Thursday, January 27, 2022

Quartet plays Strand Theatre

Four years ago, a group of four men came together and created a unique music twist no one saw coming. The group became known all over the world by combining classical and pop music while playing string instruments. Now, with one album out and another on its way, the singing string quartet is traveling the country, playing their music for large audiences.

Well-Strung started when Well-Strung member Christopher Marchant met Mark Cortale, Well-Strung’s manager, in Provincetown, Massachusetts.

Marchant said that he and Cortale started collaborating and then started looking for more members.

Marchant and Cortale held auditions in New York and were able to find the three men they were missing.

Edmund Bagnell plays the first violin, while Marchant plays the second violin. The final two are Trevor Wadleigh and Daniel Shevlin, who play the viola and cello, respectively.

Marchant said that before the group was created, none of the men knew each other, but that hasn’t caused any problems amongst them.

“We get along really well. We’re basically brothers,” Bagnell said.

Wadleigh said they all grew up playing their respective instruments, starting at a young age.

Other than mashing up two totally different genres of music and playing them on string instruments, the foursome also sings.

“It’s pretty funny because every time we start singing we always get a few people who are surprised that we can sing,” Bagnell said.

Well-Strung’s new album, POPssical, which comes out Oct. 2, is the culmination of their year-long national tour.

“As passionate fans and practitioners of both classical and pop music, the quartet has made surprising combinations of the two genres their trademark,” an article at plattsburgharts.org said.

Wadleigh said they all grew up with classical music.

“Some people didn’t have that opportunity, so it’s awesome to be introducing that type of music to some people for the first time,” he said.

On Sept. 26, Well-Strung will be performing at Plattsburgh’s own Strand Theatre for the first time, bringing their unique set of skills to the city.

“It’s fantastic to be able to travel to all these different places and do what we love to do,” Shevlin said.

Joshua Kretser, interim executive director at the Strand Center of the Arts, said Well-Strung’s performance will be the grand opening for the show season after he connected with Cortale and booked the group three months ago.

“This will be the first time people in the community will be seeing the Strand since the restoration of the theater started,” Kretser said.

The restoration of the theater finished Sept. 15 and brought in almost $1 million-worth of all new technology gadgets, including an all new sound system for hosting performances such as Well-Strung.

“With the huge support from the community, we were able to restore the theater to look like it did when it first opened in 1924,” Kretser said.

With Well-Strung performing here at the Strand, he said, people from all around the country will be able to see a national musical group right here so close to them.

“Well-Strung’s the type of performers we want at the Strand,” Kretser said.

Email Samantha Stahl at samantha.stahl@cardinalpointsonline.com

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