HomeArtArtists › Chandler Center for the Arts Brings Black Violin Virtual Program to Schools

unnamed 4


Chandler Center for the Arts brings the electrifying BLACK VIOLIN to area schools and home school children through its Connecting Kids Theatre Kids Program.

Screen Shot 2020 10 07 at 1.58.26 PM

BLACK VIOLIN has created a 40-minute multi-camera recording of their student performance along with a question and answer session moderated by a student. The virtual Theatre Kids performances of BLACK VIOLIN will be available from November 1 to December 15 with a study guide included. 

As the performance is virtual, there is an unlimited number of classrooms and homeschoolers who can participate. Each registrant will be able to view the performance as many times as they like within the six-week window.  

Cost is $50 per classroom (11-45 students); $10 per homeschool group (1-10 students). Fees will be waived for Title 1 schools. 

Educators can register online through the Chandler Center for the Arts Website

For more information, call Chandler Center for the Arts and its Theatre Kids Program, call 480-782-2680

For 16 years, Black Violin members Kev Marcus and Wil Baptiste have been merging string arrangements with modern beats and vocals. The two met in orchestra class at Dillard High School in Ft. Lauderdale, becoming classically trained on the violin and viola through their high school and college careers. Post-college, they reconvened to produce beats for South Florida rappers and began building an audience in local clubs. They later went on to win Showtime at the Apollo in 2005, and eventually sold out headline performances at venues across the country, including a sold-out two-night headline run at The Kennedy Center in 2018. Their unique brand of merging the genre they were listening to (hip hop) with the world they were studying (classical) was celebrated with collaborations with Alicia Keys, Wu-Tang Clan, 2 Chainz, and others. NPR took note and declared “their music will keep classical music alive for the next generation.”

The duo plays over 200 shows a year (many of these are performances for young low-income students in urban communities - in the last year alone, the group played for over 100,000 students) with the goal of challenging stereotypes and preconceived notions of what a “classical musician” looks and sounds like.

“The stereotypes are always there, embedded so deep in our culture,” says Wil. “Just by nature of our existence, we challenge those ideas. It’s a unique thing that brings people together who aren’t usually in the same room, and in the current climate, it’s good to bring people together.”

Recently, the group launched the Black Violin Foundation Inc., a non-profit organization dedicated to empowering youth by providing access to quality music programs in their community. BFV believes that music and access to music programs should not be determined by race, gender, or socioeconomic status.

Black Violin Foundation’s inaugural program the Musical Innovation Grant for Continuing Education will provide scholarships to young music students to attend a program of their liking that fosters musical creativity and innovation. Programs can range from private lessons to summer music camps, to college courses. Scholarships will be awarded bi-annually to up to 20 applicants per scholarship cycle. More info at: http://www.blackviolinfoundation.org