Stingrays 4 Rockn’ Stringz

GOAL: To raise $4,000, which will provide enough Stingray electric violins, amplifiers, and effects pedals for every participating student in the Rockn’ Stringz youth ensemble.


Mark Wood with Rockn' Stringz at the 2015 TMEA convention.

Mark Wood poses with Rockn’ Stringz at the 2015 TMEA convention.

In our travels, we meet some pretty amazing people who are doing some pretty amazing things for their students…

One of these very special people is Orchestra Director Heather Gonzalez from Rayburn Middle School in San Antonio, Texas.

Heather Gonzalez with Rockn' Stringz and Mark Wood at our booth at TMEA

Heather Gonzalez with Rockn’ Stringz and Mark Wood at our booth at TMEA

Mark Wood first started working with Heather in 2012 at one of his Electrify Your Strings programs and since that time, she was inspired to create Rockn’ Stringz, an after school ensemble made up of Rayburn Orchestra members.

Heather’s description of Rockn’ Stringz completely embodies the vision of our foundation: “These students not only polish their playing chops, but get to work on aspects of performance that are not addressed in a typical orchestral setting. The use of choreography, singing, and popular music has allowed these students to blossom into true performers. Just watching these students perform you can see and feel the joy they find through their music. This type of ensemble has allowed these students to tap into self-confidence that many did not know they had, therefore building not only better musicians but stronger more confident community members.”

With your help, ROCKN’ STRINGZ can be the
World’s First All-Stingray Electric Youth Rock Orchestra

While Heather has been able to acquire several Stingray electric violins through her school district, it is a constant struggle to get funding to fully support her vision of a unified experience for her students. The Mark Wood Electrify Your Music Foundation is dedicated to providing 8 additional Stingray electric violins plus amps and effects pedals to Rockn’ Stringz so they can be the world’s first All Stingray Electric Youth Rock Orchestra but we can’t do it without YOU.

Please consider making a tax-deductible donation to help this
great group of young musicians
follow their dreams and expand their musical horizons.
Any amount will help!

The Mark Wood Electrify Your Music Foundation is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization and donations are tax-deductible to the full extent allowable by law. Our mission is to change children’s lives by inspiring creative, innovative, and confident thinking; connecting imagination and intellect through the power of music.

ASCAP Foundation and D’Addario Orchestral Donate Scholarships to MRWOC

ASCAP-foundation-logoWe’re excited to announce that, for the 2nd year in a row, The ASCAP Foundation has generously donated 3 full scholarships (including travel expenses) to Mark Wood Rock Orchestra Camp this summer (July 12-19, 2015 in Olathe, KS). Last year, they sponsored 3 amazingly talented and deserving young singer/songwriters and composers.

IMG_0354-MW-DAddario-signIn addition, D’Addario Orchestral, a top-level supporter of The Mark Wood Electrify Your Music Foundation for 3 years in a row, is generously allocating part of their annual donation to sponsor one lucky camper this summer.

D’Addario’s tremendous support of our Electrify Your Strings! program has taken many forms, including hundreds of thousands of dollars’ worth of strings and accessories to the many lucky schools who host our visits.

We could not be more thrilled or more grateful for these wonderful gestures, and we will absolutely keep you guys posted about the lucky people who receive these scholarships.

All scholarships will be awarded based on talent and financial need to music students aged 21 and under.

If you or anyone you know would like to apply, please contact us and we’ll be happy to send you the application forms.

Congratulations to our MWROC Scholarship Winners

Thanks to your generous donations, we were able to offer 4 scholarships to this year’s Mark Wood Rock Orchestra Camp (MWROC) in Olathe, KS.

Plus, through a grant from The ASCAP Foundation, 3 additional students were awarded full tuition scholarships, including all travel-related expenses.

CONGRATULATIONS and BRAVO to all of these exceptionally talented young musicians, who elevated our entire MWROC experience with their unique creative energy!


Celine Dion Adds Her Beautiful Voice of Support to The Mark Wood Electrify Your Music Foundation

There have been many wonderful things that have happened in Mark Wood’s expansive career, but his experiences working with Celine Dion (both as her string arranger and on tour) are among his most cherished.

