Geography instructors form band

From left, Grant Elliott, Soren Larsen and Matt Foulke make up the Urban Coyotes band. 

The Urban Coyotes, a band assembled by members of the MU Geography Department, will perform early Oct. 12 during a Homecoming tailgate at Tiger Terrace.

But you’ll need to remember that the correct pronunciation is “urban kai • oats.”

Members include Mark Palmer, Matt Foulkes, Soren Larsen, Clayton Blodgett and Grant Elliott — all faculty members in the department.

This will be the first time in its three-year run that the band will have a female lead vocalist. Vocals will primarily be provided by undergraduate Francesca “Fran” Hart, along with Larsen and Elliott.

The name Urban Coyotes was a serendipitous matter.

“We were getting ready to play, and someone yelled out, ‘what’s the name of your group?’ I heard that, and I just said ‘Urban Coyotes,’ ” Palmer said. “Because ...”

“We’re everywhere,” Elliott finished.

The band covers Tom Petty, Grateful Dead, Jimmy Buffett, Neil Young and more.

“But we’re not to Van Halen yet,” Palmer added.

A common interest of music — and some playing experience — led to the creation of the band within the Geography Department. It was simply a way to play together and “jam out” on Homecoming to see what happened.

“It’s a group of geographers who love music and who are trying to connect with the people who come to the tailgate in a different way than we normally connect with them, which is in teaching and so forth,” Foulkes said.

“It’s kind of relaxed atmosphere in that way," he added. "It’s kind of a cool thing.”

Palmer plays by ear. Elliott has been playing for two years, and Larsen for 10. Hart has been in choir since kindergarten.

“I just like jamming with these guys and just getting a feel of the rhythm,” Palmer said.

The Geography Department tailgate begins 9 a.m. at Tiger Terrace and the Urban Coyotes usually perform “10 songs or so.”

  • Community reporter, fall 2019 Studying news editing Reach me at, or in the newsroom at 882-5700

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