The internationally acclaimed Rawlins Piano Trio featuring violinist John Thomson, D.M.A., an associate professor of music; cellist Marie-Elaine Gagnon, D.M.A., assistant professor of music; and pianist Susan Keith Gray, D.M.A., professor of music; is scheduled to perform during a concert on Thanksgiving, Thursday, Nov. 27, while providing master classes for the Fundación Sinfonía Concertante de Panamá Outreach Program. The invitation to perform in Panama came about when a colleague of Gagnon’s college days in Florida extended an offer to the trio. The concerts and master classes during this event will benefit Panamanian musicians and school children who are rarely afforded such an opportunity.

The Trio performs regularly throughout the United States and abroad, including a recent concert on the USD campus as well as a performance at the First Congregational Church in Sioux Falls, S.D. The Rawlins Piano Trio’s concert in Panama will include the melancholy melodies of Tchaikovsky, the jazzy tempo of Leonard Bernstein early as well as "Volvic Maritim," the first commissioned piece composed specifically for the Rawlins Piano Trio. Composed by Daniel Bernard Roumain of New York City, "Volvic Maritim" combines Roumain's love of traditional classical and chamber music with the flair for reggae and modern rock. Gagnon said the American style is deliberate as part of the opportunity to promote music education and appreciation.

"We're very excited about performing this type of music to an audience who will likely be hearing it for the first time," said Gagnon, who noted that the outreach is also a recruiting opportunity for the Trio. "It's enjoyable for us and rewarding at the same time."

Named in honor of Marjorie and her husband, the late Robert Rawlins, significant supporters of USD and principal benefactors for the Trio’s inception, the Rawlins Piano Trio was formed in 1987 and has developed a reputation as a preeminent interpreter of American music. More information about the Rawlins Piano Trio is available at

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