Victoria Piano Trio
The Victoria Piano Trio will perform Sunday, April 28, to benefit the York chapter of P.E.O. International, a nonprofit dedicated to helping women succeed through scholarships, grants and loans. (victoriapianotrio.org)

For Dallastown grad and professional musician Melissa Hullman, performing in a concert for P.E.O. International on Sunday in York is more than just the chance to share music she loves and support a good cause. The violinist with the Victoria Piano Trio has a personal connection.

"P.E.O., the organization we're working with, offers grants and scholarships to women all over the world, but this concert is actually special because I was a recipient of a P.E.O. continuing education grant years ago," she says. "It's really nice to be able to pay it forward."

A beginning: Hullman has been in love with the violin since she was 8.

"My inspiration to play violin came from my grandfather," she says. "I discovered his old violin in his basement."

The adult-sized violin was too big for the third-grader to handle, but after starting out on a smaller version in her elementary school string program, she eventually got her wish.

"We fixed it up and I played on it for a number of years," she says.

A quick run through the York Junior and York Youth symphony orchestras ended when Hullman auditioned for the York Symphony Orchestra in high school and landed a spot.

"That was the best experience for me, because it allowed me to play with other seasoned performers," she says of being a teen surrounded by adult musicians. "I was with all of these people who have been great inspirations and supporters of me from the time I was really young."

Talent, hard work and dedication have carried Hullman to performances around the country and in South America. She teaches music students at the Peabody Conservatory in Baltimore and performs in the Victoria Piano Trio with her husband, cellist Doug Jameson, and their friend David Foley, a pianist.

The music: On Sunday, the trio will perform Beethoven's "Ghost" Trio and Dvorak's "Dumky" Trio.

The pieces are "what I consider to be two of the most evocative and challenging trios in the repertoire," Hullman says. "They're fun to perform together because they're complementary opposites. Beethoven is all about blend and moving together as an ensemble, but Dvorak is all about solos."

The group will share little-known facts about the pieces and a peek into the history of the music as well. But the focus of the day is on the good work beautiful music can accomplish.

The benefit can be "a vehicle for change beyond the walls of the concert hall," Hullman says.

See the concert

The Victoria Piano Trio will perform at 4 p.m. Sunday at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation, 925 S. George St., York.

The program includes pieces by Beethoven and Dvorak. A reception with food will follow the concert and include an unofficial meet-and-greet with the performers.

Proceeds will benefit the York chapter of P.E.O. International, a philanthropic organization that helps women access educational opportunities through loans, scholarships and grants.

Tickets will be available at the door and cost $20 for adults and $10 for students.

For more information, call (717) 741-0252 or www.victoriapianotrio.org.

- Reach Mel Barber at mbarber@yorkdispatch.com.