Virtual field trip: Local kids can see Black Violin show

Violinist Kev Marcus (left) and violist Wil Baptiste are the classically trained duo known as Black Violin (seen here at the Schuster Center in fall 2019). Dayton Live is offering students and educators a virtual opportunity to see their latest concert.
Violinist Kev Marcus (left) and violist Wil Baptiste are the classically trained duo known as Black Violin (seen here at the Schuster Center in fall 2019). Dayton Live is offering students and educators a virtual opportunity to see their latest concert.

Credit: Ron Valle

Credit: Ron Valle

Area students will have another opportunity to witness the Grammy Award-nominated Black Violin, thanks to Dayton Live’s free virtual field trip.

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South Florida’s Wilner “Wil B” Baptiste and Kevin “Kev Marcus” Sylvester, the classically trained violist and violinist respectively known as Black Violin, have dazzled audiences globally with their eclectic mix of classical music, hip-hop, jazz and pop. The field trip is centered on their performance recorded at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts with high definition, multi-camera execution. The concert notably incorporates themes of perseverance, exploration and unity featuring songs such as “Rise,” “Unbreakable,” “Believer,” “Dreamer” and “Impossible Is Possible.”

Black Violin brings their Classical Boom Tour at Fraze Pavilion on Friday June 29th, 2018. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO.
Black Violin brings their Classical Boom Tour at Fraze Pavilion on Friday June 29th, 2018. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO.

“(Dayton Live) is thrilled to be able to offer this virtual field trip to students and educators,” said Gary Minyard, vice president – education and engagement for Dayton Live. “We, like many other arts organizations around the world, have had to use our own creativity to deliver arts experiences to students, many of whom are on their own non-traditional academic journey this year. So, partnering with artists like Black Violin has been a great opportunity for us to do just that. Virtual field trips have been well-received by students and educators alike. As so, giving our local community a chance to experience Black Violin in concert, see a Q&A with the artists and have a free downloadable resource guide for pre-and post-field trip discussion all works together to keep art in the academic lives of our students.”

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In addition, within the performance are embedded messages for students and educators about challenging stereotypes and status quo conventions, and that pathways to success require commitment, practice and unwavering dedication. The Q&A specifically highlights the duo’s personal history, their journey to the stage and plans to continue their mission through their non-profit organization Black Violin Foundation.

Organizers say this virtual educational experience, intended for students and educators of all kids including home educators, will work similarly to the recent “Five Days With Step Afrika!” Registration began Friday, Jan. 8. Once student groups and educators have registered via the DaytonLive.org website at daytonlive.org/blackviolin, they will receive an e-mail with access to video and other content that will begin Monday, Feb. 1, and end Sunday, March 14. A resource guide with more educational information will also be available.

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For more information, go online to DaytonLive.org.

“Black Violin is always a hit with audiences when they visit Dayton,” Minyard added. “This digital experience is sure to be just as popular.”

Black Violin has been featured on “The Tonight Show,” “The Today Show,” “Ellen,” “The Wendy Williams Show,” NPR and more. The duo, who are also avid producers and writers, have released the following albums of original music: “Black Violin” (2007), “Classically Trained” (2013), “Stereotypes” (2015), and “Take the Stairs” (2019). In particular, “Take the Stairs” has been nominated for the Grammy as Best Contemporary Instrumental Album. Their debut holiday album, “Give Thanks,” was released last November.

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