In 2011, the Mankato Symphony Orchestra, Maza Kute Singers (Dakota) and Composer Brent Michael Davids toured together with other world-renown performers for 4 concerts! This is the official Dakota Music Tour blog!


In 2011, Maestro Ken Freed conducted Mankato Symphony Orchestra, Maza Kute Singers (Santee Dakota), Trumpeter Manny Laureano (Minnesota Orchestra), M. Cochise Anderson (Chickasaw/Choctaw) and Award-Winning Composer Brent Michael Davids (Stockbridge Mohican) on tour through Dakota country with 4 concerts merging American Indian and Western classical music. The DMT was filmed by Syd Beane (Flandreau Santee Dakota) for some promo videos. The DMT radio broadcast was recorded by James E Gullickson. The DMT publicist was Liz Hill (Red Lake Ojibwe) of Liz Hill Public Relations, Ltd. The DMT evaluator was Dr. Patricia Shifferd. DMT was supported by “Arts Tour Minnesota" and the voter-approved “Clean Water, Land and Legacy Amendment” of the Minnesota State Constitution.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

"The Valley" reviews annual youth concerts!

Annual youth concert series held at West High School
Composer blends qualities of American Indian and Western classical music
By Tanner Kent, Email
"Nearly 2000 elementary students heard music Friday they may never have the opportunity to experience again. As part of the annual youth concert series, the Mankato Symphony Orchestra hosted performances for every fourth- and fifth-grade students in Mankato (as well as many from around the region) at Mankato West High School. The performances featured guest composer Brent Michael Davids, an American Indian who has achieved a measure of national acclaim for his musical compositions that blend native traditional music with Western classical. Ken Freed, MSO's music director and conductor, said Davids' work represents a significant departure from the orchestra's usual pieces. 'It's beautiful musc,' he said, 'but very challenging. It's a different aesthetic' ... The second piece came from Davids 'Black Hills Olowan,' a sweeping, dramatic piece that features the Maza Kute drumming group (also the drumming group at the annual Mankato Wacipi) ... the youth concerts also served as the first public performance of the works that will be featured on the Dakota Music Tour. The tour is sponsored by a Legacy grant and kicks off with a performance on May 22 in Mankato, followed by stops in Morton, Granite Falls and Winona."
The Maza Kute singers (foreground) perform during the Mankato Symphony Orchestra’s annual youth concert Friday at Mankato West. About 1,800 students from Mankato and the region attended the performances. Standing in the background are (from left) Ken Freed, MSO’s music director, and composer Brent Michael Davids. Photo: John Cross


Dakota Music Tour featured at Youth Concert

Posted: Apr 15, 2011 11:35 AM
Updated: Apr 19, 2011 11:39 AM
By Dan Ruiter, News Director Email

Mankato Symphony Entertains Area Youth

Mankato — Hundreds of students gathered for a kind of 'wedding' at Mankato West Auditorium Friday morning. Kenneth Freed and The Mankato Symphony joined guest artists, Brent Michael Davids and the Maza Kute Drummers for the annual Youth Concert. The music was a 'marriage 'of traditional Native American and classical instrumentation. 'Powwow Symphony' used elements of a real powwow. Plus, an emcee who told jokes to the audience of 4th, 5th, and 6th graders.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Mankato Symphony Youth Concerts with Maza Kute!


Every spring, the Mankato Symphony presents free concerts to 4th, 5th and 6th grade public and private school students from Mankato and the surrounding nine-county region. These hour-long concerts present an exciting mix of music and education to about 3,000 students annually. The Youth Concerts are made possible by grants from Target and Xcel Energy.

The 2011 Youth Concert took place this morning, April 15, 2011 at 9AM and 10:45AM, in Mankato West High School Auditorium. Guest Artists were Brent Michael Davids on native wood flute, and the Maza Kute Singers. The music combined traditional Native American and traditional symphonic sounds for a unique blend.

DMT featured in Native People Magazine!

Daniel Gibson wrote a great preview of the upcoming Dakota Music Tour, featured in the "Happening" section of the recent Native Peoples Magazine (May/June, 2011, p.18). Native Peoples Magazine is a journal of strong visuals and accurate, erudite prose dedicated to sensitively portraying the arts and lifeways of Native Americans. Subscribe to this fantastic magazine at the link below, and check out the DMT preview!