Area music students will perform Aug. 29

Area music students will perform Aug. 29 Eleven area music students participated in the new Summer Chamber Music program for piano and strings sponsored by The University of South Dakota Rawlins Piano Trio.

For the conclusion of the program, the young violinists, cellists and pianists will perform in a chamber music recital on Sunday, Aug. 29, in Colton Recital Hall of the Warren M. Lee Center for the Fine Arts on The University of South Dakota campus. The performance begins at 7:30 p.m. and is open to the public without charge.

The musicians range in age from 11 to 18 and play piano, violin and cello. They include Alexa Thomson, violin, and Olivia Van den Hul, piano, from Vermillion; violinists Sophie Stevens and Felicia Barnes, pianists Xiao yi Li and Jessica Mathison, and cellist Hannah Alsgaard, all from Yankton; Conor Jensen, piano, from Beresford; Haley Boone, violin, and Kiley Boone, cello, from Sioux Center, IA; Krissy Blunk, piano, and Katie Blunk, violin, from Creighton, NE; and Brandi Oviedo, cello, from Norfolk, NE.

The Rawlins Trio members combined the students into duos and trios by age, ability level and location. Each group was assigned pieces to learn for the month-long course of study and final performance.

The students practiced the music on their own, often receiving assistance from their teachers and from Trio members. Each group organized its own rehearsals for the remainder of the course and arranged for an average of three group lessons with Rawlins Trio members.

The final recital will showcase all student groups and will include a brief performance by the Rawlins Piano Trio.

The Rawlins Piano Trio members are Susan Keith Gray, piano, John Thomson, violin, and James Nixon "Nick" Curry, cello. Recent member, Richard Rognstad, cello, also participated in the summer program.

Founded in 1987, the Trio maintains an active concert schedule in addition to teaching appointments in the Department of Music at the University of South Dakota. The Trio has formed a reputation as a preeminent interpreter of American music.

In 1994, the trio released its first CD on Albany Records titled Three American Piano Trios. Two more CDs have followed: A Premier Recording by the Rawlins Piano Trio: Four American Composers (January 1999) and American Romance (August 2004).

In addition to American music, another performance specialty for the trio is the complete Beethoven piano trio cycle which they performed during the 1996-97 concert season. Trio performances for the 2004-05 season will include venues in Omaha, Minneapolis and Houston and a tour to Taiwan.

For further information, contact the USD music department at 605-677-5274.

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