A dynamic ensemble of music was presented by “Invoke,” a multi-string quartet that conjured up melodies in McCray Hall.
On Friday, March 13 Pittsburg State University hosted “Invoke,” winner of the Concert Artists Guild International competition.
“They are a classical string quartet that describes itself as being not classical but non-classical,” said Edith Sigler, junior in music performance. “They play classical music, but they also do Americana bluegrass I think some jazz Latin as well as well as original music.”
Sigler looked forward to their performance at PSU.
“I personally looked forward to some of the non-classical aspects of (the concert) because I play fiddle bluegrass style,” Sigler said.
Susan Marchant, Department of Music Chairman, said a committee in the music department works to bring a diverse selection of music performances to Pitt State.
“…We present six concerts per year, three each semester, and we have a committee that works on making artist selection and we try across the year to include as much variety as we can so that our students, if they are here for four years.., (and we have) six concerts per season, they would have heard (a) pretty broad spectrum of performers, all types, all variety, all instruments and voices all different performance traditions,” Marchant said. “It’s a good thing we enjoy doing it.”
“Invoke” is a string quartet, meaning the band consists of two violins, a viola and a cello.
“…They also have a banjo and a mandolin,” Marchant said. “So, with those other instruments that are more tied to folk music and jazz, they are able to do some, what we call, crossover. A crossover from classical into other idioms and there’s a lot of improvisation and just very high energy.”
According to Marchant, the audience was very engaged during the performance.
“Well, the audience is always very engaged,” Marchant said. “We have many students, many members of the community patron and friends and you can feel it in the room that the audience is totally involved in the performance. The artist feels that, too. The artist will tell us at the end of the evening that they really appreciated the level of engagement that they sense from our audience.”
“Invoke” came together and began making music seven years ago.
“We started seven years ago,” said “Invoke” member Nick Montopoli. “We started actually in University of Maryland. We all were at music school there, studying classical string instruments. We started quartet just for fun, to hang out and have a good time and started playing Beethoven and Mozart, older classical composers but pretty soon after that we discovered love for newer American music and starting with lot of composers that are more popular today like philip glass musician John Adams Peter Schickele.”
The band tries to present a balanced mix between classical music and performing it in a new way, according to Montopoli.
“When we do present classical music, we try to present it in a way it hasn’t been heard that way before, Montopolo said. “Even if we’re goanna play something like (a) Beethoven quartet or a Mozart quartet we’ll try to put a flavour into it that’s different than what you might hear from just any other string quartet. There (are) plenty of string quartets that are playing those pieces amazingly… (and) we are trying kind of trying to reinvent some of them into some of our own style.”