Orchestra students from three Pickerington schools next month will take part in workshops and a concert with renowned music composer and performer Mark Wood.

Orchestra students from three Pickerington schools next month will take part in workshops and a concert with renowned music composer and performer Mark Wood.

During the late 1990s, Wood rose to fame as an original member of the rock opera group, Trans-Siberian Orchestra.

While still writing and performing music, the Juilliard School-trained violinist also has received acclaim for inventing and manufacturing electric violins, violas and cellos, and his Electrify Your Strings! music education program has sought to inspire burgeoning musicians and financially support music education programs.

Wood, his drummer son, Elijah, and the EYS program will visit Pickerington Friday, April 3, when orchestra students from Diley Middle School, Ridgeview STEM Junior High School and Pickerington High School Central take part in a daylong music workshop.

Saturday, April 4, at 7 p.m., the students will showcase what they learned during a concert with the Wood and the others in the PHS Central Performing Arts Center, 300 Opportunity Way.

"We had to schedule this for spring break so we wouldn't run into (required) testing," said Leslie Braidech, director of orchestras at Diley, Ridgeview and Central.

"We knew some students would be gone, but we still got an overwhelming response from those that wanted to participate," Braidech said.

"We've got about 75 kids that will take part. To have (EYS) foundation members come to play with our students, what an opportunity."

General admission tickets for the concert are $10 each.

Raffle tickets also will be sold for a chance to win a Mark Wood "Stingray" electric violin, valued at more than $800.

The raffle winner isn't required to attend, and raffle tickets are available for $10 each or three for $25.

All of the tickets can be purchased at the door the night of the concert, but they also can be reserved in advance through www.pickstrings.org or via email at phscorch@gmail.com.

Additionally, tickets can be reserved and picked up at Will Call by sending a check to the PHSC Orchestra Boosters at P.O. Box 662, Pickerington, Ohio, 43147.

A portion of the proceeds from the concert will benefit orchestra programs at Diley, Ridgeview and Central.

Along with raising funds, Braidech said she expects the workshops will help orchestra students find new ways to be inspired by music.

Braidech said she also hopes the concert will inject new enthusiasm about the Pickerington Local School District programming that generally is reserved for the district's marching bands and choirs.

"One of the big things I hope this will accomplish is making that connection between the orchestras and the community," Braidech said.

"We need to let people know that we're here, and this is one way to get people to come out.

"My hope is we get as many people as we can through the door to hear orchestras and make that connection, because they deserve to be heard."