Department of Music & Entertainment Industries Announces Fall 2023 Performance Series Events

August 18, 2023 | Arts & Entertainment

Minnesota State University, Mankato Department Music and Entertainment Industries News Release

Mankato, Minn.  – The Minnesota State University, Mankato Department of Music and Entertainment Industries announced its fall Performance Series schedule of visiting artist concert events. In addition to the professional artist series, the Department of Music and Entertainment Industries will offer 12 student ensemble concerts over the course of the fall semester.

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 Prairie Lakes Regional Arts Council, the Nadine B. Andreas Endowment and KMSU The Maverick.

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:

Thursday, September 7 - HUMBIRD 

Humbird (Siri Undlin) is a Minneapolis based singer-songwriter and storyteller. A Humbird live performance is intimate and earthy, featuring Undlin’s unfaltering fervent and haunting voice. Undlin twines experimental folk and environmental Americana to forge a representation of the narrative folk song and balladry tradition.

Saturday, September 16  - MOLLY MAHER & HER DISBELIEVERS

Molly Maher is a seasoned, St. Paul-based singer/songwriter crafting a modest but impressive back catalog of soulful, countrified folk music. Writing songs that ring true, her singing is a fine balance of deep and soulful, falling somewhere between Lucinda Williams and Bonnie Raitt.


SARAH MORRIS crafts endearingly honest, expertly penned songs that encourage audiences to pull away from the big picture and get caught up in the magic of our everyday minutia. Morris has been a finalist in a host of national songwriting competitions.

EMILY HAAVIK is a musician and audio producer. She spent a decade working in public radio and television news. Her work has been honored with a Peabody and a DuPont award, as well as multiple regional Emmy and Murrow awards. She loves to travel and tell stories that focus on the environment and criminal justice.

HAILEY JAMES is a talented singer/songwriter and recording artist. She has garnered recognition as a four-time award winner from the Midwest Country Music Organization, receiving prestigious titles such as 2022 Female Vocalist and Songwriter of the Year, as well as the 2021 Midwest CMO New Artist and Song of the Year for her track "Wide Awake."

Saturday, October 14  - THE CACTUS BLOSSOMS

The Cactus Blossoms sound uncannily like a sibling harmony act who just stepped off the stage of the Grand Ole Opry or the Louisiana Hayride in the 1940s or '50s, and there's a good reason for that -- guitarists and singers Page Burkum and Jack Torrey are brothers. Their voices fit together in a way that suggests a modern-day approximation of what the Everly Brothers could deliver. The Blossoms received a boost after appearing in David Lynch’s 2018 television series Twin Peaks: The Return.

Thursday, October 19  - TURN TURN TURN 

Turn Turn Turn is a trio who bonded over their mutual love of close harmony 60s and 70s country, folk, and pop music. Their distinctive sound has been described as a musical tapestry of gritty emotion, beautiful melodies and pop-infused Americana. The group, led by former Honeydogs member Adam Levy, are all mainstays of the Minnesota music scene.

Sunday, October 29  - THE NEW STANDARDS 

The New Standards started in 2005 as an off-shoot project between Minneapolis based musicians. TNS has grown into a globe-spanning adventure, filling theaters and clubs around the world, spawning several CDs, videos, cartoons, and dance/theater projects that have charmed and delighted an ever-multiplying legion of faithful fans. Chan Poling founded the seminal Punk/New Wave band The Suburbs. John Munson was an original member of Trip Shakespeare and the chart-topping Semisonic, and Steve Roehm started on drums in the Texas punk outfit Billygoat and the avant-jazz Electropolis.

Sunday, November 5  - CHICAGO FARMER

Chicago Farmer features Cody Diekhoff. Diekhoff grew up in a small-town farming community in Illinois. Profoundly inspired by John Prine, Diekhoff is a working-class folk musician to his core. He writes his music for “the kind of people that come to my shows.” Imagine if a John Steinbeck short story had been written as a song, and this will give you a fairly good idea as to what Chicago Farmer accomplishes in their original music.

Saturday, November 11 - ERIK KOSKINEN & BAND

Erik Koskinen is an American singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist whose music is not categorized by sub-genres. Stylistically he is on his own. Influenced by roots music of the Americas and the world, the rhythmic integrity and musical tone are as important as the lyrical content and the artistic intent.

Thursday, November 16  - LUKE LEBLANC & BAND. Luke LeBlanc is a Minneapolis-based singer-songwriter who delivers dynamic and versatile original performances that feature a warm, organic merging of rootsy folk and pop. The Current says LeBlanc’s music is “delicate, understated, and careful in its construction.” 

In addition to Performance Series events, the Department of Music will offer a number of student ensemble concerts including the Concert Choir and Chamber Singers, Elisabeth Cherland, conductor; Concert Wind Ensemble, Amy Roisum Foley, conductor; the Jazz Mavericks Big Band, Douglas Snapp, director; and Contemporary Vocal Ensembles, Douglas Snapp and Stephanie Thorpe, co-directors.

Online ticketing will be available Monday, Aug. 28.  For more information, visit or call the Performance Series office, 507-389-5549.

Categories: Arts & Entertainment, News Story