Historical Society to host internationally acclaimed musician

Internationally acclaimed musician Lauren Pelon will appear in a unique concert at the Isanti County Historical Society Heritage Center at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, March 20 with a free-will admission in celebration of Women’s History Month.

“Women in Isanti County have always risen to the occasion and lived life to the fullest,” said Kathleen McCully, Executive Director, Isanti County Historical Society. “From the first immigrant, to first physician Nellie Shulean, our first two school superintendents Jenny Coleman and Ruby Johnson, the only two women county commissioners Martha Bruns and Susan Morris, to Lt. Governor Marlene Johnson, and many more too numerous to mention, we are so pleased to bring Lauren Pelon to Cambridge. What a great opportunity for all of us to celebrate women with this unique program.”

Under the title, “Women in Music: Someone Will Remember Us,” Pelon traces the story of women in music and performs music from around the world celebrating music written by, or for, women. Crossing the boundaries of time, distance and culture, Pelon sings and plays approximately 25 ancient and modern instruments — some of which were traditionally played by women, some forbidden to women.

“Women in Music: Someone Will Remember Us” melds Pelon’s original compositions with her arrangements of music from ancient Greece, medieval Europe, and contemporary Africa, America and Estonia. She performs on lute, lyre, hurdy-gurdy, recorders, gemshorn, pennywhistles, ocarina, Kiowa courting flute, eagle bone flute, cornamuse, krummhorn, schreierpfeife, shawm, rackett, concertina, electric wind instrument and MIDI-pedalboard.

Jill Timmons, Director, Lively Arts Series, Portland, Ore., reviewing Pelon’s program, wrote, “From Garrison Keillor’s A Prairie Home Companion to the steppes of Russia and the hills of Kazakhstan, Lauren Pelon has entertained audiences with her story of women and music throughout history. Her virtuosity on so many instruments and her rich voice remind us of the power of music to transcend time and culture.”

Pelon has performed throughout the U.S. and in China, Canada, England, Ireland, Scotland, Russia, Kazakhstan, Australia, and New Zealand. She is noted for her versatile use of a diverse array of instruments, but Pelon has also won recognition for her lovely soprano voice, and for her compelling compositions and arrangements of music from many countries and cultures.

Pelon has performed with symphony orchestras, The Philadelphia String Quartet, on Garrison Keillor’s “A Prairie Home Companion,” and at the Russian Institute for the History of the Arts in St. Petersburg, Russia. Pelon was the recipient of the 2001 “Artist of the Year” award from The Southeastern Minnesota Arts Council. More recently, she received a 2010 Artist Initiative Award and 2014 Arts Tour Minnesota Grant Award from the Minnesota State Arts Board.

A Michigan reviewer wrote, “Lauren Pelon is a showpiece by virtue of her beautiful, fervent voice and her extraordinary talents on an assortment of unusual, but authentic instruments.” William Kearns, American Music Research Center, Boulder, Colo., called Pelon’s programs “captivating and awesome.” A reviewer for The Canberra Times, Australia wrote, “Lauren Pelon has devised a unique evening of entertainment by combining a wide variety of music from many centuries … Her versatility with more than 25 instruments including voice is admirable … an experience made all the more pleasant by Pelon’s relaxed and warm presentation of the rare and unusual.”

Lauren Pelon
Lauren Pelon

This activity is presented by Isanti County Historical Society and made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund.

If you need more information, want to become an Historical Society member, make a donation, or volunteer, visit www.ichs.ws, email [email protected], or call 763-689-4229. Hours are Monday through Wednesday from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The Historical Society located in the northwest corner of the Isanti County Fairgrounds.