Sterling, Kansas, United States
Anchorage, Alaska, United States
Early life and education
Lorene Cuthbertson was born in 1905. She was born in Sterling, Kansas. She attended Sterling College in Kansas. In 1928, she relocated to Anchorage, Alaska. 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. She sang frequently, performing at private and public events like weddings and funerals.
Harrison raised her children and taught music and theater. She gave singing lessonss. Jack died in 1968. Harrison opened her own boutique, called Hat Box. The store sold clothing and hats in Anchorage. 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. Ruth M. Jefford played violin in the USO orchestra, after being recruited by Harrison. Harrison started the United Choir of all Faiths after World War II ended. It eventually became the Anchorage Community Chorus. 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.
Later life and legacy
A lobby at the Alaska Center for the Performing Arts was named after Harrison in 1988. Harrison lived in the Anchorage Pioneer Home. 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. Before her death, a gala was held in her honor at the Alaska Center for the Performing Arts. She died in 2005. She is buried in the Pioneer Tract area of the Anchorage Memorial Park. In 2009, she was inaugurated into the Alaska Women's Hall of Fame. The Anchorage Cultural Council has an award named after her, which is awarded for lifetime achievements in the arts.
- "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.
- "Harrison, Bessie and Sullivan, Daily". Alaska History. Retrieved 5 November 2013.
- 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.
- Sandi Sumner (1 January 2005). Women Pilots of Alaska: 37 Interviews and Profiles. McFarland. p. 31. ISBN 978-0-7864-1937-1.
- Lorene C. Harrison (1 February 2000). Mostly Music: The Biography of Alaskan Cultural Pioneer Lorene Harrison. Publication Consultants. ISBN 978-1-888125-61-0.
- "Prior Honorees, Mayor's Awards for the Arts". Anchorage Cultural Council. Retrieved 5 November 2013.