What People Are Saying

"As a quickly growing arts organization, the Lakes Area Music Festival has been lucky to attract remarkable talent from around the Midwest, drawn from the world-renowned Midwestern orchestras. With over 75 guest musicians in our most recent season, Marlene Pauley has drawn particular attention from our musicians and staff in regards to musicianship, professionalism, and community engagement.

During her time on the podium, Marlene drew immediate respect from our musicians. Her effective use of rehearsal time ensured that every section of every piece was adequately prepared. And in performance she thoroughly engaged an audience with extremely contrasting age demographics, educating creatively in a collaborative setting.

Having worked with several other conductors in our past few seasons, Marlene stands out as a favorite among musicians and audiences alike. We look forward to working with her in many seasons to come and highly recommend her as a leader for any other ensemble."

Scott Lykins
Artistic Director, Lakes Area Music Festival


"We had the privilege of working with Marlene Pauley on the World Premiere of the chamber opera, POCAHONTAS by Linda Tutas Haugen. Maestro Pauley was a large part of the opera's success. I received nothing but positive feedback from the cast and Virginia Symphony Orchestra musicians. I look forward to future projects with Marlene."

Robert Cross, Executive Director
Virginia Arts Festival


"First-rate conductor... she is a pleasure to work with. One could not ask for anything more from her musicianship. She has the respect of all her colleagues. She is an orchestral musician's dream conductor - we play better and sound better under Marlene's baton than under many, many established conductors."

Joshua Koestenbaum, Cellist The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra


"I have no hesitation recommending Marlene to any orchestra that is looking for a strong musician & inspirational figure to lead and conduct their young people's concerts."

Barry Kempton, Vice President and General Manager
The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra


"Impressive musicianship, passionate stage presence and excellent rapport with young people...
Her respect for children is evident throughout her programs, which always aim not just to entertain, but to engage and encourage each young audience. Students and teachers alike have enjoyed the variety in her programming; each concert has been unique, featuring broad choices in musical selections and performances by groups of children and young soloists."

Tammy Noack, Education Manager
The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra


"Marlene Pauley is a uniquely gifted, intelligent and skilled musician with infectious musical leadership.  She is extremely industrious, self-motivated, organized, abundantly experienced and able to masterfully juggle a myriad of projects.    Marlene is also implicitly trustworthy and reliable, (her word IS as good as gold), noble in spirit, caring, sensitive, and a phenomenal team player....  And with all that, she is surprisingly among the MOST humble of human beings you will ever meet!  Add to this, that she hasn’t got a self-serving bone in her body, and Marlene Pauley’s profile is beginning to emerge. 

I know these things so well because I have observed her work for ten years now - first as the conductor of family and education concerts for the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, and most recently as Music Director of the Wayzata Symphony and at the Young Artist World Piano Festival as Music Director/Conductor of the Festival Orchestra for the past three years.  Marlene Pauley is a living definition of the word “Maestro,” and brings to it humanity uncommon in the conducting world.  

Marlene Pauley is simply the best."

Dr. Paul Wirth
Artistic Director and Co-Founder: Wirth Center for the Performing Arts
Young Artist World Piano Festival


"We gave Marlene complete artistic freedom to program her own concert. She came back with a 45-minute program with an original, cohesive theme that children and parents of all ages could relate to and find stimulating... Her program struck the delicate balance between entertainment and education - a seemingly obvious goal of an education concert that is so rarely realized in our business. And Marlene made it look easy."

Liz Kintz, Director of Operations
Grand Teton Music Festival