Experience a collision of classical music and bluegrass when innovative string quartet Invoke brings its adventurous approach to the Moss Arts Center on Thursday, Nov. 16, at 7:30 p.m. Invoke is reinventing the classical music experience, adding banjo, mandolin, fiddle, and voice, weaving a variety of styles together, including bluegrass, Appalachian fiddle tunes, jazz, and minimalism, to form a unique contemporary repertoire.  

Less formal than a traditional string quartet performance, members of the genre-blurring ensemble stand while they perform, playing from memory rather than sheet music. Fueled by a passion for storytelling, the multi-instrument quartet performs original works composed by and for the group.

Invoke will perform “Enigma for the Night” by Jocelyn C. Chambers and “Tenebrae” by Osvaldo Golijov as well as a selection of works composed by its members, including “Burlywood,” “Prohibition Song,” “Swindlers,” “Mirror Maze,” “Alchemy,” “Doorway,” and the title song from the latest album, “Evolve and Travel.”

Invoke has shared the stage with some of the most acclaimed groups in the country, including the Westerlies, Miró and Ensō quartets, and the U.S. Army Field Band, and has appeared with musicians from various genres, including chamber rock group San Fermin, indie group Never Shout Never, and Washington, D.C., beatboxer/rapper/spoons virtuoso Christylez Bacon.

Invoke was selected to be the young professional string quartet-in-residence at the University of Texas at Austin from 2016-18, participated in the Emerging String Quartet Program at Stanford, and was selected as an artist-in-residence at Strathmore. In 2018, Invoke was named a winner of the Concert Artists Guild Victor Elmaleh Competition in New York.

Invoke is strongly committed to championing diverse American voices through commissioning and highlighting new music. The ensemble’s ongoing commissioning project, “American Postcards,” asks composers to pick a time and place in American history and tell its story through Invoke’s unique artistry. The ensemble has commissioned eight new works since 2017, including the latest addition to the initiative, “The Lessons of History” by Jonathan Bingham, which premiered in summer 2021.

Related engagement events 

Invoke musicians will participate in multiple engagement events during their visit to Blacksburg. They will attend a Virginia Tech music composition class to provide feedback on student compositions, coach student string quartets, and perform a short concert and discuss collaboration with students in the Honors Residential Commons living-learning community.

The quartet will perform a free school-day performance for educators and students in the sixth through eighth grades from Blacksburg, Christiansburg, Floyd, Roanoke, and Salem, as well as two sensory-friendly concerts for students with physical and cognitive disabilities.


Tickets for the performance are $20-$55 for general audience and $10 for students and youth 18 and under. Tickets can be purchased online; at the Moss Arts Center's box office, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday; or by calling 540-231-5300 during box office hours.  

Venue and parking information

The performance will be held in the center’s Anne and Ellen Fife Theatre, located within the Street and Davis Performance Hall at 190 Alumni Mall. Convenient parking is available in the North End Parking Garage on Turner Street and in downtown Blacksburg. Find more parking details online.

If you are an individual with a disability and desire an accommodation, please contact Jamie Wiggert at least 10 days prior to the event at 540-231-5300 or email wiggertj@vt.edu during regular business hours. 

Support for the performance  

Support for this performance is provided by the Elizabeth McIntosh Mitchell Trauger Excellence Fund.

Share this story