(Joplin, MO) – Pro Musica, the region’s presenter of leading national and international classical chamber music and jazz, will host the region’s first professional concert of 2021.
The organization has been busy innovating over the last few months: launching its Overtures of Hope COVID-responsiveness initiative, and a successful digital partnership with the renowned Lincoln Center Chamber Music Society. However, Pro Musica’s usual free, in-person concerts have been on hold since March 2020 due to the pandemic.
Now that’s changing as Pro Musica welcomes audiences to three free, outdoor, socially distanced concerts over the next three months.
First up is Invoke, a bowed-and-fretted string quartet from Austin, Texas on Thursday, April 8 at 6:30 pm. The ensemble’s instruments range from more traditional violin, viola, and cello to adventurous banjo, mandolin, and vocal elements. Achievements include winning Concept Artist Guild International and University of Michigan’s Chamber Music M-Prize competitions.
“There is a light at the end of the this tunnel — and a beautiful melody. This concert is dedicated to those who have been taken from us by this terrible virus this year, as well as to Joplin’s healthcare and front-line service workers,” said Executive Director Jay Gilman.
Regarding the ensemble, Gilman explained, “Invoke skillfully blends ‘Beethoven, bluegrass, and beyond’ to embody chamber music’s exciting future.”
This event is certified through Missouri ArtSafe, a program of the Missouri Arts Council. The location (a park within Joplin-proper) will be disclosed to patrons after making a free reservation outlining distancing requirements, and allowing Pro Musica to maintain a safe capacity.
“We believe we are the first professional arts presenter in the Joplin region to take this bold step forward. Patron and artist safety has guided every facet of our reopening plan,” said Board President Lori Marble.
Beyond Invoke’s free concert, the ensemble will spend two days in Joplin Public Schools engaging students in six through twelfth grades. Given Pro Musica’s long-standing commitment to arts education, the organization curates musicians based on artistic prowess, but also on teaching skills. Beyond their artistic accolades, Invoke brings substantial experience in this realm, including recently serving as featured artists in Austin Chamber Music Center’s digital learning initiatives to engage young people remotely during the pandemic.
Based in Austin, TX, Invoke is an award-winning ensemble continuing to successfully dodge even the most valiant attempts at genre classification. Described by SiriusXM Classical Producer David Srebnik as “not classical… but not not classical” the multi-instrumental band melds traditions from across America including bluegrass, Appalachian fiddle tunes, jazz, and minimalism — weaving together truly individual music written by and for the group.
Invoke’s albums Souls in the Mud and Furious Creek feature original works, plus the Quartet has performed and recorded numerous world premieres. Invoke’s commissioning project American Postcards asks composers to pick a time and place in American history and tell its story.
About Pro Musica:
Founded in 1981, Pro Musica is the leading presenter of world-class chamber music in Joplin, Missouri and the surrounding four-state region. A nonprofit 501(c)3, Pro Musica uplifts “ageless music for all ages” through free Chamber Series concerts; cornerstone Arts Education Events in Joplin Public Schools, area private schools, and homeschool networks, and at Missouri Southern State University; provides innovative frameworks for experiencing classical chamber music in coffee shop and library-based family concerts; outdoor events; an annual jazz concert; and more. Pro Musica is supported by the generosity of numerous individuals, business and corporate sponsors, family and private foundations, the Missouri Arts Council, and National Endowment for the Arts.
Jay Gilman, Executive Director