Prof. Lauren Mechell
A native of Pennsylvania, Lauren Mechell joined the Winona State University Music Faculty in August of 1994.
Professor Mechell is an instructor at WSU where she teaches keyboard musicianship in Class Piano I, II, and III. Mechell's duties include preparing prospective music education majors to pass their piano proficiency requirements. Her duties also include assisting with the choir's Madrigal Banquet and Dessert Theater productions.
Mechell graduated with honors studying with Lambert Orkis at Temple University Esther Boyer College of Music in Philadelphia, PA. She began studying piano at an early age with her father, William Vengen, who studied at Julliard with Sascha Gorodnitzki. Upon attending college, she studied piano with Lambert Orkis, Professor of Piano at Temple University in Philadelphia, PA, and Principal Keyboardist for the National Symphony Orchestra in Washington, DC. Since moving to Winona, she has studied with James Howsman, who is currently on the piano faculty of the Oberlin Conservatory of Music.
Mechell's teaching experience spans over thirty years and four states. Throughout her career, she has maintained a private studio of students and has been active as an adjudicator for the National Federation of Music Clubs in Illinois, Arkansas, Pennsylvania, and most recently for the Wisconsin MTNA competitions held at Viterbo College in La Crosse, WI.
Mechell enjoys composing and had the honor of having one of her choral compositions premiered during a ground-breaking ceremony at the University of Arkansas, where the then-Governor Bill Clinton gave the dedicatory address. In September of 2000, the WSU Concert Choir performed "Salutation to the Dawn," composed by Professor Mechell, for the dedication of WSU's Darrell W. Krueger Library. Governor Jesse Ventura gave the commemorative speech that day.
In the past, Mechell founded and directed the Winona State University Children's Choir and the Winona State University Boys Choir.
Mixing music and philanthropy, Lauren and her husband, Harry, have helped raise thousands of dollars each summer for Home and Community Options, a Winona based group that provides support and residential services to people with developmental disabilities.
Mechell has sung in many choirs over the years performing at such prestigious venues as Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, and The Academy of Music in Philadelphia with the Philadelphia Orchestra under the baton of Eugene Ormandy. She has also performed with such notable conductors as Robert Shaw, Carlo Maria-Giulini, Knut Nystedt, Weston Noble, Elaine Brown, and Vincent Persichetti. Mechell has also sung in many church choirs over the years, most recently at Central Lutheran Church, where she sang in the Senior Church Choir.
Professor Mechell is a member of ACDA, MENC, and MEME. She also sings with the Winona Oratorio Chorus and serves as Membership Secretary on the Board of Directors.
MUS 234: Class Piano I
Prof. Lauren Mechell