BALTIMORE (WJZ) — A unique music experience is on schedule at the Hippodrome France-Merrick Performing Arts Center.

Pat Warren reports Grammy nominated singer Ruben Studdard is performing with Baltimore’s own Soulful Symphony.

Small beginning, big finish. Soulful Symphony performs with singer Ruben Studdard.

“I looked at Darin’s long list of accomplishments and said I wanted to do it,” Studdard said.

Darin Atwater founded Soulful Symphony in 2000–an 85-member orchestra with vocals made up mostly of African-American and Latino musicians. He partnered with the Hippodrome Foundation in 2010 and Soulful Symphony became the first resident ensemble at the France-Merrick Performing Arts Center.

“You have 100 musicians onstage and all the different colors you might hear with a pop band, rhythm section and a singer, you hear all those colors multiplied by all these families of instruments,” Atwater said.

Studdard will perform a tribute to Luther Vandross.

“I’m glad that he’s given me the opportunity to do this with such skilled musicians,” Studdard said.

And he, in turn, will work with students also performing Saturday.

“And all of the musicians that will be playing with me on tomorrow evening are also examples to the young people that you can do anything that you set your mind to,” Studdard said. “So I’m hoping that they take away something special from tomorrow and our experience.”

Studdard calls it every singer’s dream to perform with a symphony orchestra. He and Atwater are in the business of making dreams come true.

Saturday’s performance is at 8 p.m. at the Hippodrome Theatre.

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