Marian Penn – Pianist

 I was born to Elizabeth Rewalt Hubbard and Marshall Hubbard at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Ashland, WI on May 6, 1930.  I had a brother, David, one-and-a-half years younger than I, who died at two days old, so I was an only child.

I graduated from Ashland High in 1948.  I attended Northland College and graduated Magna Cum Laude in 1952, earning a BA in public school music and piano.  Following college, I taught vocal music to grades one through 12 for three years in Neillsville, WI, loved the job.  I also taught piano, beginning in 1957, and have continued teaching ever since.  I still have several piano students today.

On June 18, 1955 I married Charles Penn in the First Presbyterian Congregational Church in Ashland.  We had three daughters and a son.  Two of my daughters were married at UPCC, and four grandchildren were baptized here.  Five of my great grandchildren were also baptized at UPCC.

My religious background is Congregational, and the Congregational Church joined with the Presbyterian Church sometime in the 1940s.  I was always involved in the music of the church.  My parents attended church, and my dad sang in the choir until his death in 1979.  I sang in the church choir from the time I was 15 years old.  After my marriage and a move back to Ashland, I played organ as a substitute and played for the regular organist in the summers.  I also directed the choir for several years in the 1970s.

Later I played piano with and substituted for Lois Lightner, who was the church organist at UPCC for more than 30 years.  We started playing piano/organ duets when Woody Choate was minister.  For many years now I have been playing piano/organ duets with Nancy Dufek.

Three of the most important things in my life are my membership in UPCC, my music ministry, and my church family.  My faith is simple: I try to follow the great commandment to love the Lord God with all your heart and soul and mind and your neighbor as yourself.  In addition, I try to be guided by the words of the prophet Micah in 6:8: “He has showed you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?”