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The Arion Trio

The Aarion Trio (Photo)

These three young ladies organized as a chamber music group while attending Oakland Technical High School in 1918. They first appeared on radio over Oakland’s KLX in 1924, and they soon became a program staple on that station. Their popularity led them across the Bay to NBC’s KGO (1924-1925), and they were heard six days a week on the Pacific Coast networks during the 1930s.

margaret-avery-rowell_c1980The trio originally consisted of violinist Josephine Holub, pianist Joyce Barthelson and cellist Margaret Avery. According to the Encyclopedia of American Radio, 1920-1960, Auro Craverot replaced Margaret Avery (at right in the above photo) when the trio began appearing on the NBC Pacific Network in 1929. In later years, Barthelson became an acclaimed composer and arranger.

Avery, whose married name was Margaret Avery Rowell (1900-1995), later served on the faculties of the University of California, Stanford University, Mills College and San Francisco State University.

In the early 1950s, she helped found the California Cello Club, the first organization of its kind in the nation. Her “whole body” technique for playing the cello, known widely as the Rowell Method, has been used to teach several generations of students around the world. She was also an avid wilderness hiker and nature enthusiast; her son, Galen Rowell (1940-2002), was a legendary wilderness photographer and adventurer whose works were often featured in National Geographic.

On the occasion of her eightieth birthday, a concert featuring eighty cellists was performed in Mrs. Rowell’s honor at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, where she taught for fourteen years. She retired from the Conservatory with an honorary doctorate. In the photo, at right, taken around 1980, she is shown conducting a class in her famed technique.

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