The Philanthropical Educational Organization (PEO), a nonprofit organization that supports women’s education, is hosting a benefit concert featuring organist Susan Neilson at 3 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 10, at Bethany Lutheran Church in Bigfork. The concert is open to the public and appropriate for all ages. Admission is free, but donations will be accepted.
Neilson mastered her skills in pipe organ performance after college graduation. She received a Fulbright Scholarship to study in Hamburg, Germany. After returning to the Midwest, Neilson did further graduate study on the organ at Yale University and the University of Colorado. She holds a lifetime certificate to teach music to the blind and multi-handicapped, earned at Ohio State University. She taught for 30 years at the Ohio School for the Blind in Columbus.
During those same years, Neilson was employed across many states, performing with various high school choirs and hand bell choirs. She also worked at a variety of churches, serving as a director of music.
After retiring in 1998, Neilson continued to actively teach and participate as a professional pipe organ musician for many churches and festivals in Ohio and Michigan. She moved from Ohio to Bigfork in 2015 and is an active member of Chapter BH, PEO of Bigfork.
She will be performing this concert in support of educational opportunities and scholarships for women at all levels. There will be a “Meet the Artist” and coffee social in the church’s fellowship hall immediately following the performance.