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Pelon uses unusual instruments during history of music lecture

By Enzo Nagao
On April 6, 2016

Utilizing a vast myriad of musical instruments from every conceivable time period and region, Lauren Pelon, musician and performer, took students and faculty on a mesmerizing journey through the history of music during her lecture on March 10 at Kirkwood Community College. With a combination of performance, humor and historical instruction, Pelon wove a tapestry of art and music for students in Ballantyne Auditorium and exemplified her incredible skill through performance. 

Photo contibuted by MCT

“I think the historical perspective is very important,” said Beth Zamzow, associate professor of music. “We have to know where we came from in order to predict where we’re going. Learning about not only other times but other places is vital in understanding music or any of the liberal arts.” Pelon, who attended Western Minnesota University, has been studying various performance techniques, instruments and historical facts for years, traveling throughout the world to perform and educate while learning simultaneously. “I actually played the recorder in college,” Pelon said. “I had always loved music but never really got the opportunity to play it until my senior year. When I graduated, I just kind of started adding instruments along the way.” 

Freshman Aaron Unash attended Pelon’s lecture and said, “I really liked learning about the instruments.” He added, “I didn’t really know that a lot of those instruments existed. I also liked how she gave a history and different details about each one.” Utilizing electronic keyboards and devices, Pelon was able to essentially perform the roles of several people on her own. Most fascinating to the audience, however, was her collection of instruments from various time periods, ranging from ancient civilizations to the Renaissance. 

The instruments included lutes (early guitars), ocarinas (a form of flute), crumhorns (early woodwind instruments) and many more. Although her afternoon lecture primarily focused on the historical and technical aspects of the various instruments, her evening concert concentrated on the role of women in musical history.

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