To the Journal editor
(Recently) I attended the Mark Wood concert, presented by the Marquette middle and high school orchestras.
I was deeply moved by the talent and showmanship on our Kaufman stage last night. Mark Wood is a world famous electric violinist, having played on stages across the earth.
He came at the request of Janis Peterson, to do a workshop with our kids. In two days, he coached, encouraged and inspired our youth to reach new levels of orchestral performance. I wish everyone could have seen the expressions of joy on those kids’ faces as they played with Mark Wood.
And then, somewhere between the Ozzy Ozbourne song and Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band rendition, Mark Wood stopped the show.
Turns out I wasn’t the only one deeply moved by the music program last night. Mark Wood explained to the audience that he is never sure what to expect when he comes to a school (of which he has done over a thousand times, in his estimate).
He likened the experience to being handed the keys to someone else’s car. Mark said that within minutes of being given those keys, he could tell whether the tires are flat or the engine is weak.
He told us that he was very impressed with the strong “engine” he found our Marquette orchestras to be. He stated that he knew it was a strong program from the way they held their bows, even before they began to play.
And then, this rock star who has shared the stage with not only Paul McCartney, but also Billy Joel, who texted Lady Gaga with our kids … , told us that we have in our service, a teacher who represents the best of the profession.
He brought Janis Peterson to the front of the stage and told us that she worked 24/7 to offer our community and our youth a very high level of music experiences. He asked the audience to give Janis Peterson the standing ovation that she deserves. And we did.
Thank you to Janis Peterson and our Marquette Area Public Schools, for keeping a string program running so strong for our youth and our community.
We are truly blessed, as Mark Wood said.