Professional music group PROJECT Trio set to perform with District 99 Orchestra


Lauren Wilmore

Poster hanging up the band hallway debuting the upcoming performance with “PROJECT trio”

The professional music group from Brooklyn, PROJECT Trio, will perform with District 99 and District 58 orchestra groups on Wednesday, Oct. 16 at 7 p.m. in the Downers Grove North auditorium.

PROJECT Trio is a chamber-music ensemble made up of three composers from New York. They have one of the most watched videos on YouTube and are coming to Downers Grove to play with our very own District 99 orchestra. 

Jennifer Mullen, Director of District 99 Orchestra, is the one who contacted the PROJECT Trio and got them to play with the orchestra. Mullen explains how she found them. 

“My brother, who is a cellist, came across a video of theirs on YouTube and shared it with me. It was a video of the trio playing in a New York subway, and it was one of the first videos to go viral when YouTube was just starting out, receiving millions of views.  I really enjoyed their music, and I contacted them probably around 2008 to see if they might be able to work a Downers Grove stop into their demanding tour schedule,” Mullen said.  

A famous group like PROJECT Trio playing with District 99 is a great opportunity for the students. Junior Sierra Donaldson, who plays the viola in the orchestra, is excited to play alongside the famous trio.

“I’m really looking forward to playing with a professional trio because it will be a unique learning experience for everyone involved. I’m looking forward to learning more about improv and other techniques that will be taught to us by the trio, and I’m also really excited for people in the community to come and see us play with such talented musicians,” Donaldson said. 

Mullen agrees that playing with PROJECT Trio is going to be a great experience for the student musicians to learn from. 

“I am really excited that the students will get to meet these great musicians and play alongside them. This is an opportunity to rub shoulders with professionals, and I hope that they are inspired by their playing and musicianship.  I’m also really excited to share this experience with the community, and introduce people to the PROJECT Trio,” Mullen said.

While playing with PROJECT Trio is a big opportunity for the District 99 orchestra, it’s not the first time they have played with District 99, and it won’t be the last according to Mullen. 

“Over the years, I’ve kept in touch with the trio, and I try to bring them back to perform in District 99 every four to five years.  This will be their third performance with the District 99 Orchestra,” Mullen said.

The orchestra concert will perform a variety of different pieces, with and without the PROJECT Trio. Mullen gives us a preview of the music pieces that will be played. 

“So, it will alternate between trio only pieces and trio and orchestra pieces.  The song choices are going to be very diverse. They are influenced by nearly every style of music from around the world,” Mullen said. 

Senior Therese Malinowski, a cellist in the orchestra, is excited to be in a performance that will stand out from the rest. 

Playing with Project Trio is like a step back to admire our progress, as we can focus on making good music with other passionate musicians. We’re just going to have fun with some wild pieces!” Malinowski said. 

Tickets for the Oct. 16 concert are available online today for $15.