SiriusXM Presents a Private Concert with Boyz II Men at their Former High School in Philadelphia
Written By: Matt Pana, Photos by Elizabeth Thorpe and Tim Becker
Motown Philly is indeed back again.
The city of brotherly love welcomed its favorite sons Tuesday as legendary R&B group Boys II Men returned to their stomping grounds. The Philadelphia High School for the Creative and Performing Arts (commonly known as CAPA) is a magnet school in South Philly, which boasts famous alumni ranging from Black Thought and Questlove of The Roots, to actor and popular cheesesteak franchiser Tony Luke.
Co-founder of the group Nathan Morris captured the essence of their alma mater in one comment “[CAPA] was a school where you never wanted to be absent. A school where you never wanted to be late.”
Today, the Grammy-award winning trio consists of Nathan, Shawn Stockman and Wanyá Morris. They began honing their craft at a young age, from performances in subways to rehearsals in bathrooms. Their return to the school brought back fond memories: Christmas concerts, classes with Ms Davis, and lunch room sing-offs akin to the movie Fame.
The night proved to be an intimate setting with a trip down memory lane and an opportunity for the students to take a look inside the lives of one of the most influential R&B groups of all time. Boyz II Men opened the night with one of their first singles Motown Philly, followed by a plethora of record-setting Billboard hits including End of The Road, On Bended Knee, and many more. The group took time in between each song to provide reflections and commentary to their music and success.
Their affinity demonstrated how proud they are of their school. A place that laid the foundation for their craft. They firmly believe that today’s students are a part of accretive lineage. A fraternity of artists. “The art is the essence of what makes this school what it is” said Nathan, “This is something that is imperative. Something that we need to preserve.”
While this digital age provides a “push-button society”, they urge today’s generation, often bombarded and dependent on technology, to simply be patient. When asked to give a few words of advice to the young artists of today, Shawn responded “My advice would be to continue to absorb as much as you can. All of this is beautiful knowledge. This place is unlike anywhere else. It’s a rare thing. A valuable thing. Take full advantage, have fun and enjoy it.”
Nathan, Shawn and Wanyá are no strangers to giving back. The group established the Boyz II Men House in 2011, a non-proft seeking to serve community needs, from fundraising events to even disaster relief. Their visit to CAPA was indeed a success for all parties involved, as the event helped bring to light school district issues potentially facing the school in the near-future.
As the night drew to a close, Wanyá remarked “Today is a moment, it’s good to be back home!”
Motown Philly is indeed back again. And it’s safe to say that Boyz II Men…still got it goin’ on.
Boyz II Men performed this private concert at the school where they met, The Philadelphia High School for the Creative & Performing Arts. The private performance was available for current CAPA students to attend. SiriusXM listeners can tune into SiriusXM’s Heart & Soul channel as part of the channel’s “Up Close & Personal” series on Tuesday, October 21 at 5:00 pm ET, the day Boyz II Men’s new album Collide is scheduled to be released. SiriusXM’s “Up Close & Personal with Boyz II Men” will be hosted by SiriusXM Heart & Soul’s Cayman Kelly.
Stay tuned to TSI for additional coverage of this event including video!
FULL EVENT PHOTO GALLERY