follow my dreams, no matter what it takes!

Mark Wood has more energy and enthusiasm for music than anyone I have ever seen. You are amazing and inspiring! Thanks, Mark for sharing your gifts with our children!!!

Last night was incredible. Your joy of performing was clearly evident. However, what made the night awesome was your determination to help every student on the stage feel that same joy! Thank you for providing us, and especially our 11-year-old daughter, the experience of a lifetime!

I truly thank you for all the excitement and joy you brought to all of the students here at East Greenbush Central School District. Thanks to you, you gave all our string players confidence, wisdom, and most of all…hope. It was such an honor to play with you and I hung on your every word. Again, thank …you for all that you have done in such little time.

Mark certainly knows how to get the kids to rock!!! My niece played in the concert and she said it was the most fun she’d had ~ and that Mark was a wonderfully crazy man!!! Those kids and Mark rocked the house that night!!!! Mark is truly the most awesome violinist in the world!!!

I just wanted to thank you again for sharing your time, energy and talents with our middle school/high school orchestra kids in Kentwood, MI. They had the time of their life learning from you! We cannot even keep up with the e-mails from parents, students and the community regarding how amazing the experience was for our kids in Kentwood.

You ROCK Mark! We’re all still feeling very ELECTRIFIED in Ballston Spa and THANK YOU AGAIN and AGAIN for your AMAZING work with us! You’re coming back again….this time with your band, Laura and Bridgid!

Tonight was like watching School of Rock starring Jack Black.. only 10,000 times better!

i seriously wish last night didnt end. I really felt in the loop of things and that i really belonged up there. thnx for everything.

All three of my children were fortunate to work with you, and truly enjoyed the experience. The memory of this unique experience will stay with them forever. They were absolutely glowing with pride to be able to work with “a rock star!”

Mark’s concert last night with Evergreen-area orchestra students was phenomenal! What a generous, supportive person he is. Every student should get the opportunity to attend an “Electrify Your Strings” experience. For him to take the time to talk to my son afterwards was such a gift.

Laura, i would like to thank you so much for visiting our school 🙂 you have a been an inspiration to me, and helped me to decide what i want to do for the rest of my life! i used to be afraid to sing in front of big crowds, but since you visited our school i have been so open to sing to anybody. I love singing and i can…t go a day without doing it 🙂 Thank you so much!!!

You are my inspiration!!!

You all were incredible. Thank you for coming and bringing your enthusiasm!! I really really had fun!!! Now, I’m going to take a nap!

I was privileged enough to hear you, your husband, and son play together with our choir and orchestra ; you all are amazing (: Completely inspiring, and thank you so much for coming 😀

Laura, OMG what a phenomenal concert! I expected a lot; but you, Mark, and Elijah far surpassed my expectations! Thank you so much for coming to Warhill and W’burg! The work you are doing with our young musicians is a great gift to them. I am certain you have touched their lives in a way they will never forget!