The Kentucky Commission on Women recently recognized Audaine Warren Fennel of Hardin as the 2018 Women "History Makers" recipient during an awards ceremony in Lexington.
Lt. Gov. Jeanean Hampton presented Fennel a plaque commemorating her lifetime achievement award.
Each year the commission, on behalf of the governor, honors annual recipients with a plaque and reception for women in the commonwealth who are inspirational leaders for women and girls in their workplaces, homes and communities.
Fennel was selected for her contributions and lifelong dedication for promoting and preserving the traditions of gospel music in Kentucky. Born in 1930, she began piano lessons in 1936. One year later she was selected to be the organist/pianist at her church. So small she could not reach the pedals to pump the organ, someone had to assist her. The church formed a committee to purchase a piano and accompanied her to visit all the music stores. Playing the same hymn, "I Walk with Jesus," she selected a Baldwin Acrosonic. Today, she continues to play a Baldwin Acrosonic at church, some 80 years later.
After marrying, Fennel received her teaching certificate from Murray State University and taught piano lessons from 1964 to 2014. She has taught more than 1,000 students from ages 4 to 80. While each of her students became accomplished pianists, some chose to make gospel music their career. Currently 17 of her students are now pianists in area churches.
The Kentucky Commission on Women recognized Fennel for being a leader who inspires, promotes and teaches through determination, personal contributions and outstanding exemplary leadership in the state.