Helen Frye Hankey

Concert Honors Longtime Church Organist

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Superior Telegram

Concordia Lutheran Plans Free Concert

Music was a lifelong pursuit for Helen Frye Hankey of Superior.

At age 9, she began several years of private piano lessons, and a year later, she began to learn accordion from a member of the WEBC Radio Station orchestra. When she graduated from the former Central High School on Belknap Street, she started teaching at Braman Music in Superior. She performed popular music of the time with various bands in venues around Superior.

After she married Ken Hankey, the pair performed in restaurants and clubs in St. Petersburg, Fla., before returning to Superior, where they formed a small dance band sometimes billed as “Ken Hankey and his Dixienotes.”

However, the performances Helen Frye Hankey is best known for were played at the pipe organ of Concordia Lutheran Church. A concert series performed at the church was named in her honor as a way for the congregation to show its appreciation for the woman who filled the church with song for six decades.

“When Helen could no longer play here, she didn’t want any kind of party for retirement or anything,” Concordia Pastor Michelle Rowell said. “So the worship and music committees went, ‘What can we do that she’ll accept?’ And that’s where the brainstorm of this concert series came from.”

The free concert planned for…

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