Trillium Performs at Bryan College

Written by Amanda Davis, Editor-In-Chief

Photo by Dr. Joo Hae Kim. 

DAYTON, TN – When asked to describe classical music, members of Trillium, a traveling classical piano trio, described it as “time travel,” “a connection to ancestors,” and “complex.” Alicia Randisi-Hooker, the trio’s cellist, said that “it expresses the things that we can’t necessarily find the words for.”

Randisi-Hooker, along with pianist Robert Bonham and violinist Sarah Lee-Cho, performed multiple classical music piano trios in Rudd Auditorium on September 27. The trio played pieces composed by Claude Debussy, Gabriel Fauré, and Johannes Brahms. The theme of the night was music composed during different ages. Debussy’s piece was composed when he was 17, Fauré created his song at middle age, and Brahms composed his piano trio at the end of his life.

The origins of Trillium can be traced back to Mother’s Day almost ten years ago. Randsi-Hooker had played with Bonham previously, and Bonham had played with Randsi-Hooker’s husband. Bonham was sitting with his wife, and the two struck up a conversation about creating a string quartet. Trillium was formed then, and Lee-Cho joined the group in 2021.

Trillium was originally asked to perform at Bryan by Dr. Olivia Ellis, a piano professor who left Bryan last semester. Lee-Cho said that Trillium decided to play Debussy’s trio first due to its relatively unknown nature. Trillium already knew Brahms’s trio, and Randsi-Hooker discovered Fauré’s trio and added it to the repertoire.

Trillium said that the theme of young and old is especially relevant for college students. According to Lee-Cho, Brahms created most of his repertoire as a teenager. It’s not about the age, it’s about the process.

“You’re never going to be perfect, so you might as well give that up and just engage with the process and the joy of learning the music and trying to get better and that will take you till you can’t play anymore,” Randsi-Hooker said.

Randsi-Hooker said that the hardest part about the music they performed was the pace of the notes, and sitting and learning the part. According to Randsi-Hooker, playing with others is a balance that requires listening and considering other people’s parts. It’s all about making sure you don’t drown out each other, according to Bonham.

Amanda Davis is a senior communications major and creative writing minor at Bryan College. She is a Kansas City native and loves reading, writing and photography.