The Elon University Phoenix Piano Trio will come together after a three-year hiatus to perform once again. Cellist Meaghan Skogen, adjunct assistant professor of music, pianist Victoria Fischer Faw, professor of music and Andy Bonner, adjunct assistant professor of music and newest violinist member, will take to the stage to perform a diverse program. 

The concert will take place at 7:30 p.m. March 9 in Whitley Auditorium.

The group will perform three trios of songs dating from 1788 to 1933. The trios are by Austrian composer Joseph Haydn, German composer Ludwig van Beethoven and Spanish composer Joaquin Turina.

“You have your classical type, you have your monumental Beethoven and your Romantic 20th century trio,” Fischer said. “It’s going to be a colorful performance.”

Fischer has been playing piano since the age of four and said she was “born a musician.” She started teaching piano in high school when her piano teacher asked her to take on some her of overload work. At Elon University, Fischer teaches several piano classes, including applied piano and piano pedagogy.

“I’ve never had a job that wasn’t music,” Fischer said. 

In 2009, Fischer and Skogen started the trio. Their original violinist left Elon, but Bonner stepped into the role this year so the trio could play again.

“We want to make music, but we also want to perform so our students can see us in action,” Fischer said. “It’s an important part of our teaching.”

The newest member, Bonner, has been playing violin since the age of seven and loves playing and teaching music to other people. So when Bonner found out that there was a chamber group upon arriving at Elon, he was excited to join. 

“I think when anyone is obsessed enough with something, they want to share it,” he said. “When you love a TV show, you live for an opportunity to tell somebody about it. Well music has been the biggest part of my life for most of my life, and it’s a natural outgrowth from making music to helping others make it. Victoria and Meaghan are delightful people to make music with.”

Collaboration is an important part of performing as a trio. Leading up to the performance, the three met twice a week during the spring to exchange, accept and reject each other’s ideas to make the program the best it could be. 

“When you bring it together, it’s a real conversation, which makes it so much fun,” Fischer said. “It’s a blast to play on stage.”

Though the three spent a lot of time preparing, improvisation is a key part in performing. 

“We don’t know what’s going to happen onstage, and that’s where the magic lies,” Fischer said. “That’s the beauty of live performance.”

The three are excited to revive the trio and to play in Whitley. According to Fischer, the space is ideal for chamber music and contains an exceptional concert piano.

The trio will also perform at the Soundbite Gallery in Greensboro March 16. The performance will be part of an initiative to bring better pianos to Elon and spread the word about the university’s music department.


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