Lorene Harrison

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Lorene Harrison
Born Lorene Cuthbertson
Sterling, Kansas, United States
Died 2005
Anchorage, Alaska, United States
Nationality American
Occupation Singer

Lorene Harrison (1905-2005) was an American educator, singer, choir director, and a milliner. In 2009, she was inaugurated into the Alaska Women's Hall of Fame.[1]

Early life and education[edit]

Lorene Cuthbertson was born in 1905. She was born in Sterling, Kansas.[2] She attended Sterling College in Kansas.[3] In 1928, she relocated to Anchorage, Alaska.[2] She was a teacher, teaching music and home economics. She married Jack Harrison, a railroad engineer, in 1930, in Estes Park, Colorado. She would have two children with Jack: Carol Ann and Peggy.[2] She sang frequently, performing at private and public events like weddings and funerals.[3]


Harrison raised her children and taught music and theater.[2] She gave singing lessonss.[3] Jack died in 1968. Harrison opened her own boutique, called Hat Box. The store sold clothing and hats in Anchorage.[2] She designed the hats the store sold and she ran the store for 30 years. During World War II, Harrison worked with the United Service Organizations.[3] Ruth M. Jefford played violin in the USO orchestra, after being recruited by Harrison.[4] Harrison started the United Choir of all Faiths after World War II ended.[2][3] It eventually became the Anchorage Community Chorus.[2] She worked with the Anchorage Concert Association, Anchorage Symphony Orchestra, and the Anchorage Opera. As a promoter of music and performer she worked with Eugene Ormandy, Leonard Bernstein, Marilyn Horne, George Szell, Van Cliburn, Fred Waring, and Isaac Stern.[3]

Later life and legacy[edit]

A lobby at the Alaska Center for the Performing Arts was named after Harrison in 1988. Harrison lived in the Anchorage Pioneer Home.[2] In 2000, a biography was published about her titled, Mostly Music: The Biography of Alaskan Cultural Pioneer Lorene Harrison, which was written by Dianne Barske.[5] Before her death, a gala was held in her honor at the Alaska Center for the Performing Arts.[3] She died in 2005. She is buried in the Pioneer Tract area of the Anchorage Memorial Park.[2] In 2009, she was inaugurated into the Alaska Women's Hall of Fame.[1] The Anchorage Cultural Council has an award named after her, which is awarded for lifetime achievements in the arts.[6]


  1. ^ a b "Lorene Harrison". Hall of Fame. Alaska Women's Hall of Fame. February 28, 2011. Archived from the original on 14 October 2015. Retrieved 5 November 2013. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Harrison, Bessie and Sullivan, Daily". Alaska History. Retrieved 5 November 2013. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g Baechtel, Mark. "A pioneering music to the very end - Anchorage arts patron and musician dies at 100" (PDF). Alaska. Anchorage Daily News. Retrieved 5 November 2013. 
  4. ^ Sandi Sumner (1 January 2005). Women Pilots of Alaska: 37 Interviews and Profiles. McFarland. p. 31. ISBN 978-0-7864-1937-1. 
  5. ^ Lorene C. Harrison (1 February 2000). Mostly Music: The Biography of Alaskan Cultural Pioneer Lorene Harrison. Publication Consultants. ISBN 978-1-888125-61-0. 
  6. ^ "Prior Honorees, Mayor's Awards for the Arts". Anchorage Cultural Council. Retrieved 5 November 2013.