Partners in Island Education (PIE) paid tribute to Vinalhaven’s long-standing performing tradition last month as it dedicated the new school auditorium, Smith Hokanson Memorial Hall.

The auditorium is named for native island musicians Kilton Vinal Smith and Leonard Hokanson, as well as the island’s previous performance space, Memorial Hall (1895-1973.)

Both Smith and Hokanson began their musical careers on Vinalhaven, and both eventually traveled the world performing.

The presentation began with a speech by PIE president Kristine Young, and included musical numbers by student and community choruses. The choruses were accompanied by members of the Vinalhaven Town Band and Annie Boyden on the piano. Boyden, who has directed numerous performances on Vinalhaven, composed the songs with the help of Vinalhaven students. The pieces were rich in themes of island history, community spirit and togetherness.

The dedication also included a slide show depicting Vinalhaven present and past. Of particular interest were photos of Smith, Hokanson and the old Memorial Hall, as well as Vinalhaven’s granite quarrying days.

Partners in Island Education, a nonprofit group, was created to raise money to augment the school’s budget in building its new facility. With assistance from the Island Institute and MBNA, PIE was able to raise $2 million, with which the group built Smith Hokanson Memorial Hall. PIE also contributed to the new school library.