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Tickling the Ivories

Published 5:31pm Saturday, November 10, 2012

Paramount hosting piano competition

The Hormel Historic Home is presenting the first ever Harris Piano Competition this Saturday, Nov. 17.

It will take place from 8 a.m. to noon at three Austin venus: the Hormel Historic Home, St. Olaf Church and the Historic Paramount Theatre.

The competition is broken down into four categories: Beginners age 4-8, intermediate age 9-11, junior age 12-14, and senior age 15-18. Contestants are non-professional, young pianists living or studying in the Minnesota counties of Dodge, Freeborn, Mower, Steele and Waseca and the Iowa counties of Cerro Gordo, Floyd, Mitchell and Worth.

A different age group will compete at each venue, and will be judged by two judges. Two finalists will be selected from each age category, and will perform at a concert at the Paramount Theatre at 4 p.m.

The concert will be emceed by Dick McIntosh, with the award ceremony to follow. During the concert, the contestants will be judged one final time to select an overall winner, who will receive an additional $500 cash prize. Two honorable mention awards will be presented in each division to the top two pianists. One runner-up in each division will receive $100 cash prize and one champion in each division will receive a $250 cash prize.

As part of the day, musician Mory Ortman, will conduct a Music Career Q & A with pianists and families at the Paramount starting at at 3:15 p.m.

Mory works as a professional musician in New York City. His work includes accompanying auditions and lessons, coaching, and music directing. He is active in recital and cabaret work in and around the city.

Dr. Ortman’s master degree is from the Eastman School of Music and his doctorate in piano accompanying and chamber music is from Arizona State University in Tempe.

Both the concert and Q & A are free and open to the public.

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