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I love working with young musicians because they are like sponges, soaking up every bit of information you give them. They are curious, excited, and have everything in life to look forward to. It’s my job to ensure they find something about their instruments that they can truly connect with. For me, EYS is about becoming free. My approach is to integrate music and movement, allowing our bodies to be free from the notion that our instrument is something that restricts us. I integrate unique choreography with today’s most contemporary hits to bring about a performance that will keep kids excited about continuing their music education.



Mark first met Sarah Charness at Greenwood Music Camp when she was a student there and he had been invited to do a master class and performance. Fast forward and Sarah now has a thriving career playing her sparkly pink Viper and she truly has the “spark” it takes to be an Artist Mentor with EYS.

Sarah has really become an in-demand part of our team; emphasizing improvisation, composition, and personal expression with the orchestras she works with. Her specialty is contemporary music (pop, hip hop, EDM), but she also loves classic rock and roll and her passionate performances are a joy to watch!

A violinist since the age of four, Sarah Charness captivates audiences with her vivacious performances and the vibrant sound of her trademark hot pink, six-string Viper electric violin. She has been one of Mark Wood’s proteges since they first met at Greenwood Music Camp when Sarah was only 16.

Sarah spent her early years at the New England Conservatory Preparatory School and at the age of 18, attended the University of Michigan. She spent summers at Tanglewood, Encore, Henry Mancini Institute, and Greenwood Music Camp.

She has toured North America as a soloist with the Trans‐Siberian Orchestra and has performed along side the Jonas Brothers, Gabe Saporta of Cobra Starship and has opened for Diana Ross, Neyo, Flo’Rida, and Jennifer Hudson. Her electric performance capped the 100th anniversary celebration of Grand Central Terminal. Glee cast member Darren Criss highlighted Sarah in his recording of Bob Dylan’s New Morning.

Sarah has graced the runway in prominent fashion shows – Pronovias, Vera Wang, Neiman Marcus Fashion Night Out, and Elene Cassis during Mercedes Benz Fashion Week. She was featured on The Today Show, New York 1, and NBC’s NY Nightly News and had cover stories in The Daily, Crains New York, Mann About Town, and The International Musician.

Her fluorescent pink violin introduced ESPN Boxing every Friday night in 2013 on ESPN Deportes across the Western Hemisphere. In 2014, Sarah headlined at the Summer Experience music festival in Cape Town, South Africa as a part of her DJ duo, Surge and Sarah and in 2015, Sarah released her first collaborative single “We Came to Party” with the “Disco Killerz” on PopRox Muzik. The song made it to the Top 50 on Beatport’s Electro House Chart.


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“It gives [students] a whole new way to think about orchestral music. and not only use their imaginations in music but that can lead to other areas of their life as well. It really ignites their imagination!”

Rebecca McFarlane, Orchestra Director, Grand Forks Public Schools

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