Invoke string quartet performs at TAMU-CC

Alexis Garcia, Reporter

The string quartet Invoke performed at the Performing Arts Center on March 27 as a part of the Furgason Bravo! Series.

Invoke is a four-member string quartet residing in the University of Texas at Austin’s Chamber Music Center. The group is known for their usage of genres like bluegrass, jazz, Appalachian fiddle tunes and minimalism which they then merge together to create original music.

Invoke was named the winner of the Concert Artists Guild Victor Elmaleh Competition in New York, first place in the Open Category of the international chamber arts competition M-Prize in Ann Arbor, Michigan and first place in the Coltman Chamber Music Competition in Austin, Texas.

The group consists of Nick Montopoli on the violin, banjo and vocals. Zachariah Matteson on the violin and vocals. Karl Mitze on the viola, mandolin and vocals. Geoff Manyin on the cello and vocals.

The group performed 10 songs, both original and rewritten pieces. Throughout the concert the members of the group consistently mentioned how the COVID-19 pandemic has allowed them to write a lot more songs for the group. They also mentioned how Corpus Christi has been their second in-person concert since the pandemic hit.

James Moore, Director of the Performing Arts Center, talked about his excitement with Invoke’s performance and what he was looking forward to the most. “I’m most looking forward to a return of presenting live performances in front of audiences,” said Moore, “Invoke is a great ensemble to start with because they are a Texas group based in Austin and are uniquely suited to understand the need for a return to live performances here. I’m excited to have top-notch Texas musicians playing their own inspiring music.”

As expected, the group performed the 10 songs with traditionally classical instruments and their own twist. Most of the songs performed were original works composed by the group, but others were based off already existing songs twisted to include the typical Invoke style, like Project 131 which was based off Beethoven’s String Quartet No. 14, Op. 131.

Brandon Morin, a music education student at TAMU-CC, gave his thoughts about the concert. “I thought the invoke concert was really unique and different from your any day ensemble.” Morin said, “As a music education major, my field of study primarily focuses on the conventional ensembles such as symphonic bands, orchestras, and chamber groups such as string quartets and brass quintets. So getting to hear Invokes twist on the string quartet really brought a unique sound of music which I really enjoyed.”

As of now, there are no upcoming concerts for the Furgason Bravo! Series. The Performing Arts Center will host the annual ¡Festival de Mariachi! En la Isla on May 1, featuring the University’s Mariachi de la Isla and more.