OREM -- Playing music by Jakob Ludwig Felix Mendelssohn, Johann Sebastian Bach and Johannes Brahms may not hold much interest for most teens.
But for Danny Gledhill, Philip Erickson and Robert Landes, it's an important part of their lives.Going under the name of the Timpanogos Trio, the 15--year--olds have performed classical and chamber music by the masters at dedications, church meetings, before concerts at Abravanel Hall in Salt Lake City and at wedding receptions.
Lots of wedding receptions, they like to point out.
Gledhill on piano, Landes on violin and Erickson on cello are all soloists, former coach Irene Peery--Fox said.
Usually they practice once a week, but they're now without a coach. The threesome was working with Diane Baker Selheim of the Brigham Young University music department faculty until she was seriously injured in a traffic accident last month, said Constance K. Lundberg, Erickson's mother and associate dean of the Brigham Young University Law School.
Other coaches have included the late Roger Drinkall, a BYU music teacher, and Lois Stout, leader of the Timpangos Chamber Orchestra.
Lately, they have been practicing on their own.
"It depends on the season," Landes said of the trio's practice schedule. They manipulate practices around school events, including basketball season. At 6 foot 4, Erickson towers above the others, and he plays on the Meridian School basketball team. Meridian is a private school in southeast Provo, where strings teacher Judy Davis put the budding then-10--year--old musicians together to perform for a Medieval feast, said Lundberg.
"It took," she said.
"They are incredibly gifted," said Peery--Fox. "They have the opportunity to excel individually or as a chamber group."
Gledhill and Landes recently competed against each other in a Utah Symphony Guild competition, Lundberg said.
But before they could play together, they had to learn to play separately.
Gledhill started piano lessons at age 5. Now a Provo High School freshman, he said he plans on returning to Meridian next year.
Erickson also started on the piano at age 5, then moved to the cello at age 10, just before the trio got together.
But Landes was just 3 when his mother, Meridian art teacher Joan Landes, saw to it that he learned the violin.
"She forced me," he said. "I hated it until I was 10."
By then, he was advanced enough to play more than simple pieces. Now he practices three to five hours a day, especially when he's facing a competition.
Both Gledhill and Landes are eyeing music careers, but Erickson is torn between music, nuclear physics, computer science and basketball.
"Music helps my math," he said.
While the musicians perform in various settings, they like concerts best. Their repertoire includes masters Franz Peter Schubert, George Frederick Handel, Ludwig van Beethoven and Franz Josef Haydn.
The three take their music seriously, Lundberg said, but as soon as music lessons are over, they are still fun--loving kids.
"I would have worried," she said, "if they weren't."