Thursday, October 28, 2010

"The Story of Music, Stories from Home" to Come to the SSC Library

This press release was just sent out to local media outlets.

Award winning poet and essayist Gary Holthaus and internationally acclaimed musician Lauren Pelon team up to offer a unique new program called “The Story of Music, Stories from Home.” Pelon plays a variety of ancient and modern instruments ranging from lute, lyre, and concertina, to recorders, gemshorn, electric wind controller and pedalboard. 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” will take place on Friday, January 21, 2011, 7:00pm at South Sioux City Public Library. The program is funded in part by the Nebraska Humanities Council and the Nebraska Cultural Endowment, and sponsored by South Sioux City Public Library and Picaresque II. It is free and open to the public.

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 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.”

Holthaus has four books of poems, three chapbooks, and three collections of essays, all of them rooted in the earth. 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. He has worked for Northern Plains Sustainable Agriculture Society, and most recently worked with the Island Institute on issues of sustainability in Sitka, Alaska.

Audience responses to recent presentations of “The Story of Music, Stories from Home” have been very appreciative: “Tonight’s music and stories were like a homily for my soul. My heart has hope!” “Exceptionally moving throughout – I was transported. The linkage of music and word came alive.” “It was an inspired and inspiring program. Such tasteful, serious, handling of ‘our life’ story.” “What a team!”

David Mixdorf, Director of South Sioux City Public Library said, “We are so pleased and privileged to have Lauren and Gary present this program in our community. They will both challenge and inspire us.” For further information, call 402-494-7545.

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