Smith Hokanson Memorial Hall is filled with activities all year. Summers are especially busy as well. Programs include:
Drama rehearsals and performances
Summer camps and dance classes
Adult swing dance lessons
Friday night movies
The auditorium is a fantastic facility with over three hundred and fifty seats, a mezzanine for set and costume storage, a state of the art lighting and sound booth and a grand proscenium stage that makes large productions possible for a small school like Vinalhaven with a K-12 population of approximately two hundred and ten! The playing space on stage is supported by our very own cyclorama that not only allows for great lighting effects but also makes it possible to project LCD movies and other new media as sets for productions.
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Who Are Smith and Hokanson?
Kilton Vinal Smith 1909-1987 Born in Vinalhaven, Kilton followed in his mother’s footsteps-Albra Vinal Smith was a graduate of the New England Conservatory of Music and taught music in the Vinalhaven schools. She also led local orchestras and dance bands. Kilton graduated from Vinalhaven High School in 1927, attended the conservatory and in 1933 joined the Boston Symphony Orchestra (BSO) as a trombonist, then becoming the BSO’s tuba player.
Leonard Hokanson was born on Vinalhaven in 1931. After he moved to Worcester at the age of 11, he returned as often as possible to Vinalhaven, where his grandparents and other relatives still lived. When Leonard was just a toddler, his musical talent was evident. His mother turned to her Vinalhaven schoolmate, Kilton Smith, for advice. Upon his recommendation, she purchased an accordion and taught Leonard how to play. By the time Leonard was 5 years old, he was playing for Swedish dances on the island. Kilton became a mentor for the young Leonard Hokanson and a lifetime friend (as well as best man at Leonard’s wedding). Leonard Hokanson was internationally recognized as a recitalist, soloist, and chamber musician. He was a professor of piano at the School of Music at Indiana University in Bloomington and a permanent guest professor at the Tokyo College of Music. He was a founding member of the Odeon Trio and resident pianist for Bay Chamber Concerts in Rockport, Maine. Throughout his life and career as a concert pianist, Leonard returned to Vinalhaven when time allowed and always felt that his roots were on the island. He was generous with his performances, both for Fox Islands Concerts (of which he was Artistic Director) and for various benefit concerts for island needs.