Hall of Famer enjoys exhibits

NEW ULM – A day after being inducted into the Minnesota Music Hall of Fame, singer Mary Jane Alm was part of the crowd looking at the exhibits.

Like this year’s list of inductees, the museum recognizes a wide, eclectic variety of musicians and bands, from Bob Dylan and Prince to Fezz Fritsche and Harold Loeffelmacher.

This year’s class included Alm, a country and rock singer and songwriter, jazz singer Dennis Spears, Lorren Lindevig, a well-known accordionist, local old-time bandleader Leon Olsen, the world-renowned St. Olaf Choir from Northfield, and folk guitar virtuoso Leo Kottke.

Alm said it was a bit overwhelming to look around the exihibits and see performers like the Andrews Sisters and big band leader Jules Hermann

“It’s humbling,” she said. “I don’t feel I’m quite worthy.”

Alm said she enjoys singing just as much now as when she started 40 years ago. “I don’t consider myself a country performer, though the songs I write tend toward country. I’ve sung in so many different styles – blues, jazz, rock… I’ve traveled the world with a band called Synergy, and we do a lot of dance music. I’ve sung Madonna and Lady Gaga.”

Alm said she feels fortunate to be singing with the same passion as in her 20s. “I think I’m better now than ever. I’m smarter about my singing, I know my strengths and weaknesses.”

The Minnesota Music Hall of Fame, located in the old New Ulm library and museum building, is open every Wednesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Admission is $5.

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