Ivory and brass: Lisa Hallen and her musical prowess

For some, music and the ability to play instruments comes easy. More often than not, it even runs in the family, this musical talent that pumps through one’s veins. Lisa Hallen, a 19-year-old native of the Illinois Valley and freshman at IVCC, can certainly attest to this.

Born into a family of three older brothers, Hallen knew she had some big shoes to fill not only in being her mother’s first and only daughter, but in following her brothers’ musical footsteps. All three of the Hallen brothers learned how to tickle the ivory keys of the piano, and for Lisa, it was only a matter of time. She began her lessons about 12 years ago in order to get “the general know-how,” as she put it. Her parents, obviously, see music and playing instruments as something of importance.

Hallen hasn’t stopped since, despite having learned how to play another instrument nearly 10 years ago: the French horn. Again, her parents presented the idea of the horn to her because of family ties. This time, however, it was her mother who played the French horn in the days of her youth.

Not only did her mother play, but her brother Eric played the brass instrument as well. With young Hallen’s aspiration to be in the high school band after being homeschooled for her all of her primary education, choosing to play the French horn was a no brainer.

“Piano will always be there,” Hallen commented on her juggling of the two instruments. “It’s the foundation.” Hallen assures that she will continue to play both instruments as long as she possibly can, although the French horn is considered her primary. Her inspiration for playing comes mostly from her family, along with the idea of continuing the Hallen tradition of music. Another important source of inspiration comes from any and all of her music teachers from Kyle Adelmann at La Salle-Peru to Mike Pecherek at IVCC.

Music plays such a big part in Hallen’s life that she is even part of multiple different ensembles: IVCC Wind Ensemble, IVCC Percussion Ensemble, the “Youngbirds Jazz Combo” based out of Maestro and Mi in La Salle, and three different municipal bands: Spring Valley, Peru, and Oglesby.

When she isn’t busy with music, Hallen focuses on her jobs, one as a junior staffer for the Herbolsheimer Law Office and the other as an assistant dance instructor at the Dance Center, both in La Salle. In the few bits of spare time that this busy bee has, Hallen enjoys playing with her cat Fendi, taking relaxing drives in her Jeep, and spending quality time with family and friends.

Following her dream, Hallen plans on transferring to Western Illinois University in the fall semester to start studying her major in Music Education. She expects to teach at the high school level, but Hallen realizes that her opinion may change once she starts student teaching. Either way, she wishes nothing more than to teach what she loves to others. It is thanks to people like Lisa Hallen, whose passion for music knows no bounds, that music education continues to thrive.