COVID-19 InformationInformation and Updates for Community Members

Artist in the Schools

Press Enter to show all options, press Tab go to next option

'20 Artist-in-the-Schools/Rural Library Outreach Highlights! 

Week-long music education and outreach residency coming to Southeastern Minnesota

Alash PhotoAbout the Artist:  Alash are masters of Tuvan throat singing, a remarkable technique for singing multiple pitches at the same time. Masters of traditional Tuvan instruments as well as the art of throat singing, Alash are deeply committed to traditional Tuvan music and culture. At the same time, they are fans of western music. Believing that traditional music must constantly evolve, the musicians subtly infuse their songs with western elements, creating their own unique style that is fresh and new, yet true to their Tuvan musical heritage.

 What does throat singing sound like? "Imagine a human bagpipe-a person who could sing a sustained low note while humming an eerie, whistle-like melody. For good measure, toss in a thrumming rhythm similar to that of a jaw harp, but produced vocally-by the same person, at the same time." -Newsweek (March 17, 2006)

Where is Tuva? Tuva (sometimes spelled Tyva) sits at the southern edge of Siberia, with Mongolia to its south. Over the centuries, Tuva has been part of Chinese and Mongolian empires, and shares many cultural ties with Mongolia. In 1944 it became part of the USSR, and until the late physicist Richard Feynman drew attention to it, was largely unknown to westerners. Tuva is now a member of the Russian Federation.


Alash will spend the week (March 2 through March 7) in our local and surrounding elementary schools and libraries in a series of free interactive educational performances; all leading up to a full-length ticketed concert at the Black Box at Rochester Civic Theatre on Saturday, March 7.

Trained in traditional Tuvan music since childhood, the Alash musicians studied at Kyzyl Arts College just as Tuva was beginning to open up to the West. They formed a traditional ensemble and won multiple awards for traditional throat singing in international xöömei competitions, both as an ensemble and as individuals. At the same time, they paid close attention to new trends coming out of the West. They have borrowed new ideas that mesh well with the sound and feel of traditional Tuvan music, but they have never sacrificed the integrity of their own heritage in an effort to make their music more hip.

Alash first toured the U.S. under the sponsorship of the Open World Leadership program of the Library of Congress and the National Endowment for the Arts. Since then they have returned many times, to the delight of American audiences. The Washington Post described their music as “utterly stunning,” quipping that after the performance “audience members picked their jaws up off the floor.”

Alash enjoys collaborating with musicians of all stripes. Since their early partnership with the legendary Sun Ra Arkestra, they have joined forces with musicians across the spectrum—from country to classical to jazz to beatboxing. When they toured with Béla Fleck & the Flecktones, the Denver Post remarked, “As electrifying as the Flecktones’ performance was, the band were nearly upstaged by Alash Ensemble.” Alash appeared as guest artists on the Flecktones’ holiday CD Jingle All the Way (2008), which won a Grammy. More recently, Alash joined Chicago’s innovative Fifth House Ensemble in a groundbreaking concert series called Sonic Meditations.

Beyond performing, Alash has a passion for teaching and promoting understanding between cultures. Their tours often include workshops in which they introduce Tuvan music to students in primary, middle and high schools, colleges, universities, and music conservatories. Children as young as 8 and 9 have learned to throat-sing. As one student exclaimed, “Alash opened my eyes to a whole new world!”

In celebration of national Music In Our Schools Month® (MIOSM®)Alash will spend the week (March 2 through March 7) in our local and surrounding elementary schools. Part of Riverside Concerts' Artist-In-the-Schools residency program which brings world-renowned artists directly to our young people while at school. With General Music and General Arts classes being dissolved and Band, Orchestra and Choir programs being pushed out of the curriculum, Riverside Concerts is committed, by way of our mission, to continue to bring artists to the local schools that will not only spark an interest in musical performance, but also to plant a seed that will help solidify our young people's future as ongoing arts patrons. This program builds community and camaraderie among the students while teaching them the history of different cultures and those cultures' forms of musical art.

Brought to you by the Mayo Clinic, the Friends of Riverside Concerts, and Arts Midwest.

 School Schedule:

Monday, March 2 - 10:00 AM - Folwell Elementary School (Rochester)
Monday, March 2 - 2:00 PM - Riverside Central Elementary School (Rochester)
Tuesday, March 3 - 9:00 AM - Fillmore Central Elementary School (Preston)
Tuesday, March 3 - 2:00 PM - Spring Grove Elementary School (Spring Grove)
Wednesday, March 4 - 10:00 AM – Elton Hills Elementary School (Rochester)
Wednesday, March 4 - 2:00 PM - Jefferson Elementary School (Rochester)
Thursday, March 5 - 9:45 AM – Sunset Terrace Elementary School (Rochester)
Thursday, March 5 - 1:00 PM - Franklin Elementary School (Rochester)

 FREE CONCERT-PREVIEW LIBRARY TOUR: Alash will also embark on a 5-city Southeastern Minnesota library tour featuring a 60 minute preview of their full-length concert. These mini-concerts are free and open to the general public. Attend the preview and receive a coupon for 10% off your ticket order for the full-length performance at the Black Box at Rochester Civic Theatre on Saturday, March 7. Part of Riverside Concerts' Cultural Exchange Network which provides live musical events for citizens of rural communities who might not otherwise have access to such opportunities.

Brought to you by the Mayo Clinic, the Friends of Riverside Concerts, and Arts Midwest.

 Library Schedule:

Monday, March 2 - 6:30 PM – Austin Public Library

Tuesday, March 3 - 6:30 PM - Caledonia Public Library

Wednesday, March 4 - 7:00 PM - Harmony Public Library/JEM Theatre

Thursday, March 5 - 6:30 PM – Cannon Falls Library

Friday, March 6 - 2:00 PM - Winona Public Library

Friday, March 6 - 6:00 PM - Plainview Public Library

CAPSTONE CONCERT: The week concludes with a full-length concert featuring Alash at the Black Box at Rochester Civic Theatre on Saturday, March 7 at 7:30 PM. Brought to you by the Mayo Clinic, and KXLT Fox 47GET TICKETS NOW.

Single tickets are $17/$15.50 and can be purchased at Riverside Concerts in City Hall, the Mayo Civic Center and all Ticketmaster outlets, charge by phone through Riverside Concerts at (507) 328-2200 or (800) 657-3980, or through Ticketmaster at (800) 745-3000. Riverside Concerts Box Office hours are Monday through Friday, 9am to 4pm. For more information, call (507) 328-2200 or (800) 657-3980 or visit us online at

This presentation is supported by the Arts Midwest Touring Fund, a program of Arts Midwest that is funded by the National Endowment for the Arts, with additional contributions from the Minnesota State Arts Board and the Crane Group.

Brought to you by the Friends of Riverside Concerts with additional support provided by the Mayo Clinic. This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a Minnesota State Arts Board Operating Support Grant, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts & cultural heritage fund.

Riverside Concerts is pleased to accommodate individuals with disabilities. Please contact the music department at 507-328-2201 (TTY 1-800-627-3529) five working days prior to the event you plan to attend if you require a special seating assignment, sign language interpreter, audio describer, assistive listening device or written materials in an alternative format (large print, Braille, computer disk, etc.)

Riverside Concerts (Rochester Music Dept.) is a department of the City of Rochester, MN Government.