Holly Johnson: The show must go on!

Published 6:30 am Saturday, March 13, 2021

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I am pleased to announce that the ninth annual Harris Music Contest was a success despite the COVID-19 pandemic.

Based on the record setting number of registrations (94!!), we believe that the regional music community was excited that we modified the event so we could proceed confidently and safely.

The ninth annual Harris Music Contest was held recently, albeit in a slightly different way. Photo provided

We are grateful that 16 area music teachers encouraged their students to prepare for the contest. Thank you to William Arnold, Will Baily, Cheryl Berglund, Holly Dalager, Joyce Edland, Erin Grush, Lynee Larson, Sonia Larson, Rebecca Merblum, Nikki Phillips, Sue Radloff, Peggy Reich, Christina Schumer, Jodi Shell, Lorene Strobel, and Ms. Wightkin for your support.

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The contest has grown since its beginning in 2012. We’ve had special guest musicians and the event’s benefactor, MarySue Hormel Harris, has been able to join us a few times. We opened the contest to musicians on instruments other than piano in 2017 and we’ve awarded over $20,000 through prize money and trophies.

Being able to host the top performers concert at the beautiful Paramount Theatre has enhanced the contest. The support and partnership of MacPhail Center for Music is also a benefit, and we were excited to be able to utilize their beautiful new facility this year.

But I think best of all our achievements is the positive feedback and gratitude we receive from families, music teachers, contest judges, and the community each year for supporting young musicians.

We know George Hormel appreciated music and I think this description of his father tells of the effect music can have on a person: “Whenever he listened to music, he seemed to be enjoying the height of happiness.”

Music enhances all our lives whether we enjoy it as a spectator or if we are brave enough to walk out on stage.  Please help me in recognizing and congratulating the 2021 Harris Music Contest top performers.

Piano Honorees

Ages 6-8

Honorable Mention: Mandy Ma / Lucille Short

Runner Up: Xinzhu Xiang

Champion: George Yang

Ages 9-11

Honorable Mention: Claire Pepper / Juliette Zimmerli

Runner Up: Leon Ma

Champion: Emma Grush

Ages 12-14

Honorable Mention: Piper Shell / Maria Vu

Runner Up: Eleanor Harthan

Champion: Alayna Kennedy

Ages 15-18

Honorable Mention: Rory Pollock / Katie Shin

Runner Up: David Vu

Champion: Blake Zimmerli

Melodic Instrument Honorees

Ages 6-8

Honorable Mention: Julia Niethammer (Violin) / Anthony Schumer (Guitar)

Runner Up: Ian Krusemark, Violin

Champion: Maxwell Harthan, Violin

Ages 9-11

Honorable Mention: Jude Krusemark (Violin) / Christopher Schumer (Guitar)

Runner Up: Charlotte Collins, Violin

Champion: Greta Huston, Violin

Ages 12-14

Honorable Mention: Namo Afanou (Flute) / Renae Clark (Cello)

Runner Up: Alayna Kennedy, Cello

Champion: Emma Stanley, Flute

Ages 15-18

Honorable Mention: Mikayla Berg (Marimba) / David Vu (Cello)

Runner Up: John Lukes, Marimba

Champion: Blake Zimmerli, Marimba

This contest and all the musical programming at the Hormel Historic Home is made possible by the generosity of MarySue Hormel Harris.

Stay tuned for details about the upcoming Music @ the Mansion summer schedule, which begins on Monday, June 7.

Upcoming Events

Old Time Radio Shows via Zoom

Saturday, March 13: Murder Through the Looking Glass

Friday, March 26: Broadway’s My Beat: The Howard Crawford Murder Case

$10 per household; Purchase at www.hormelhistorichome.org

Wedding & Event Showcase

Sunday, March 21, 10 a.m. or 12 p.m.

$5 per person