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News > Staff > The Three Ann(e)s

The Three Ann(e)s

A celebration of the life and works of Anne Brontë in words and music by Anne Powell (former English Teacher, 1990-2006) and former piano teacher Ann Airton
9 May 2024
Written by Anne Powell
Anne Powell and Ann Airton
Anne Powell and Ann Airton

Everyone’s heard of the Brontë sisters - they lived at Haworth, died young, had a drunken brother and wrote novels. Clever Charlotte wrote Jane Eyre and eccentric Emily wrote Wuthering Heights.

And then there was the other one.  Er, what’s her name?  Anne.

Quiet Anne was overshadowed by her older sisters in her lifetime and has been overlooked by many readers since her death. But now, pianist Ann Airton and Brontë-buff Anne Powell set the record straight.  Many will remember former English teacher, Anne Powell, OH Staff 1990-2006 from her time at Hymers College but music students may also remember Ann Airton, OH Staff 1994-2002 from her time teaching piano lessons at the school; a talent that her daughter, Fiona Tannock (née Newbould), OH 1989-96 inherited.

"The Three Ann(e)s" celebrates Anne Brontë’s life in her own words, and in piano music which the writer knew. In the space of an hour, the youngest Brontë emerges from comparative obscurity to be seen as a courageous woman, and as daring a writer as either of her better-known siblings.

The inspiration for "The Three Ann(e)s" came during covid lock-down. Ann and I were chatting on the phone about how certain poems/books seem to fit perfectly with certain pieces of music. I was writing a biographical novel about Anne Brontë at the time. We both admire her writing,  and we thought that if I  put together some extracts from her novels and poems, Ann knew pieces of piano music which perfectly accompanied her writing and her life story. We met as soon as lockdown restrictions were lifted and put a one hour tribute together very quickly.

Since  2022 we’ve performed for the U3A in Hessle, at St. Mary’s Cottingham, at the Chapter House at Lincoln Cathedral, at the Ropery Theatre in Barton-on-Humber and at Sewerby Methodist Church in Bridlington where the event was held in support of St. Catherine’s Hospice in Scarborough.

Anne Powell, former English teacher, 1990-2006

Yorkshire woman Anne Powell taught English and drama before retirement, directing plays and musicals, many of which were staged at The Stephen Joseph Theatre in the Round, Scarborough. A life-long lover of the Brontës, she was a Trustee of the Brontë Society and winner of the 2020 King Lear Short Story Prize. Writing under the name of Anna Bransgrove, her novella, ‘Simple Dame Fairfax’ was published in 2015.

Ann Airton won a scholarship to the Royal Academy of Music, gaining the LRAM (performer’s diploma) at the age of 17. A German Government Scholarship enabled her to study with Heinz Schröter at the Staatliche Hochschule für Musik, Cologne. She then took a teaching diploma in the University of London. Specialising in the art of accompaniment, she has performed widely in the UK and in Denmark, Canada, Cyprus and New Zealand.

Their next performance is at 2:30pm, Saturday, 22 June 2024 at St Mary's Lowgate in Hull. 

Tickets for the event must be booked by 19 June and can by made online via Eventbrite or using the booking form below.  All enquiries to be made to

The Three Anne(s) Booking Form.pdf

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