Invoke is not your average classical group of musicians

Invoke will play live at 7 p.m. tonight on the Pittsburg State University campus for their first-ever live performance in Kansas. Tickets are on sale now.Courtesy | Invoke

PITTSBURG, Kan. — Think of them as your “not-so-typical” string quartet.

Or, as David Srebnik with SiriusXM described the them, a group that’s “not classical ... but not not classical.”

They’re Invoke, and the four members of this multi-instrumental band continue to dodge as hard as they can being shoehorned into a specific musical classification. After all, not many professional string quartets have banjos in their repertoire.

Members are interested in American music, violinist Karl Mitze told the University of Texas at Austin in 2017.

“We didn’t want to be another quartet just playing Beethoven and Haydn. There are a lot of groups our age doing that very successfully. But we didn’t see ourselves as one of them. It wasn’t the path we wanted.”

In the group's first visit to the Sunflower State, it weaves together a number of American genres — bluegrass, Appalachian fiddle tunes and jazz — into complicated compositions, at times even including poetry. At points on stage, it is an acoustic band, a folk band and, yes, a classical string quartet.

“We are still, at heart, an acoustic chamber group. That’s how we formed, and that’s what our training is,” said violinist Nick Montopoli in the article.

Montopoli and Mitze are joined on stage by violinist Zach Matteson and cellist Geoff Manyin.

Tonight’s 7:30 p.m. concert at McCray Hall on the PSU campus is the fourth in the ongoing Solo & Chamber Music Series, which concludes with a performance by pianist Alon Goldstein on Friday, April 3.

Two years ago, Invoke won the M-Prize International Chamber Arts competition and the Concert Artists Guild Victor Elmaleh Competition, where the group was named “New Music/New Places” Ensemble, according to a PSU release.

Tickets are free to full-time PSU students with valid student ID. Individual tickets for the public are $12 general admission, or $8 for those older than 65 and younger than 18.

Details: www.pittstate.edu/tickets and 620-235-4466.

Also at PSU

At 3 p.m. on Sunday, the choirs of Pittsburg State University will present their annual spring concert in the Sharon Kay Dean Recital Hall in McCray Hall, offering a variety of works from the University Choir, PSU Tour Choir and PSU Chorale, all under the direction of Susan Marchant, according to a PSU release. Instrumentalists will include Ann Knipschild, oboe, and Peter Frost and Devon Turner, organists. Graduate assistant Alex Chesney will direct the Chorale in a work by Philip Lawson. The concert will feature a composition by PSU music student Brock Willard.

The event is free and open to the public.

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