Not the same old song at B-Spa concert

After a 30-year career of touring the world and selling millions of records, Wood said it was time to give back. He said so far, he's found "tremendous success connecting with the youth of America" and thinks it's appalling that more great musicians aren't providing similar services.

"We are the only ones in the world doing this and it amazes me and is shameful that people like Yo Yo Ma, Alicia Keys and other great musicians, rarely or ever spend commitment we do; not only empowering kids, which is key, but also spotlighting music teachers in the community," said Wood.

He said he's bringing star power to the students and teachers by doing a rock concert and helps to support a healthy music program, something that isn't always assured with budgetary struggles.

"It's a wonderful way of celebrating great American music programs and our music system in schools, which unfortunately tend to be the first things cut [in budgets]," said Wood.

Last year, Wood worked with roughly 40,000 string players around the country, visiting two to three schools a week, and raised $250,000 for music programs. He hopes to reach and surpass those numbers in 2010.

Besides having fun, Wood said he hopes his influence will encourage students to follow their dreams.

"We focus them and talk about how to engage in a career in music. More importantly than that"because there is such a small percentage of people who make a living in music"the bigger picture is that kid who doesn't have a career but uses music in their own way to express deep emotions and explore deeper meaning in themselves," said Wood.

Rocked up versions of classical tunes and Led Zeppelin, the Beatles and Coldplay will fill the Ballston Spa high school auditorium at 7 p.m. and Wood will perform with students on a seven string fretted electric Viper violin.


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