What is Sol Fusion?

Sol: meaning Sun in Latin and other languages; also representing the fifth, or Dominant tone of the major scale in music.

The Sun: a celestial body around which our planetary system revolves; in our case, representing Music, the great Passion which draws individual souls into an indivisible entity; a fusion of souls: Sol Fusion.

Sol Fusion is what occurs when the most highly educated and experienced musicians and vocalists unite, each bringing his or her individual strengths and expertise in genre, style and presence.

So much more than just another band, Sol Fusion is an indefinable blend of musical greatness; it is an experience not to be missed.

Hester Kast-McClure is an owner and founding member of Sol Fusion, and she will be your main band member contact during the time leading up to your event.

Hester’s professional experience includes 10 years as a vocalist with one of the first bands ever signed to EastCoast Entertainment, the Black and Blue Band out of Greensboro, NC. Her time with that band allowed her to perform in the southeast’s most exclusive country clubs and private residences, as well as venues in Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, Texas, Alabama, Georgia, Florida, Jamaica and all over the Carolinas. Hester’s experience with the Black and Blue Band (which has been together and performing since 1968 and still includes original members) has given her extensive knowledge of client and venue expectations, as well as the organizational dynamics of a full time working band.

Hester has a degree in Music History and Theory from UNC-Chapel Hill and began her singing career at the age of 3 during circle time at Montessori Discovery School in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Never without a song in her heart, Hester has sung with various choirs since the age of 12, including the Charlotte Children’s Choir, Independence High School Patriot Singers, IHS Gospel Choir, UNC’s Carolina Choir and BSM (Black Student Movement) Gospel Choir. Hester has also been trained in the violin and played with various orchestras for 10 years. She holds a North Caroina Real Estate license and after realizing that music—not real estate—is her true passion, she has refocused her efforts and talents accordingly.

Harvey Cummings is a native of Charlotte, NC. One of Sol Fusion’s two resident composer/arrangers, Harvey’s greatest gift is music. He began a life in music at the early age of 3, and by age 12 he had figured out how to play the theme music for the video game “Super Mario Brothers.” Since then, he has earned a BA in Music and a BM in Jazz Studies. After a 2-year stint teaching music in public schools, Harvey continues to share his knowledge with the next generation through various workshops.

Equally talented on the piano, keyboards and saxophone, he has played for numerous foundations and organizations, colleges and universities, private and social events, and special occasion celebrations. Some of the organizations include National Forum for Black Public Administrators (NFBPA), The Congressional Black Caucus, National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC), The United Negro College Fund (UNCF), and The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). He’s played alongside some of the music industry’s finest artists including Branford Marsalis, Jimmy Heath, Kevon Edmonds, Jimmy Cobb, Fred Wessley, 9th Wonder, and many others. Harvey is featured by 9th Wonder Productions on the piano in the hit cartoon show, “The Boondocks.”

Corey Gaston, the second of Sol Fusion’s two composer/arrangers, is a native of Harrisburg, NC and has been a musician since the age of 5. Starting his musical journey on piano and then later switched to trumpet at the age of 11, he found his passion for music and knew it was going to be the career path for him. Corey has been a member of All-District Honors Bands, All-State Honors Bands and was a member of the 1996 National Honor Band of America. Corey then auditioned and was accepted as a member of the United States Marine Corps Band and traveled all over the continental United States and the Pacific Rim of Asia, including a 2 year live-in assignment in Okinawa, Japan. There he played with the Japanese Air Self-Defense Force musicians (JASDF), Hong Kong Rugby 7′s Tattoo, The Malaysian Royal Police Band as well as playing for the President of the United States and many foreign dignitaries.

Corey graduated with a concentration in Music Performance and Music Theory from the U.S. Naval School of Music. Being equally talented on bass guitar, keyboards, vocals and trumpet, Corey has shared the stage with a varietal mix of some of the world’s finest musicians, including Maynard Ferguson, Ron Kenoly, Travis Cottrell, Tom Smith, Donald Lawrence and Tri-City Singers, Maurette Brown-Clark, and Bill and Gloria Gaither. Corey holds professional affiliations with Phi Mu Alpha music fraternity, North Carolina Music Educators Association (NCMEA) and Music Educators National Conference (MENC).

Stephanie Massey Streater discovered her love for music on the black top at John Taylor Williams Junior High in Charlotte, NC. This discovery led to a spot in the school chorus. She continued her choral career at Garinger High School in Charlotte, and she went on to obtain her B.A. in Music Liberal Arts at Livingstone College. While at Livingstone she was honored to sing for Dr. Maya Angelou at a United Negro College Fund event.

Stephanie also caught the acting bug during her college career. She developed a relationship with the Piedmont Players Theater where she would go on to star in their productions of “The Wiz” (as Dorothy), “Tommy” (as Acid Queen), “Sophisticated Ladies,” and “Leader of The Pack” (as Darlene Love). Her most recent production was with the talented actors of Clater-Kaye Theater Works in their production of “Hairspray” in which she played Motormouth Mabel. Stephanie has performed for several weddings, banquets and other events in the Charlotte area for the past 18 years.

Joe Brown, also known as “The Lover on the Low End,” is the bass player and an original member of Sol Fusion. Joe’s musical career began in the children’s choir of First Baptist Church Charlotte. When it was time to choose an instrument in middle school, he was drawn to the trumpet. Throughout school he participated in the NC Honors Choir, sang with the Charlotte Youth Chorale and attended many national competitions. He graduated as a member of the National Music Honors Society and went on to major in music at Appalachian State University. He started playing the bass almost by accident. He wanted to play trumpet in his church orchestra but they needed a bass player instead. So, he taught himself bass and was playing within 3 months.

At Appalachian, Joe performed with the University Singers, Jazz Vocal, and Another Level a cappella group. He also played bass for the ASU Gospel Choir. College became a great place to fine tune his bass playing. He gained a lot of experience playing in the studio and gigging with many bands including Michael Alvarado of “US”. He has shared the stage with The Gregory Brothers, made famous by Auto-tune the news, Emily Moore from fun., and multiple American Idol finalists.

In 2011, Joe graduated with a BA in Music Business with a concentration in voice and a minor in Business. Straight out of college, he was offered to audition for a band that Chris and Hester McClure were putting together. He’s been with Sol Fusion ever since as one of its founding members. His dream is to one day tour the world playing bass for a female pop star.