International musician Lauren Pelon will be taking Denison Library on a tour of music Saturday afternoon. Pelon who performs music on archlute, guitar, lute-guitar, lyre, recorders, gemshorns, cornamuse, krummhorn, schreierpfeife, shawm, rackett, pennywhistles, concertina, ocarina, hurdy-gurdy, bowed psaltery, Kiowa courting flute, eagle bone flute, electric wind instrument and MIDI-pedalboard while also singing will perform at 1 p.m. in the Eisenhower Room of the Denison Public Library, 300 West Gandy St., Denison.
Pelon’s presentation, “The Living Roots of Music” includes original songs and ancient ballads.
“Regardless of what we do for a living, all of us are listeners who can learn from the past,” Denison Library Director Kimberly Bowen said. “We are surrounded by music on a regular basis. It’s an integral part of our culture that has ebbed and flowed in various directions over time. Learning about its history and the ways in which it has changed over time, will make our appreciation for it much greater.”
Pelon has performed in Canada, England, Ireland, Scotland, Russia, Kazakhstan, China, Australia, New Zealand and all around the United States.
“Children and adults encounter diversity on a regular basis in their interactions with others at home, in school, or around their neighborhood,” Bowen said. “As our nation continues to diversify, it is essential that we learn to understand the important role of our culture and the cultures of other people in creating an overall global culture respectful of differences. Through our materials collections and programs, the library introduces children and adults to many stories, starting at a very young age.”
Bowen said when choosing program at the library, it has been very important to her that the library promotes cultural understanding through library programs that embody the diversity of this community and the larger world.
“Featuring free concerts at our library furthers our efforts to eliminate barriers to access, by bringing concerts directly to our children and adults who might not otherwise have the opportunity to experience these performances,” she said. “Hosting concerts at our library also helps to expand the definition of the library — more than just a place to research and read, it can also be a gathering place and an event hub.”
Last year, the library hosted a Celtic music concert in June where Jerry Barlow played the finger guitar. By trade, Pelon is a soprano and a music composer and arranger. She also performs with symphony orchestras, The Philadelphia String Quartet, on “A Prairie Home Companion,” and at the Russian Institute for the History of the Arts in St. Petersburg, Russia. Pelon has received national awards from the Southeastern Minnesota Arts Council as well as the Minnesota State Arts Board.
“Libraries are a smart investment, transforming lives and communities and passionately advocating for lifelong learning,” Bowen said. “Public libraries in the United States play an essential role in providing safe, accessible, and 100 percent free educational resource centers for every member in communities across the country. At a library, it doesn’t matter how much money you make, because every resource there is free of charge, including books, internet access, and educational and professional training programs. Individuals and families, no matter their socioeconomic status, can count on their library to provide them with the resources they need to succeed and the answers to important questions they can’t otherwise find.”
Next weekend, the Denison library will be hosting another musical performance.
“We are working with the Society for Creative Anachronism, an international organization dedicated to researching and re-creating the arts and skills of pre-17th-century Europe,” Bowen said. “They will be presenting medieval choir/band events. These events promote education and research in fields such as dance, music, spoken word/singing, and costuming of the era.”
And, in June the library will be hosting the Hampstead Stage Company. In December Hampstead performed “A Christmas Carol” in Denison.
“In July they will return to present ‘American Folktales and Songs,’” Bowen said. “At the height of the Great Depression two traveling workers find themselves sharing the same camp one frigid night. Alone and without work, they find warmth in the mutual discovery of traditional American folk songs and tall tales. Through music and storytelling, these new friends bring classic folk tales from all over America to life!”
This event is suitable for children ages 5 and older.
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