The Youngstown Symphony Orchestra will add the strings to Earth, Wind & Fire's soul when the group performs Sunday at the Covelli Centre.
About 25 members of the orchestra will joining the six-time Grammy Award winners for its Youngs-town date.
Unlike last summer, when the orchestra accompanied Barry Manilow for a handful of dates in Canada and New York as well as Youngstown, the local show is the only date on EWF's summer tour that will feature the orchestra members.
Patricia Syak, executive director of the Youngstown Symphony Society, said the musicians only will have short time to prepare for the concert.
''We will meet the conductor on Sunday afternoon, at 3 o'clock they'll have a rehearsal with the conductor,'' she said. ''That's the first time we'll see the playlist. There will also be about an hour soundcheck with the Earth, Wind & Fire band. That will actually be the first time we will all assemble.''
That schedule may sound tight, but it is normal.
''We do not expect to receive any music in advance,'' Syak said. ''That's standard procedure. It was true with the Manilow tour ... It's very expensive to produce musical arrangements for symphony orchestras, so they probably guard them.''
It's safe to guess that the setlist will draw heavily from EWF's long list of R&B and crossover pop hits from the '70s and '80s, a list that includes ''Mighty Mighty,'' ''That's the Way of the World,'' ''Shining Star,'' ''Sing a Song,'' ''Serpentine Fire,'' ''September,'' ''Boogie Wonderland,'' ''After the Love Has Gone'' and ''Let's Groove.''
Because EWF has its own horn players, most of the local musicians performing with the group will be from the string section
''We will have a very full contingent of strings, a tuba player and a harpist,'' she said.
Vocalist / percussionist Philip Bailey, bass player / vocalist Verdine White and percussionist/vocalist Ralph Johnson - all of whom have been with EWF for 40 years - are joined in the current lineup by Myron McKinley, keyboards; Philip Bailey Jr., background vocals; B. David Whitworth, vocals and percussion; Greg Moore, guitar and vocals; Morris O'Connor, guitar; John Paris, drums and vocals; Gary Bias, saxophone; Bobby Burns Jr., trumpet; and Reggie Young, trombone.