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Hannah Mae Swanson grew up in Darwin and later Deerwood, Minnesota, and takes an inordinate amount of pride in her home state. She is passionate about connecting with people through music, which drew her to collaborative piano. Hannah has performed as a collaborative pianist at the North American Saxophone Alliance Regional Conference, Le Domaine Forget de Charlevoix, the University of Northern Colorado (UNC), the NDSU Baroque Festival, Minnesota and Colorado NATS, the Colorado Music Educators Association conference, and numerous recitals and festivals at UNC, NDSU, the University of Minnesota, and Bemidji State University (BSU).
Hannah also has extensive experience performing solo piano repertoire. In February 2019, she performed a recital including solo works by Ligeti, Scriabin, Copland, and Mendelssohn at NDSU. She has also given solo performances around Minnesota, Colorado, and North Dakota. Classical piano aside, Hannah has performed as a jazz pianist for jazz combos and ensembles at BSU and in Fargo, ND. Notably, she played for Victor Wooten with the Blue Ice Jazz Combo at the Jazz Education Network Conference in Louisville in 2016.
Hannah started taking piano lessons at age four, but she didn’t start seriously studying classical piano until she was in middle school. In high school, she studied with Susan Kavanaugh of Central Lakes College and with Dr. Edward Turley of the College of St. Benedict/St. John’s University. She then studied with Dr. Stephen Carlson at BSU from 2015-2016 before transferring to NDSU. Hannah graduated with a Bachelor of Music in Piano Performance in May 2019 from NDSU after studying with Dr. Tyler Wottrich. She was the recipient of the 2017 Presser Scholarship, as selected by the unanimous vote of the NDSU music faculty. Hannah received a Master of Music degree in Collaborative Piano from UNC in May 2022 after studying with Dr. Edward Rothmel.
Hannah has substantial experience working as a pianist and instructor. She has been teaching piano since 2015 and has taught at three music academies and schools and teaches private piano independently. She has taught piano in both private and group settings. Recently, Hannah directed the piano camp for Bemidji MusiCamp. She also enjoys working with choirs immensely and has been a choral accompanist at two high schools, at the University of Northern Colorado, and at Bemidji MusiCamp.
Hannah greatly enjoys music directing and loves the world of theatre. She has experience music directing students from ages six to adult. Hannah has co-directed three grades K-2 musicals and one grades 3-4 musical at Trollwood Performing Arts School, acting as both music director and accompanist. She recently assistant music directed Colorado State University's production of Spring Awakening.
Hannah is currently based in Saint Paul, MN. She teaches piano privately and serves on the Bemidji MusiCamp board of directors. Hannah splits her time between her adventures in the realm of music and spending quality time with her cat Cosmos.
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