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Minnesota State University, Mankato
Minnesota State University, Mankato

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Music Department Announces Fall 2015 Performance Season

Performance Series features visiting professional artists and student ensemble concerts.

2015-10-02
Minnesota State University, Mankato Department of Music News Release, 8-4-2015

Mankato, Minn. – The Minnesota State University, Mankato Department of Music Performance Series announces its fall schedule of visiting artist concert events. In addition to the professional artist series, the Department of Music will offer 16 student ensemble concerts over the course of the fall semester.

The Performance Series offers contemporary and ethnically diverse music featuring nationally and internationally recognized artists. The Series also offers instruction through master classes, clinics and workshops benefitting the university community, Mankato area residents and K-12 students.

Fall semester Performance Series concert and artist highlights include:

  • Tuesday, Sept. 8: The Chiarina Piano Quartet is comprised of some of the Midwest's most accomplished collaborative artists. The quartet gathers for an evening of superb classical music performance.
  • Sunday, September 13: Blue Hazard is a young band that recently released its third album. The five-piece band, consisting of three siblings and friends, merges its traditional roots with folk and contemporary genres.
  • Monday, September 14: Randy Weeks is the consummate songwriter’s songwriter. Soundtracking the ever-present undercurrent of our popular culture, Weeks’ music can be heard on international radio stations, Grammy award winning albums, and in feature films.
  • Tuesday, September 22: Bass Brand Brass Band performs a unique style of upbeat, all acoustic New Orleans street music.
  • Tuesday, September 29: Cantus (pictured above right) is hailed as “the premier men’s vocal ensemble in the United States” (Fanfare) and winner of the prestigious Margaret Hillis Award for Choral Excellence from Chorus America. Cantus enjoys an active performing schedule and is acknowledged around the world for their programmatic versatility, artistic excellence and charismatic personality.
  • Sunday, October 4: A “Master Drummer,” Sowah Mensah (pictured at right) performs music from Ghana and made his Carnegie Hall debut in 2000 as a soloist in David Fanshaw’s African Sanctus. Mensah is currently a professor at both Macalester College and the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minn., where he also directs each school’s African Music Ensemble. Mensah will appear with Sankofa, a Ghanaian Folklore and Dance Ensemble.
  • Tuesday, October 6: The Dumpy Jug Bumpers are a string band that brings back the reckless sounds of country blues, ragtime, and jug band music from the era of 78 RPM records. They transform any stage into a barrelhouse romp, performing on a menagerie of stringed instruments and hand made percussion accompaniment.
  •  Thursday, October 15: Jillian Rae is a multi-talented violinist, lead vocalist, and songwriter whose creative and dynamic style of violin playing, along with her lifelong experience as a performer, gives her an assured stage presence. She has an innate ability to create hook-laden tunes affirming the positives in life in the face of struggle and disappointment. The Minneapolis Star Tribune calls Rae “a triple treat on vocals, fiddle, and songwriting.”
  • Saturday, October 17: Erik Koskinen (pictured in photo below) has amassed a following as a musician, songwriter, producer and engineer. With experience stemming from years of traveling north to south and coast-to-coast, Koskinen taps those adventures and encounters in his third album, "America Theatre." Jon Bream of the Minneapolis Star Tribune calls Erik Koskinen “…the state’s best pure country singer/songwriter ”, and Jim Walsh of MinnPost writes "The real deal: Erik Koskinen's authenticity comes through."
  • Sunday, November 1: Rob Meany and Terramara create original piano-based pop rock, melding smart songcraft and clever lyrics with catchy melodies, tight grooves, rich harmonies and an edgy, rock sensibility. For its third full-length release, “Dust & Fiction”, the band teamed with producer Jon Herchert to create its most sonically rich album yet.
  • Saturday, November 21: Madison, Wis., blues powerhouse group The Jimmys perform a sensational mixture of blues and R & B. The group’s sound features killer horns, greasy guitars, funky keys, and a dynamic “in the pocket” rhythm section.

In addition to Performance Series events, the Department of Music will offer a number of student ensemble concerts, including the Concert Choir, David Dickau, conductor; University Chorale, Rodney Urtel, conductor; Concert Wind Ensemble and Symphonic Band, Amy Roisum-Foley, conductor; University Orchestra, Joseph Rodgers, conductor; the University Percussion Ensemble, Michael Thursby, director; the Maverick Marching Machine Indoor Concert, Michael Thursby, director; A Musical Revue, Stephanie Thorpe, director; and the Jazz Mavericks Big Band and Contemporary Vocal and Instrumental Ensembles, Douglas Snapp, director.

Online ticketing will be available Tuesday, August 25.

For more information, visit www.mnsu.edu/music or call the Performance Series office, 507-389-5549.

Minnesota State Mankato, a comprehensive university with 15,376 students, is part of the Minnesota State Colleges & Universities system, which comprises 31 state institutions.

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