Violinist Heather Engebretson, 15, and cellist Rachel Gawell, 17, perform Brahms' Piano Trio No. 2 in C Major, 1st. mvt., with host Christopher O'Riley.
Violinist Heather Engebretson, 15, and cellist Rachel Gawell, 17, are two talented string players who appeared on From the Top as soloists. The producers decided to bring both of them back on another show for a special segment: They would work with host and concert pianist Christopher O'Riley on a trio that the three of them would perform on the show.
Rachel and Heather each individually learned their parts of Johannes Brahms' Piano Trio No. 2 in C Major. They spoke to each other briefly on the phone, and then met with Christopher O'Riley two days prior to the show taping to rehearse the piece for the very first time. The rehearsal was taped, and the fascinating process of musical collaboration was captured for From the Top's listening audience.
Heather and Rachel had never met before this rehearsal so they had some trepidation about how things would turn out.
"It was kind of awkward at first to sit down to play a piece I'd never played before with people I'd never played with before," explains Rachel. "It was difficult to match sounds at the beginning."
Chris coached Heather and Rachel to help them become comfortable and overcome the challenges of the piece.
"Rhythmically this piece isn't easy, but Chris was such a fantastic coach," says Heather.
"It was an amazing session," adds Rachel. "We did so much in such a small amount of time, and the piece came together so well."