Broughal Middle School Orchestra to Perform with Black Violin at SteelStacks July 11
BETHLEHEM, PA–Black Violin’s Wilner “Wil B” Baptiste and Kevin “Kev Marcus” Sylvester have performed with Alicia Keys at the 2004 Billboard Awards and met President Obama while playing at the 2013 Presidential Inaugural Ball. Now, the critically acclaimed classical/hip-hop stars are hoping to shine the spotlight on some other talented performers in the Lehigh Valley by sharing the stage with the Broughal Middle School Orchestra when they perform at Levitt Pavilion SteelStacks next month.
On July 11, 7:30 p.m., approximately 20 students from Broughal’s orchestra will perform Black Violin’s “A-flat” live on stage with Baptiste and Sylvester. Prior to the performance, Black Violin will also conduct an hour-long Master Class and rehearsal with the orchestra at the school. Class topics will include bowing techniques, the relationship between strings and pop music, and life as a performing and recording artist, as well as a question-and-answer session with Baptiste and Sylvester.
Broughal Middle School Orchestra Director Adam Stoltz says the collaboration will provide students with the inspiration to expand their music styles.
“This is a unique opportunity in which a professional performing arts organization, ArtsQuest and the Levitt Pavilion SteelStacks, chose us to share the stage with a nationally renowned musical act,” says Stoltz. “It was something we simply couldn’t say ‘no’ to doing. Orchestra members are often stereotyped as ‘classical musicians,’ but the reality is being in an orchestra opens up so many possibilities. Black Violin, for example, highlights perfectly how string instruments can be used creatively for hip-hop.”
Since starting Black Violin over a decade ago, Baptiste and Sylvester have performed an average of 200 shows a year across the nation, as well as around the globe. In addition to their busy touring schedule, they’ve appeared at official NFL celebrations for three Super Bowls, as well as the U.S. Open in Forest Hills with Jordin Sparks. In 2013, they were named one of the Top 5 new bands at SXSW by the Independent. The duo regularly takes part in arts education programs and residencies at schools and communities across the country.
The SteelStacks concert by Black Violin is part of a National Levitt Tour that has Black Violin performing at Levitt Pavilions across the nation. Other stops on the tour include:
June 13: Levitt Shell Memphis, Memphis, TN
June 20: Levitt Pavilion Arlington, Arlington, TX
June 26: Levitt Pavilion Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA
June 27: Levitt Pavilion Pasadena, Pasadena, CA
July 17: Civic Center Park, Denver, CO
For more information on Black Violin’s performance, visit www.levittsteelstacks.org.
Mark Demko, ArtsQuest
gro.tseuqstranull@okmedm or 610-332-1342