While some musical groups stay together forever, one trio at USD is always evolving.
The Rawlins Piano Trio, named in honor of 1940 USD graduate Marjorie and Robert Rawlins, has been on the USD campus since 1987. The trio is made up of three USD music professors and has changed members over the years.
The Rawlins Piano Trio is made up of assistant cello professor Sonja Kraus, assistant violin, viola professor Ioana Galu and piano professor Susan Gray. Kraus said the group, who’ve been playing together for a year, clicked right away.
“Instantly, there weren’t a lot of discrepancies playing-wise that we needed to adjust and talk about. We have similar ways of playing and communicating,” Kraus said.
Gray has played with the trio since she started teaching at USD in 1995. She said bonding with the new members of the trio has been a high point.
“It can be fun and exciting to suddenly play with different people,” Gray said. “I love playing with this group. When you get along well personally and musically, it’s like having best friends.”
While Kraus joined the trio last year, Galu has played with Gray since 2016.
“Before I applied for the position, I heard a CD with Susan and her duo partner and my first question was, ‘who’s the pianist?’” Galu said. “I’ve played with
The Rawlins Piano Trio has mainly played classical repertoire in the past but is looking to expand their selections for upcoming concerts. Gray said they want to pull music from a variety of different classical and contemporary composers.
“We’re trying to find different directions,” Gray said. “There’s so much music written for this group of instruments together. The piano trio is something that has existed since Mozart, Haydyn and Beethoven.”
The Rawlins Piano Trio’s next concert will be this Saturday, Oct. 12 at BCLUW High School in Conrad, Iowa. The trio also has a European tour coming up in May 2021 and will record a CD next December.
“It’s fantastic to have this group,” Galu said. “It’s so balanced, it’s wonderful.”