hris Marchant believes you can find beauty in any form of music. He’d been playing the violin since he was nine-years-old but didn’t fall in love with theatre until the end of college. After spending time playing in regional gigs and on tours, Marchant moved to New York and began tossing ideas around for a string group with, who would become the group’s manager, Mark Cortale. “Mark and I tossed a bunch of ideas around and what started as the idea of a solo show changed into the concept of a group, which is so much better,” Marchant said. They set to putting Well-Strung together. “At that first concert, the question was if people were going to be interested,” Daniel Shevlin said. He was the first to join Marchant in the group. “We really enjoyed our arrangements and hearing how they sounded. When we added the vocals, it was scary at first. Nothing was memorized in that show and it was risky. But it worked.” Shevlin has been playing the cello since he was young. He was living in Denver when Marchant called and asked him about joining a quartet he was forming. “For the first time in a long time,” Shevlin said, “I feel
like what I’m a part of is mine and no one else is really doing it. I feel like this group is going to be successful because it’s new and fun and current.” Marchant and Cortale didn’t want the group to be just another string quartet. If beauty could be found in any music, then why not take current Top 40 music and arrange them for a classically-trained string quartet? Why not play Britney and Rihanna as well as Bach? Once more, why not remove the decorum and make an exciting stage show where the musicians are dynamic rather than sitting in a chair staring at sheet music? Edmund Bagnell thought it sounded like a good idea. “I was looking for more long-term gig and this seems like something new and exciting,” Bagnell said. “I love playing classical and mixing it up with the pop. I love that we get to interact with the audience and interact with each other. I think it’s very new and fresh.” Trevor Wadleigh moved to New York to get his Masters. His history of traditional classical music gave him doubts that he’d be a good fit for the group, but being a part of Well-Strung has broadened more than just his musical scope.
BLEEP's August issue features Well-Strung, Company XIV, the art of Nicole Rubendall and many other talented people who are making a mark in...