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Electrify Your Strings event possible after donation from Johnson City Honda

Contributed To The Press • Oct 20, 2019 at 3:45 AM

The generosity of Johnson City Honda will allow Johnson City Schools orchestra students a unique opportunity.

Johnson City Honda owner Joe Trujillo presented Johnson City Schools Orchestra Director Susan Lambert with a check for $7,000 to help fund the opportunity for Johnson City Schools’ orchestra students to participate in an Electrify your Strings workshop and performance. The three-day workshop for students in grades 5-12 will be hosted by Grammy award-winning electric violist and founding member of the Trans-Siberian Orchestra, Mark Wood.

“The generosity from Johnson City Honda is amazing,” Lambert said. “It’s really amazing for these kids to see a true artist who has gone out and been successful. He is teaching them a new genre, especially with orchestra and our standard acoustic instruments.

“He does a lot with the students in teaching them to improvise and come up with their own melodies and feel very comfortable in doing that. It also opens up a whole new realm of possibilities for these students in expanding their musical education.”

Trujillo said it was an honor to even be asked to donate to such a worthy cause and he and his staff were more than happy to provide the funds.

“We believe in school development and being a part of it,” Trujillo said during the check presentation. “For these kids, this event and workshop is their basketball season. They deserve as much recognition as the guy who jumps at center court. We are proud to be a part of this.”

Electrify Your Strings is celebrating its 20th year during the 2019-20 school year and is a music educational phenomenon that inspires students, teachers, and local communities by injecting a high voltage dose of rock into a school’s music-education program. The intensive workshop boosts student self-esteem and motivation; increases school-wide family and community engagement; and helps raise money for participating schools.

The music selections include Wood’s own compositions and arrangements of classic rock and contemporary music like Ozzy Osborne’s “Crazy Train,” Led Zeppelin’s “Stairway to Heaven” and the Rolling Stones’ “You Can’t Always Get What you Want.”

The three-day workshop with Johnson City Schools’ orchestra members from grades 5-12 will culminate with 400 string players playing together at a large performance. The Johnson City Schools Orchestra Guild, a 501c(3), is still looking for sponsorships for the culminating performance. For more information, contact Jennifer Barnett at [email protected].

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