Caroline Gilmore ~ Staff Writer
On Tuesday, April 12, Academy Center of the Arts welcomed Grammy-nominated hip-hop duo Black Violin. The stop was a part of the group’s “Impossible Tour” themed around their single “Impossible is Possible”.
The duo is composed of violin player Kev Marcus and viola player Wil B. They were accompanied by a drummer, a synthesizer and a DJ.
Throughout the set the duo performed a mixture of what they call the Classic Boom genre, a mix of classical and hip-hop music. Original Black Violin songs were performed as well as covers of hits by Dr. Dre, Imagine Dragons, and classical composers like Vivaldi, Beethoven, and Mozart.
Seymone Simmons ’22, said, “This concert was really great as I just did my Student Scholar Showcase presentation on contrafactum and parody, which is so similar to what Black Violin is playing and doing with classical music blended with hip hop.”
Several University of Lynchburg students received tickets, sponsored by Dr. Cynthia Ramsey, Chair of the Music Department, and were invited to attend Black Violin’s soundcheck as well as a Q&A session before the concert began later that day. Several Lynchburg City Schools students were also in attendance and were very enthusiastic about attending the show and hearing music that was certainly different from what they would be typically taught.
Marcus and B. took the opportunity to share stories about learning to play the violin and growing up as a musician. Both described the reluctance they felt when they saw their friends getting involved in athletics more than them. Ultimately, however, Marcus says it was he who came out on top when he was offered scholarships when it was time to go to college and some of his athletic peers did not.
Marcus said, “You guys’ll witness that you do something your own way, do it long enough, work at it hard enough, and eventually, somebody’s gonna pay you to do it!”
Note: Photos included on second page.
Second photo: Throughout the show, Wil B. sang as well as played the viola while Marcus gave powerful solos on the violin.