Elisabeth Cherland, D.M.A

Assistant Professor | Director of Choral Activities

Address: Jane Earley Center for Performing Arts 231 (PA 231)
Phone: 507-389-2171
Email: elisabeth.cherland@mnsu.edu


Elisabeth Cherland is a fourth-generation choral conductor as well as professor, singer, song leader, violinist, and Lutheran church musician. As Director of Choral Activities at Minnesota State University, Mankato, she teaches courses in choral methods, conducting, private voice, and conducts the Concert Choir and Chamber Singers. Prior to her appointment at Minnesota State Mankato she was a Visiting Assistant Professor of Music at Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, Minnesota where she conducted the Lucia Singers, the Choir of Christ Chapel and the Justice Choir.  

Dr. Cherland earned a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Choral Conducting at the University of Washington, a Master of Music Education with Certification degree from VanderCook College of Music, and a Bachelor of Arts in Music and English from Concordia College in Moorhead, Minnesota. Her research interests include women in academia, feminist and narrative research, choral settings of Emily Dickinson poetry, song leading and paperless music pedagogy, social justice in the choral classroom, the role of the modern cantor, and the effects of corporate singing on mental health. 

A passionate and dedicated teacher, Dr. Cherland taught choir and band at the middle and high school levels in South Dakota for 7 years, as well as private violin, voice, and piano lessons. She served as soprano section leader for both the Concordia Choir where she studied with René Clausen, and the Rockefeller Chapel Choir in Chicago under the direction of Randi Ellefson and James Kallembach. While in Seattle she was a frequent soprano and violin soloist. Prior to her studies in Seattle, Elisabeth and her family spent two years at Holden Village, a Lutheran retreat center near Chelan, Washington where she was the Village Musician. 

She lives with her partner Kent and their two sons, Elijah and Leif, in St. Peter. She loves storytelling and story-hearing, doughnuts, bubble tea, laughing, knitting, running (when the temperature is perfect and the course is flat), and sunshine when it’s available. 


  • D.M.A, Choral Conducting, University of Washington
  • M.M.E., Musical Education, VanderCook College of Music
  • B.A.s, Music and English, Concordia College


  • Women in academia
  • Feminist and narrative research
  • Choral settings of Emily Dickinson poetry
  • Song leading and paperless music pedagogy
  • Social justice in the choral classroom
  • The role of the modern cantor
  • Effects of corporate singing on mental health
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