BEDFORD, N.Y. — "Viva La Vida” by Coldplay, “Eleanor Rigby” by The Beatles and “Beautiful” by Christina Aguilera: Students from the Bedford Central School District strings program will perform these songs and others Friday evening in an orchestra led by Emmy-winning composer and renowned electric violinist Mark Wood.
As part of his 2012-13 “Turbow Tour" music program, the Juilliard-trained performer arrived at Fox Lane High School on Thursday to rehearse with more than 200 students, about 180 from the middle school and the others from the high school.
A founding member of the Trans-Siberian Orchestra, Wood tours the country with his upbeat strings and music education programs. He visited the district with a similar program in 2009.
“Four or five years ago, he worked with the kids and we had a evening performance and it was a huge success, so we invited him back,” said Paul Tooker, the district's coordinator for performing arts.
Wood sent the sheet music at the beginning of the school year, Tooker said, so teachers have been preparing the students for this performance since the first day of school.
At Thursday's rehearsal, the student orchestra was “just putting it all together” with Wood, who brings in his own drummer, keyboard player and guitarist, Tooker said. Wood’s music education program is designed to keep students motivated and encourage them to stay with their instruments, he said.
“He certainly has a message,” said Tooker, “and I think that's one of the most important things that we get out of it as teachers."
All proceeds from ticket sales will benefit the district's music department. The program is being underwritten by Bedford F.A.M.E., or Foundation for Art, Music, and Education.
Tickets for the 7 p.m. show at Fox Lane High School’s Mary Lou Meese Theater are available at the door for $20 or in advance at www.seatyourself.biz/bcsdny.