On Saturday, April 10, at 7 p.m., Cotter High School student Hannah Graff will release her senior recital, “Hope for Tomorrow.” The recital will be virtual and will be a fundraiser for Home and Community Options (HC). Hannah will present a wide range of material, featuring french horn, electric bass, vocal music, piano, jazz, as well as tap dance. Music includes some well known classics, such as “It Don’t Mean a Thing (If It Ain’t Got that Swing)” and “Hakuna Matata,” as well as lesser-known music from Broadway and beyond. Hannah will be joined (safely) on stage by a small number of family and friends.
The recital will conclude with the song “Tomorrow,” which Hannah chose in gratitude to HCO. “Annie” was to be the annual HCO musical in June of 2020, but was postponed due to the pandemic. As the pandemic continues, HCO will not be able to stage a musical again this year.
HCO is an organization that supports individuals with developmental disabilities, allowing them to become full and contributing members of their communities. Their annual musical has become a popular fixture of summer in Winona.
Hannah began her stage career at age four with HCO in their production of “The Wizard of Oz.” She has been a cast member in every production since then and has found her connection to HCO to be invaluable. She says, “The people I met at HCO have forever altered who I am, not because of their disabilities but because of who they are. I have learned to see people as people, regardless of abilities.” From being in the musical each year, Hannah has learned kindness, support, persistence, bravery, community, and love.
Hannah is a senior at Cotter High School and is the daughter of Laurie Ziliak and Todd Graff. She has been very active in the local fine arts community including band, dance, choirs, stage productions, orchestras, and even pits for musical productions.
To watch, search YouTube for “Hannah Graff’s Senior recital” at 7 p.m. on Saturday, April 10, join the Facebook event of the same name, or go to HCO.org. The recital will be available for one week following the April 10 release.