Department of Music Announces Fall 2019 Performance Series

August 21, 2019 | Arts & Entertainment

MANKATO, Minn. – The Minnesota State University, Mankato Department of Music has announced its fall schedule of concert events. Events over the course of the fall semester include the Performance Series (professional artists), the Minnesota Storytellers series and 12 student ensemble concerts.

Events are made possible in part by a grant from the Minnesota Arts and Cultural Heritage fund as appropriated by the Minnesota State legislature with money from the vote of the people of Minnesota on Nov. 4, 2008. Additional funding is provided by the Nadine B. Andreas Endowment, the Kiyo Suyematsu Endowment and KMSU The Maverick.

The Performance Series professional artist series and the Minnesota Storytellers series offers contemporary and ethnically diverse music featuring nationally and internationally recognized artists. Visiting artists also provide master classes, clinics and workshops benefitting the university student community and Mankato area residents.

Fall semester concerts and artist highlights:

  • Thursday, Sept. 12: LENA ELIZABETH is a singer/songwriter and Minneapolis native. She blends old and new to create a pop sound that is approachable across generations. Elizabeth's debut EP “The Line” marries simplicity of tone with the stories of her reality.
  • Sunday, Sept. 15: GREG HERRIGES is an ethnomusicologist who has lived most of his life in Minnesota, gaining his musical inspiration from Japan, Persia, India, Turkey, Bollywood movies and surfer rock. He's managed to surround himself with excellent musicians, gaining respect for not only his artistic prowess but also his obvious respect for musical traditions.
  • Thursday, Sept. 19: ERIK KOSKINEN has amassed a following as a musician, songwriter, producer and engineer. Jon Bream of the Minneapolis Star Tribune calls Koskinen, “…the state’s best pure country singer/songwriter." MOLLY MAHER is a gifted guitarist with a raw, sultry Americana sound and an irrepressible spirit. Maher’s music is a window to the lonely world of a nomadic spirit, as well as someone who has lived the existence of a vagabond dreamer.
  • Tuesday, Sept. 24: MAUD HIXSON is a singer of classic jazz and popular songs of the '30s, '40s, and '50s. She made her Guthrie Theater debut in 2010, performed at the New York Cabaret Convention in 2011 at Lincoln Center’s Rose Hall, and in 2012 appeared in concert with composer and pianist Richard Rodney Bennett as part of the Midtown Jazz Series in New York City.
  • Tuesday, Oct. 1: JEREMY MESSERSMITH (Minnesota Storytellers series) is an indie pop singer-songwriter and one of Minnesota’s most recognized and celebrated artists, praised by The New York Times, NPR, Paste Magazine, Spin, and Rolling Stone among many others. A thoughtful, clever lyricist with a tender voice, the Minneapolis-based troubadour crafts songs that are catchy and relatable, and span the emotional gamut from poignancy to whimsy.
  • Sunday, Oct. 13: JOHN GORKA is recognized as an honored icon of folk tradition. He prefers the music that is an expression of everyday life, not necessarily music that may be considered a trend or fad. Gorka has graced the stages of Austin City Limits, Mountain Stage, and Etown, and has released 11 studio albums. He continues to tour, playing festivals, theaters and clubs all over North America and Europe.
  • Thursday, Oct. 17: DICK KIMMEL is a bluegrass singer, multi-instrumentalist, and songwriter who has been performing bluegrass music throughout the United States, Canada, and Europe for nearly 40 years. He has recorded more than two dozen albums, including four recent CDs for Copper Creek records. Referring to the impact Kimmel has had on bluegrass music, a feature article for Bluegrass Unlimited magazine called Kimmel the “ambassador of Bluegrass.”
  • Tuesday, Oct. 22: BAD BAD HATS (Minnesota Storytellers series) is an indie rock band from Minneapolis, Minnesota named for a trouble-making character from the Madeline children’s book series. Their music honors classic pop songwriting with nods to nineties rock simplicity and pop-punk frivolity.
  • Saturday, Oct. 26: ERIK KOSKINEN BAND (performance at Hooligans). Koskinen taps his experiences and adventures of traveling north to south and coast-to-coast in his latest album, "Burning the Deal." Regional favorites CITY MOUSE will open the show.
  • Saturday, Nov. 2: DAVINA AND THE VAGABONDS (performance at Hooligans). DAVINA SOWERS fronts a well-tested road band, creating her own Americana mishmash, a mixture of Etta James, Amy Winehouse, Janis Joplin, Billie Holiday and Betty Boop, all with a 21st century twist. Comparisons don’t suffice—Sowers is a true original. Sowers’ voice and vigor have earned the Vagabonds quite a following throughout the United States, Europe, England, and South America.
  • Saturday, Nov. 16: JOYANN PARKER (performance at Hooligans) is the best Twin Cities female singer you've never heard. There's pain in Parker's heart - and in just about every song she writes and sings. She's a powerful, animated blues-rock singer, and a writer of praiseworthy originals.

In addition to Performance Series and Minnesota Storytellers series concerts, the Department of Music will offer a number of student ensemble performances, including the Concert Choirs, Aaron Humble, conductor; Concert Wind Ensemble, Amy Roisum Foley, conductor; the Jazz Mavericks Big Band, Douglas Snapp, conductor; the Contemporary Vocal Ensemble, Stephanie Thorpe and Doug Snapp, conductors; and the University Percussion ensemble directed by Michael Thursby.

The Department is offering advance ticket package discounts for student ensemble concerts, Minnesota Storytellers events and Performance Series events (Performance Series performances at Hooligans are excluded). For more ticketing information, visit or call the Performance Series office, 507-389-5549.

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