Out of My Element

Boyz II Men and Charlotte Symphony Orchestra Concert

History & Attraction

I have attended many concert events over the years, with a potpourri of genres of music, but this particular event caught my attention as one I have never experienced. The Charlotte Symphony Orchestra was background to the iconic Trio "Boyz II Men", who I remember from the 90's as having many R&B hits with fantastic harmony (sound created by multiple voices singing together). They hold the honor of being the best-selling R&B group of all time, selling 64 million albums. Some of their hits include "End of the Road," "I'll Make Love to You," and "One Sweet Day." Their music has inspired the likes of Justin Timberlake, Usher, Justin Bieber, and Beyonce. The Trio has been awarded 4 Grammy's, 9 American Music Awards, 9 Soul Train Awards, 3 Billboard Awards, and the MOBO Award for Outstanding Contribution to Music. Nathan Morris, Wayne Morris, and Shawn Stockman sang together growing up in Philadelphia, and pride themselves as complimenting each others vocals in multi octave style (multiple intervals between pitches of the same name) . Their style was created through A cappella foundation (sung without instrumental accompaniment), however, they now utilize background accompaniment with many of their songs. I chose this unique combination of modern R&B with the classical Orchestra period out of curiosity of how the two would compliment each other, and wow... did they ever!

The Event

I purchased two tickets several weeks prior to the event, hoping my 19 year old daughter would be able to attend while home for Spring Break. She backed out a few days before, and my sister-in-law gladly took her place as a long-time fan of Boys II Men and the Symphony. The event took place March 12, 2016 at the Blumenthal Theater in Charlotte,NC. It was a beautiful clear, warm Spring evening, and Uptown was buzzing with a "Pub Walk" event to celebrate upcoming St.Patrick's Day, with many in green attire. It was a sold-out concert, and although our seats were in the last row, the theaters acoustics (how sound is produced, transmitted, and received) left no room for complaint! When we entered into to theater, the orchestra was busily tuning and preparing for their production. The lights dimmed, and the Guest Conductor Norman Huynh entered with a welcomed response from the audience, and a bow. He lifted his baton, and the orchestra of about 20 members from strings to horns to percussion to piano, opened with a welcoming overture (purely instrumental opening introduction) that made my heart pound with excitement. After the overture, three spotlights shined upon the stage, and the Trio walked out and proudly took a bow. They initiated in A cappella style, and the crowd roared as the Symphony joined in to produce a beautiful mixture of class with soulful, harmonic voices so pleasing to any ear. The next arrangement was done solely A cappella, which was absolutely amazing. They played their hits, and passed out roses to the ladies in the first few rows, and the interaction they had with the audience was truly captivating and made for a fantastic experience. They were highly respective of the orchestration (the various assignments of the instruments), and even invited a violinist to accompany solo with them for one of their songs. It was a classical event, but fun and extremely entertaining. They came back for an on cor, and sang my personal favorite "The End of the Road", which topped the evening off. It was a night I will never forget!
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Boyz 2 Men