Written by Erin Palmer, Senior Manager of Programming & Community Engagement, The Kentucky Center
On Wednesday, February 27, BLACK VIOLIN, an American Hip-Hop duo and classically trained string instrumentalists, arrived in Louisville for a whirlwind of activity including a student matinee performance, a string rehearsal with Kentucky Center ArtsReach Violin Studio students, and a powerful public concert at the historic Brown Theatre on Broadway.
Throughout the day and evening, Kev Marcus (violin) and Wil B. (viola) used examples from their origin story along with positive messages – “think outside the box, focus on your passion, make your mark in what you love to do” – to connect with music enthusiasts of all ages.
At the school matinee, over 900 very excited local elementary, middle, and high school students danced in the aisles, waving their hands in the air, energized by the band’s music genre mash-ups. Participants represented 13 different public and private schools, including eight Kentucky Center partner schools in the On-Ramp to Greater Learning program.
Later that day, 25 local string students with The Kentucky Center ArtsReach Violin Studio, under the direction of Mr. Keith Cook, and the Western Middle School for the Arts orchestra, under the direction of Dr. Luke Darville, got to meet the band, hear their story, and rehearse with them. The students were welcomed back to the evening concert, ultimately joining Black Violin on stage for two final encore numbers.