GRAMMY-nominated Black Violin to headline special event on December 6 to raise awareness and funds for two critical Philadelphia youth arts education organizations

The acclaimed classical/hip-hop duo will premiere a new performance video
and speak LIVE

Pre-event workshop on December 3 will explore cross-over genre music


Black Violin, with nearly 20 million views on YouTube, will be the Special
Guest at Musicopia’s and Dancing Classrooms Philly’s annual High Note High Step Event on Sunday, December
6 at 3:30PM. Usually an in-person breakfast, this year’s High Note High Step has been re-imagined as a virtual
event using Remo: a unique, interactive, and immersive online platform. The event is free, but registration is
required. ( The High Note High Step will be an uplifting way to end the weekend, with guests
experiencing how Musicopia and Dancing Classrooms Philly are using the arts to impact the lives of children
throughout the Philadelphia region.

Black Violin will premiere a virtual performance video, speak (LIVE) about the power of the arts in their
lives, and answer questions by Musicopia String Orchestra students. The event will also feature and
highlight the talents and achievements of a dynamic array of Musicopia’s and Dancing Classrooms
Philly’s students.

Black Violin is classically trained violist and violinist Wil Baptiste and Kev Marcus who combine classical
and hip-hop influences to create a distinctive multi-genre sound. Through performances at President
Obama’s inauguration, official NFL functions, and sold-out/packed audiences at Philadelphia’s
Annenberg Center, Merriam Theater and the Academy of Music, Wil and Kev place heavy emphasis on
educational outreach, performing for more than 100,000 students each year. Black Violin challenges the
stereotypes and preconceived notion of what a “classical musician” looks and sounds like.

“Despite the challenges that COVID-19 has brought, the new landscape has opened up many exciting
opportunities and we are thrilled to have Black Violin at our annual fundraising event, underscoring the
importance of arts education,” said Catherine Charlton, Executive Director of Musicopia and Dancing
Classrooms Philly (DCP). “At Musicopia and DCP we give our students a framework for reaching goals
and for learning perseverance, much needed during these trying times. This event is on behalf of those
students so that they can continue to have safe ways in which to express themselves.”

Pre-Event Workshop on Thursday, December 3: panelists include member of The Roots and more
Leading up to the December 6 event, Musicopia and DCP are hosting a live, online, free educational
workshop on Thursday, December 3 at 7:00PM. Though geared primarily for music students, the
workshop is open to the public and will explore cross-over genre music. Music genres represent
traditions, and the expansion of cross-genre music and musicians presents opportunities for the
expression of new traditions. The musicians that comprise Black Violin epitomize this new era.
The workshop can be accessed via Zoom Webinar ( OR, if Webinar
attendee limit has been reached, via Livestream on the Musicopia Facebook page

Workshop panelists include: Phillip Brown, Director of Theater at the Shipley School and writer of the
new musical “The Last Jimmy” with Karl “Dice Raw” Jenkins; Karl “Dice Raw” Jenkins, American Hip-Hop
artist and songwriter, collaborator, and producer of The Roots; Wouter Kellerman, Grammy-winning
South African flutist; and Adriana Linares, Venezuelan violist of the Dalí Quartet and President, Founder
and Artistic Director of ArCoNet, The Arts & Community Network. The panel will be moderated by Taia
Harlos, Artistic Director and Conductor of the Musicopia String Orchestras.

* * *
About Musicopia
Musicopia’s mission is to provide opportunities for children to experience, learn, perform, and
appreciate music. Since its founding 1974, Musicopia has helped more than 350,000 children experience
the benefits of first-hand exposure to the arts, and is a recognized leader in rebuilding and revitalizing
school music programs. Musicopia reaches thousands of children each year in the Delaware Valley
through in-school music education, a string orchestra program, a drumlines program, and its Gift of
Music Instrument Donation Program. Musicopia places a priority on reaching students who are
underserved and cut off from the region’s rich cultural life. Through its high-quality programs, Musicopia
aims to give all children, regardless of circumstances, the opportunity to have their lives transformed by
music. For more information, visit

About Dancing Classroom Philly
Dancing Classrooms Philly’s mission is to foster self-esteem, social awareness and joy in children by
providing the opportunity to learn and perform ballroom dance. Since its founding in 2007, DCP has
reached more than 30,000 students through school residencies, a Saturday Academy program, and an
Allstar group. Through our ballroom dance instruction, we help to improve the climate of school
communities across the Philadelphia region by building confidence in students, breaking down social
barriers, and inspiring respect for all individuals. We envision transformative arts programs in all school
communities that nurture creativity, build confidence, and promote a culture of mutual respect and
well-being. For more information, please visit
Musicopia and Dancing Classrooms Philly joined forces in 2012 to create a strategic alliance to provide
both organizations with a more efficient infrastructure while advancing their missions and community
impact. Musicopia and DCP share the common goal of promoting confidence and self-esteem through
the arts and are committed to working with under-served children and schools.


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