Piano contest returns for fourth go
Published 6:01 am Monday, January 11, 2016
The fourth ever Harris Piano Contest will be held in Austin at the Hormel Historic Home on Saturday, Feb. 20.
The contest is open to those ages 6-18 from Mower, Freeborn and Steele Counties along with Iowa counties, Mitchell and Worth. The contest is divided into four age divisions.
“It’s fun and a learning opportunity for kids to get critiqued and get useful evaluation of their playing,” said Hormel Historic Home executive director Holly Johnson.
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The contest actually got its start five years ago, but took a year off in 2014. It saw good numbers in the first couple years, but saw a decline in the third year when the event was moved to April.
“Spring is a very busy time for kids so we moved it to February,” Johnson said.
The contest was named for MarySue Hormel Harris, the great niece of George Hormel, who wanted to support an event that gave kids the opportunity to learn.
“Her goal was to come up with a musical opportunity for all ages,” Johnson said.
Harris has judged before and is looking for a return this year to give a recital of her own.
The event all around is looked at as just a good opportunity for kids.
“For kids the motivation is the cash prize,” Johnson said. “But for parents it’s a chance to learn from accomplished musicians on how to further their skills.
The first part of the competition, split between the Hormel Historic Home and The Paramount Theatre and closed to the public, will be from 8 a.m. to noon. Each division will whittle competitors down to two each, resulting in eight performers in the final competition which is open to the public starting at 4 p.m. at The Paramount Theatre.
An entry fee of $20 is required by Feb. 1 and entry forms can be found at hormelhistorichome.org.
In January, Harris will be performing at the HHH before the annual Hormel Foods Corp. Annual shareholding.