Well-Strung, featuring Edmund Bagnell (first violin), Christopher Marchant (second violin), Daniel Shevlin (cello) and Trevor Wadleigh (viola), is a string quartet with a modern twist. The group plays universally recognized classical pieces while singing pop music hits from the likes of Taylor Swift, Rihanna, Kelly Clarkson, and other pop stars for a uniquely engaging experience. Audiences may also recognize Trevor and Chris as two contestants on CBS TV’s The Amazing Race.
Conceived by Mark Cortale and Christopher Marchant, the foursome formed in 2012 and has since gained international attention. They have been invited to perform at the Vatican in Rome and at a gala for President Obama. Hillary Clinton requested a special performance by Well-Strung after the release of their viral music video “Chelsea’s Mom.” They have also performed on the The Today Show, and live onstage with artists such as Kristin Chenoweth, Neil Patrick Harris, Audra McDonald, Deborah Voigt, and were the opening act for Joe Jonas and his band DNCE at Pride Toronto. The group has received critical acclaim at New York’s prestigious Feinstein’s/54 Below and well beyond, from the House of Blues in New Orleans to the Leicester Square Theatre in London.
It was a pleasure to sit down with Edmund for this exclusive Hotspots interview.
At what age did you begin to play an instrument?
I started playing the violin when I was 7, and it happened because my grandparents bought a full-size violin which was too large for me, but then my parents decided to get me some lessons and I stuck with it.
What was your first paid gig?
I started a wedding string quartet in 7th grade, and we actually did a pretty good business during middle school and high school.
What was your best gig before Well-Strung got together?
I was fortunate to have a lot of good gigs, but I guess the best is when I did the Broadway tour of Sweeney Todd. It was a very exciting production to be a part of.
How did Well-Strung get together?
I personally auditioned for Well-Strung, as a friend of mine sent me a listing call for a violinist who can sing. Christopher Marchant and Mark Cortele had this idea. We have evolved over the years but this January it will be 10 years for us.
What has been the band’s favorite cities or venues to play in?
Truly we love going to South Florida, so Fort Lauderdale is always fun. We also love New Orleans. My favorite tour is when we went to Russia and Turkey to the US Embassy, and we did all sorts of concerts and workshops. We are setting up to do that again this February.
Tell us something we don’t know about Well-Strung and about you?
We get along well, and we hope that’s apparent on stage. We also really enjoy traveling together.
I just realized a solo EP called “The Road” this past fall.
Who is single and who is married?
I have a partner and we have a house together in Upstate New York.
Christopher has a partner; and Trevor and Daniel are taking applications.
Describe yourself in three words?
Passionate, obsessive, and charming.
What does the future hold for Well-Strung?
Touring and some new music.
Why should our readers come see this show?
Well, we have had basically two years off, and we are really fresh. I didn’t see the guys for almost two years, and we sound good even better than before as we had so much time to rehearse alone and improve. It feels like an exciting time to make music together.
Tickets Well Strung are available at the Broward Center AutoNation Box Office, 201 SW Fifth Avenue, Fort Lauderdale, FL. 33312, Browardcenter.org or by calling 954.462.0222.
View the Guest Entry Policy at Browardcenter.org/visit/guest-entry-policy for full details on the venue’s COVID-19 protocols.
For more information and tour dates, visit www.well-strung.com!