The melodious sounds of the cello resonate throughout Lance Isakson’s home. Often his daughter, who is in middle school, will practice with him, playing a duet from the same music books he used as a young boy when first learning to play the cello.
Isakson said he discovered a fondness for the instrument at the age of four. Growing up in Illinois he practiced and performed the cello with the Suzuki method of training until he was a freshman in high school when he replaced the cello with a guitar.
“I stopped playing for many years,” said Isakson.
After a 16 year break, Isakson said he made a phone call to his parents and asked them to locate his cello in the basement. He resumed lessons with an instructor in Florida where he lived.
A pilot in the U.S. Coast Guard, Isakson moved to Elizabeth City in 2003. He was playing his cello in a church when someone suggested he join the Elizabeth City State University/Albemarle Community Orchestra.
Isakson said he currently practices with the Orchestra Mondays and Tuesdays for two hours a night. He said the group is preparing for a performance for the public in April.
“I like the camaraderie,” said Isakson. “I have met a lot of nice people through music.”
Isakson said he also plays in a string quartet featuring local musicians.
Currently serving as Operations Officer at the United States Coast Guard Air Station in Elizabeth City, Commander Isakson has been in the Coast Guard for 20 years.
“I grew up wanting to fly,” said Isakson, who earned his commercial pilot’s license while attending college.
He earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and an MBA from Embry Riddle Aeronautical University-Worldwide.
As Chief Pilot, Isakson said he tells younger pilots that, “You are rewarded most by working hard.”
“I get to work with outstanding people in the Coast Guard,” said Isakson.
As a pilot Isakson said he has spent many hours over the ocean and has witnessed the “best sunsets” while flying aircraft.
Isakson said he enjoys spending time with his wife and two children. Sharing his passion for music, his children are both learning to play musical instruments.
“I find it enjoyable to make music,” said Isakson.