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The Arts

One Musician, Many Instruments

By January 31, 2011November 16th, 2018No Comments

Lauren Pelon presents varieties of American music at Kirkwood, Feb. 15

Internationally acclaimed musician Lauren Pelon will appear in a unique concert at Kirkwood Community College on Tuesday, February 15. Music from the Backyard & Front Porch is the theme for Ms. Pelon’s performance on nearly 20 ancient and modern wind, string and free-reed instruments, plus vocals.

The free program will take place in Ballantyne Auditorium at 11 a.m. The concert of American music features traditional tunes of North America’s indigenous peoples, as well as the songs and instruments of America’s many immigrants and Pelon’s own compositions.

I believe in the importance of local music and local stories,” says Pelon, “and I like to celebrate its great variety and range. This program gives me a chance to do that.”

The Minnesota-based Pelon plays an astonishing array of instruments, including the Dakota courting flute, concertina, pennywhistle, ocarina, eagle bone flute, guitar, recorder and psalmodikon, all prominent in the history of Midwest culture. She also plays guitar-lute and bowed psaltery, lyre, hurdy-gurdy and electric wind instrument and others, weaving the sounds into stories of our nation’s past and present.

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. She was the recipient of the 2001 “Artist of the Year” award from the Southeast Minnesota Arts Council, and 2010 Artist Initiative Award from the Minnesota State Arts Board.

A Michigan reviewer recently 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, Colorado, 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.”

The Feb. 15 program is free and open to the public. For further information call 319-398-4956.