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Väinö Viljanen, violinist

Väinö Viljanen, violinist

Upcoming Piano Competition Honors Late St. Thomas School Music Teacher

Compiled by Lee Burnett

The third annual Hanna Powell Memorial Piano Competition is set for Sunday afternoon, March 3, at the Sanford Performing Arts Center.

The competition is open to pianists aged 15-30 who live or study in Maine, New Hampshire, or Vermont. Finalists will compete for the following cash prizes: first place is $2,000; second place is $1,500; and third place is $1,000. The $1,000 High School Honor Prize will also be awarded to the top high school student and may be awarded in addition to a first, second or third-place winner.

Application deadline is 11:59 pm Sunday, February 4. Finalists will be notified of their acceptance by Wednesday, Feb. 7. See link below.

Following a qualifying audition round, finalists will be invited to perform up to 15 minutes of music at the last round of competition. The public is invited to enjoy this free concert. A panel of three independent concert pianists will serve as judges for this competition. Prior finalists are welcome to compete again, with the exception of prior grand prize, first-place winners.

During judge deliberations on March 3, Hanna Powell’s 15-year-old nephew, Väinö Viljanen from Finland will entertain the crowd. Viljanen has studied violin since the age of seven and has already participated in high-level competitions in Finland and Canada.

Hanna Powell was a talented pianist, organist, and music teacher born in Finland to a musical family. Her father, being a pianist and organist, held a university position as a music educator. One of her brothers is a violinist and plays in the Turku Symphony orchestra.

Hanna taught at St. Thomas School in Sanford as a part time music teacher from 2012 to 2016. She loved teaching children of all ages. She also taught private piano lessons to many students and helped at Redeemer Lutheran Church with service playing and the children’s music ministry. She died in 2017 after an 11-year battle with breast cancer.

Hanna’s husband, Andy and her sons, Patrick (SHS Class of 2021) and Jonathan, (SHS Class of 2023) are honored to continue Hanna’s legacy through supporting young musicians and their love of music.

To apply, pianists must submit an unedited video recording of themselves performing up to 15 minutes of music, featuring at least two works in contrasting styles. Up to 12 finalists will be selected from the video round. Click here to apply.

Finalists are asked to upload their audition video to a video sharing service, such as YouTube or Vimeo, and include a link to the video in their application.


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