Putting on a show at the HHH

You are invited to take a break from the holiday baking, shopping, and frenzy to enjoy a piano concert on Monday in the Hormel Historic Home Living Room.

We are deviating a bit from the typical History Happy Hour programming and are welcoming guests in to appreciate the beauty and sound of our 1914 Mason & Hamlin grand piano played by Peggy Reich. Ms. Reich will share the history of the music she performs as she journeys through the sounds of the Americas including Argentina, Cuba, Puerto Rico, and Spain. See more details on this event below.

Speaking of pianos, area youth are invited to participate in the 4th annual Harris Piano Contest that will take place on Saturday, Feb. 20, 2016. Young pianists in Mower, Freeborn, Steele, Worth, and Mitchell Counties will have the chance to compete in their age groups for recognition and prize money. MarySue Hormel Harris makes this contest possible and wishes to encourage young musicians to enjoy and grow through their participation in music.  Registration is required by Feb. 1, 2016 and more information can be found on the HHH website at www.hormelhistorichome.org.

We are very proud of our Mason & Hamlin piano and grateful to MarySue Hormel Harris, Anabeth Hormel Cox, and the three grandsons (Geordie, Tom, and Jim) of George and Lillian Hormel for restoring it in the early 2000s. The mystery remains, however, as to how the piano came to be at the Hormel Home. We know the family was very musical as Lillian played in the church and at social events and taught music at Franklin School. George wrote about how music was a daily part of his life growing up. We have a photo dating to about 1923 showing a piano in the Historic Living Room, but it is not the same piano that we have today.

There are accounts of both a piano and an organ being used in the YWCA, but there is no mention of the piano’s maker. Many programs held at the YWCA included a musical element so we know that music has resonated throughout the home for at least a hundred years. Many accomplished pianists from near and far have shared their talent on the ivory keys over the years including James Hormel, and MarySue Hormel Harris.

Our piano is utilized in a variety of current events including pre-school music classes, contests, and concerts. Regardless of where the piano originally came from, we are happy to have it and hope you will find a way to enjoy it in the future.

History Happy Hour

5:30 p.m., Monday

“Travesia Musical” Piano concert by Peggy Reich.

Free for members of the HHH, the Mower County Historical Society, and the Friends of the Library.

$5 for non-members. Light snacks included. Cash bar available. Seating will be limited. Reservations required. Call 507-433-4243.

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