"The Story of Music, Stories from Home"
Internationally acclaimed musician Lauren Pelon and award winning poet and essayist Gary Holthaus team up to offer a unique new program called "Story of Music, Stories from Home." Pelon plays a variety of instruments ranging from lute, lyre, and concertina, to recorders, gemshorn, and electric wind instrument. Holthaus reads from his work and that of others. Both the music and the readings offer unique perceptions of the natural world, and celebrate our sense of place, community, and home.
"The Story of Music, Stories from Home" performance will take place at 7:00 p.m., Thursday, September 23, 2010, at the Winona County History Center. Cost is $10.
Lauren 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 such 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. Lauren 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. 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. As a concert goer remarked, "Her concerns for the sense of community and her understanding of 'home' just shine through the beauty of her music."
J. Edward Chamberlin of the University of Toronto wrote of Lauren's music, "She is such a gifted performer, across such a wide range of musical instruments and vocal styles, and she draws on such an exceptionally rich array of traditions, that it is hard to do full justice to the achievement of her program.she achieves something remarkable, a bringing together of musical and cultural expression from Asian, African, European and Aboriginal traditions." Guan Jianhua, of the China Conservatory of Music, Beijing, said, "It's wonderful music that transcends time and culture and includes entertainment, education, inspiration, and philosophical meaning. I think Lauren's music is very important for the future of music and culture in many countries."
Holthaus has four books of poems, three chapbooks, and three collections of essays, all of them rooted in the earth. His most recent book is titled, Learning Native Wisdom: What Traditional Cultures Teach Us about Subsistence, Sustainability, and Spirituality. It was published by the University Press of Kentucky in 2008. His most recent book of poems is called Circling Back. Holthaus's poems have been published in the U.S., Egypt, and Iraq (in Arabic). His prose has been cited in "Notable Essays" in 1994 and 1998, and he was a 1990 recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts Individual Fellowship for Poetry. He was the first Director of Bilingual Education for the State of Alaska, and recently worked with the Experiment in Rural Cooperation to write From the Farm to the Table, a book on agriculture in Southeast Minnesota. He has worked for Northern Plains Sustainable Agriculture Society, and most recently worked with the Island Institute on issues of sustainability in Sitka, Alaska.
This activity is funded by the Southeastern Minnesota arts and cultural heritage fund as appropriated by the Minnesota State Legislature with money from the vote of the people of Minnesota on November 4, 2008.
"The Story of Music, Stories from Home" performance is a great prelude as we prepare for the traveling exhibit "Jounery Stories", says Jennifer Weaver, WCHS Assistant Director.
Our transportation history is more than trains, boats, buses, cars, wagons, and trucks. The development of transportation technology was largely inspired by the human drive for freedom. Curated by William Withuhn, curator of transportation for the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History, Journey Stories will examine the intersection between modes of travel and Americans' desire to feel free to move. The story is diverse and focused on immigration, migration, innovation, and freedom. It is accounts of immigrants coming in search of promise in a new country; stories of individuals and families relocating in search of fortune, their own homestead, or employment; the harrowing journeys of Africans and Native Americans forced to move; and, of course, fun and frolic on the open road.
The exhibit will open to the public Saturday, October 23 and will be on display at the Winona County History Center through December 4. Journey Stories has been made possible by the Minnesota Humanities Center. Journey Stories is part of Museum on Main Street, a collaboration between the Smithsonian Institution and the Federation of State Humanities Councils. Support for Museum on Main Street has been provided by the United States Congress.
For more information on both "The Story of Music, Stories from Home" and "Journey Stories" log on to www.winonahistory.org or call the Winona County Historical Society at 507-454-2723 ext. 0.