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Mark Wood Workshops for Students and Teachers, March 2011

by Cathy Stewart

The Mark Wood Workshops on March 26 and 27, 2011, were fabulous. While Mark worked with the kids on the stage at Black Rock Center for the Arts, his wonderful assistant Bridgid Bibbins, pulled out small groups of children and worked with them. All the children got to play an electric instrument, and experienced improvising. I wish you could have seen how their faces were lit up when they came back from the improv work with Bridgid.

Kids rock out with electric instruments 

The concert on Saturday was a huge hit. The kids had a blast rocking out on classic American rock tunes, moving to the music and many of them soloed on the electric instruments. The highlight was when Mark and Bridgid performed duets, challenging each other to play increasingly intricate improvisations. Everyone left the concert excited about playing their instruments! I heard many, many positive comments from parents.

The Sunday workshop for teachers, at Montgomery College, was magic. We had a small group of participants and consequently everyone had the opportunity for personal instruction with Mark and Bridgid. We all learned about pentatonic scales and the blues and had a wonderful time improvising in an incredibly nurturing, supportive environment. Mark and Bridgid encouraged us to take risks, make mistakes, communicate and enjoy the music. We did, and it was really fun.

Dalton, Cathy, Mark, Bridgid

Mark Wood

I would like to give thanks to the sponsors: The Potter Violin Company, MCYO, Black Rock Center for the Arts, and Montgomery College. We appreciate your support. I would also like to give special thanks to board members, Marion Spahn, Lynn Fleming, Loren Westbrook-Fritts, and Dalton Potter for helping with the event. They made such a difference with their help and presence.

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