Thursday, the Millersville Community time musically time travelled between both the classical and modern eras of sound with the help of musical performers Black Violin.
“I think that’s what really inspires us is the people, the fans and the music,” said Wilner ‘Wil B’ Baptiste. “Every time we get on stage and perform, we are trying to break stereotypes and it’s impactful for us.”
Black Violin did just that, breaking down the tradition of classical music and putting their own spin on it with the use of their violins, DJ SPS and their drummer. Coming from Miami, Florida, the four-man group began their performance with some rules including that the show was a party, encouraging the use of flash photography, clapping along to the music and getting out of seats to dance.
Much of the music shared a positive message, encouraging listeners to reach for the stars and to grow in knowledge. One of the songs, entitled “The Mission,” shared that it is important to find what you love to do and what your purpose is in life with others.
“Our mission is to inspire, uplift and entertain,” said Kevin ‘Kev Marcus Sylvester. “It’s about thinking outside the box and taking things to a new level. We do it with the violin. You can do it with anything.”
Sharing that their performance at the university was their 81st in 2015, they gave a unique freestyle performance and encouraged video footage to be taken. Even the performers took turns recording to compare to the varied freestyle performance which they recently gave at Vermont and Reading. Black Violin’s improvisation for Millersville provided beautiful string play by Wil B and Kev Marcus, with DJ SPS putting his own spin on a “Hello; Good evening, Millersville, Pa.” announcement and their drummer Jody going hard on a drum solo.
Black Violin shared their enthusiasm and passion for their craft through their soulful rhythms but also through their personal relationship with their instruments. Performing both original songs and covers, audience members were able to hear creatively styled versions of Radioactive, Uptown Funk, Get Lucky and Stay with Me.
Wil B spoke to the audience about how his relationship with his violin. “Say hi to Tiffany,” said Wil B. “She pays my bills. She’s glowing and everything beautiful.”
Black Violin shared that in Sept. they will be releasing their first album with Universal Records, though they have music available on iTunes as well as on their CDs Black Violin and Classically Trained.
After their performance, Black Violin stayed for a meet-and-greet, signing autographs and merchandise, and taking photos with the audience members. Black Violin’s visit had the Millersville community dancing in their seats to a fusion of classical and modern sounds, and encouraged the notion of thinking outside the box in their own ways.