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  • World Accordion Day and Willard A. Palmer Festival

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    Name: World Accordion Day and Willard A. Palmer Festival
    Date: May 6, 2021
    Time: 10:00 AM - 7:00 PM CDT
    Event Description:

    Harrington ARTS Center (HARTS) and A World of Accordions Museum (AWAM) will be hosting a live-music accordion festival at 1401 Belknap St., Superior, WI. Music and lectures will be ongoing from 10:00 AM to 7:00 PM. AWAM’s large concert hall allows for 6’ seating distances, masks will be required. Many of the concerts will also be live-streamed.  Please register at the link below to purchase an in-person ticket or to have the live stream links emailed to you.  

    On May 6, AWAM events align with international celebrations of World Accordion Day in recognition of Cyril Demian’s patent that generated the instrument family. AWAM introduces Stas Venglevski, our recently appointed Artistic Director, who premiers his “Full Moon Suite” composed for Joan Cochran Sommers, UMKC Professor Emerita. Joan will then perform in duet with Stas, and in trio with accordionists Betty Jo Simon and Jane Christison.  Judy Campbell Contino will pay tribute to her legendary husband Dick Contino, whose estate displays are expected to open at AWAM by 2022.  Accordion star, Dr. Michael Middleton, will perform a concert of Contino favorites.  Because the pandemic prevents international travel, guest Japanese artists, Mihoko Goto and Chiharu Ebihara, will provide a recorded presentation.  Dr. Brett Jones (Chairman of the University of Wisconsin Music Department), Stas Venglevski and Alex Sandor (UWS Piano Instructor) will perform William Susman’s original work “Three for Keyboard” on bayan, marimba, and piano. 

    On May 7, HARTS will host the Ninth Annual Dr. Willard A. Palmer Festival featuring Willard A. Palmer III.  Bill will discuss the era in which instruments evolved as “Mid-19th Century Family Music Developments,” and he’ll explain the Dick Contino connection that inspired Palmer-Hughes Accordion Method books. Concerts by Dance Attic: Susi and Jimi, Dee Langley (MN), and Paul Vargason (WI) continue the afternoon.  A roundtable discussion on composing and arranging music for accordion is centered around Megumi Hada who wrote her first two music books in a matter of hours. She hopes to motivate others to enjoy similar success. The day closes with performances by the World Accordion Music Band conducted by Tracey Gibbens.

    On May 8, Festival programs end with a special hour of folk music in the format of a polka service.  The Norsk Høstfest Polka Service Band (Minot, ND) is sponsored by Board Member Yvonne Marts. This informal and fun experience is free and open to the public.

    Supper banquets will be hosted at the Elks Hall within a block of the concert hall on Thursday and Friday evenings.  Coffee, refreshments, and lunch are included with the in-person ticket price.

    Registration for in-person tickets, live stream, and supper banquets are all available. Click here to register. 

    May 6 - May 8, 2021
    Date/Time Information:
    A World of Accordions Museum
    1401 Belknap Street
    Superior, WI 54880
    Contact Information:
    There are fees for the dinner events. Click here to learn more. 
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