When Celine heard about Mark’s endeavors with The Mark Wood Electrify Your Music Foundation, she unhesitatingly shared her thoughts in this beautiful video of support.

Thank you, Celine! Your words are incredibly meaningful to us.

The ASCAP Foundation Grants Scholarships to Mark Wood Rock Orchestra Camp

ASCAP-foundation-logoWe are honored to announce that The ASCAP Foundation has generously awarded us a grant that will provide 3 full scholarships (including travel expenses) to Mark Wood Rock Orchestra Camp (MWROC), to be held from July 13-19, 2014 in Olathe, KS.

We could not be more thrilled or more grateful, and we will absolutely keep you posted about the lucky folks who will receive those scholarships. Woohoo!! What a great way to wrap up 2013!

Please contact us if you or anyone you know might be interested in applying.

The scholarships will be awarded based on financial need and, of course, talent. We are especially looking for people who create their own music.

Thanksgiving Gift for Young Violist

Thanksgiving is extra special this year for violist Jachai Wilmont from Georgia, whose prized viola was recently stolen. Mark met Jachai earlier this year at an Electrify Your Strings program and recognized his talent immediately. “He is filled with positive energy and optimism and it comes out every time he plays. When I heard his viola was stolen, I knew I had to do something for this very special young musician,” said Mark. “This is the best day of my life,” was Jachai’s response to receiving his new viola, a special gift from the Mark Wood Music Foundation. Thank you to everyone whose donations helped make this possible.
Jachai-foundation-picDECEMBER 18, 2013 – UPDATE: We are thrilled to add that Inter-City Violin, located in Oklahoma City, donated a gorgeous Eastman pernambuco viola bow (retail value $365) to Jachai to add to this gift! THANK YOU TO INTER-CITY VIOLIN!



5-Borough Youth Rock Symphony


We’d like to say a HUGE thank you to everyone who took part in the 5-Borough Youth Rock Symphony to launch the Electrify Your Music Foundation in April, 2013 – the close to 300 fantastic young musicians who gave the performance their all; our Kickstarter supporters whose generous donations helped us produce the event; our famous friends who supported us with performances, video messages, & donated raffle items (see below for more info); everyone who attended, and all of you who cheered us on and donated from around the world. A movement to fight for the arts in our schools has begun, and YOU’RE A PART OF IT!

Click here to visit our Facebook page, where you can see a great selection of photos from the day of the show.


Inspiring video messages from Steve Vai, Jordan Rudess (Dream Theater), Michael Lang (creator of Woodstock), Dee Snider, and Cia Toscanini (Vice President of Concert Music, ASCAP – the granddaughter of esteemed conductor Arturo Toscanini) were shown following the intermission.

Raffle items included a signed copy of iconic rock photographer Bob Gruen’s book Rock Seen plus a limited edition print of John Lennon; The Road to Woodstock memoir signed by Woodstock creator Michael Lang; an autographed picture from Billy Joel; and a personally autographed Mark Wood Signature Series Viper electric violin. These raffle items generated over $2,000 for the foundation.

For the grand finale, Dee Snider joined us onstage and led the 300 members of the 5-Borough YRS in a roof-shattering rendition of We’re Not Gonna Take It, which he dedicated as a battle cry to save America’s music programs.

Thank you to D’Addario Bowed

The MWM Foundation wishes to thank D’Addario Bowed for being our very first contributor at the highest level for two years in a row. Their tremendous support of our Electrify Your Strings! program has taken many forms, including donations of $1,000 worth of strings and accessories to over 100 schools, and counting – that’s well over $100,000! Thank you, D’Addario!!

Hundreds of orchestra students join Mark Wood onstage at an EYS event, with the D’Addario banner proudly displayed! (photo by Rebeca Cortes)

Music students receive Mark Wood music scholarships thanks to EYS

Congratulations to Byrnes High School students – Matthew Wyatt, Caitlin Tarver, Sarah Workman, and Caitlin Lejeune – who received a Mark Wood Music Scholarship to major or minor in music! The scholarship was funded solely from ticket sales to Mark’s recent concert at the school and raffle proceeds from the Stingray SV4 that we donated. What a great testament to the power of Electrify Your Strings!