Wilho F. Saari is from Naselle, Washington. Known for his astonishing work in the field of the Performing Arts, Earned his Bachelor Of Arts (B.A.) in Sacred Music and his B.A. in Music Education at Northwest College. Northwest College is a regionally accredited, Christian institution awarding associate, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees, Located in Kirkland, Washington. After graduating, Mr. Saari was a grade school teacher for 34 years including 3 years in Liberia, Africa in a missions school and 23 years at Naselle Youth Camp School. Aside from teaching Mr. Saari enjoys playing kantele. A kantele is the national instrument of Finland, a traditional plucked string instrument of the dulcimer and zither family native to Finland and Karelia. Mr. Saari is a fifth generation player of the kantele. Mr. Saari didn’t begin playing it until he was 50 years old, Saari’s degree in music has helped him to develop outstanding skill in teaching himself to play kantele later in life.
He is not only a recognized performer in demand, but also a well-respected and active teacher, who generously continues to share his kantele knowledge with numerous students around the country. His great-grandmother Kreeta Haapasalo and also father Wilho Sr. were both well known kantele player’s. Mr. Saari has performed in Astoria, Oregon and Naselle, Washington. He participated in the world premiere of a Kantelle Mass composed by Jarkko Yli-Annala where he performed at FinnFest USA ’06, an annual national festival. His numerous awards include the Governor’s Heritage Award for his work popularizing and teaching the kantele; he is one of ten recipients of the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) award of an NEA National Heritage Fellowship, the country’s highest honor in the folk and traditional arts. Mr. Saari is affiliated with the Finnish American Festival and the Finnish American Historical Society. The Finnish American Festival is a festival that brings modern Finland together with historic and contemporary America. FinnFest USA is an ethnic festival like no other in the USA. The Finnish American Historical Society is a gathering of people who are interested in Finland or Finnish-American heritage and culture.
Mr. Saari shows great compassion and pride to his ethnicity. Newsworthy Publishing is proud to present Wilho Saari for his outstanding contributions and achievements in the field of the Performing Arts.