The Willard "Bill" Palmer Legacy
2013 Celebration !
The Willard Palmer (DH, DMA, Ph.D.) Legacy Display
opened at A World of Accordions Museum
with Concerts & Speakers !
Thank You to all participants !
The Willard "Bill" Palmer Legacy Celebration !
Dr. Willard "Bill" Palmer Legacy Celebration Report
Jan. 31-Feb. 3, 2013
Among the names of great influences in American culture of the mid-20th century that of Willard Palmer stands as leader among accordionists. In a landmark event of unprecedented success, Willard Palmer’s achievements were celebrated at Harrington ARTS Center and A World of Accordions Museum during three-and-a-half days of musical and scholarly events.
The opening was heralded by a ribbon-cutting event attended by invited political dignitaries and community leaders. Representing Mayor Hagen (Superior, WI) was Commissioner Mick MacKenzie, who read the mayoral proclamation from a plaque designating January 31, 2013 as Willard Palmer Day. Representing the Superior Chamber of Commerce, two dozen Ambassadors presented another plaque in honor of the events. Speeches summarized the importance of Palmer as scholar, educator, arranger, editor and performer, followed by two musical examples from Palmer publications, and concluded by a social hour of food and drinks.
During the next three days, hundreds of attendees honored the lifeworks of Bill Palmer (DH, DMA, Ph.D.). A continual slate of morning-to-night performances, included lunch and supper foods generously donated by local businesses. Although two headliner artists were last-minute omissions, Willard Palmer III, in attendance from his home in Houston, Texas, and a consummate professional entertainer of multiple talents kept excitement at a high. In one concert, about 30 musicians demonstrated pieces from Palmer’s method books. In another concert, pianist Samuel Black performed from Palmer-edited Alfred Masterwork series. The stage was filled by several famed bands and two orchestral arrangements by Harrington. Direct from Paris, Prof. Dr. Bernard Metais offered two PowerPoint programs, one on the evolution of French Musette, the other exploring psychological and brain interactions between composer and listener. Award-winning author Anthony Bukoski offered readings from his books, one on his first acquaintanceship with the accordion museum, the other on tango stories. The final performance was by Helmi Harrington playing on Palmer’s last Titano, a unique Super Emperor, explaining its extraordinary features, and exploring its miraculous construction through disassembly. The final event was a champagne toast in honor of Palmer. We plan to make Willard Palmer Celebrations an annual event.
Palmer’s multiple gifts affect generations in world culture from the 1940s into the future. Translated into 17 languages for use by music teachers worldwide, Palmer-Hughes piano, organ, guitar, and accordion method books (numbering 790) tutor aspirants at all levels. His 145 Masterwork editions for Alfred Music are considered definitive for Baroque, Classic and Romantic epochs’ performance practice. Inestimable millions owe a debt of gratitude to this genius whose extant works are now perpetually preserved in our institution. We believe it is no exaggeration to say the status of A World of Accordions Museum is raised, as is prestige for the Midwest region, through this donation from Texas family holdings.
Palmer Legacy Celebration Report ( PDF format )
Keyport Liquors—Cathy and Dave Casper
Harrington ARTS Center and A World of Accordions Museum
Super One Foods / Walmart foods / Target
Willard Palmer, III, Donates His Father’s Harpsichord
to A World of Accordions Museum
( click photo to enlarge )
Harrington ARTS Center and A World of Accordions Museum is honored to announce the impending arrival of the harpsichord specially built for Dr. Willard Palmer, whose donated lifeworks were celebrated Jan. 31-Feb. 3, 2013 at the institution. The two-manual, eleven-pedal, ten-foot harpsichord was built in 1976 by A. Cecil Taylor of Houston, TX. It is elaborately decorated with red and gold casework and French baroque soundboard figures.
Mr. Willard Palmer, III, son of Dr. Willard Palmer, notified the institution of his intention to transport the instrument to Superior, WI, in May-June. Festive concerts will be scheduled after installation.
This magnificent instrument will grace the Hanni Strahl Concert Hall, adding a significant resource to artist-performers of our concert events. Its very presence will also showcase the serious musical interests of this institution, the confidence imbued in its continuance, and its importance in musical instrument collections.
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