Concert Band Faculty

Dr. Alexandra Berndt is an active performer and teacher based in the Twin Cities. She joined the South Dakota Symphony Orchestra as the Associate Principal Bassoon in 2016 and performs throughout the Twin Cities. In addition to maintaining a large private studio, she also serves as the adjunct bassoon professor at St. Cloud State University and the University of Wisconsin–River Falls. Previously she was the bassoon instructor at the Boston University Tanglewood Institute Young Artist Wind Ensemble in Lenox, MA and was on faculty at the Rivers School Conservatory in Weston, MA as a chamber music coach.

Dr. Berndt earned her Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Bassoon Performance with a Secondary Emphasis in Music Theory from the University of Minnesota. She earned her Master of Music from the New England Conservatory of Music and while living in Boston was a member of the Vento Chiaro Wind Quintet. Vento Chiaro was a two-time recipient of the Free For All Concert Fund Grant while she was a member. She earned her Bachelor of Music summa cum laude and with Program Honors in Woodwinds from Northwestern University in Evanston, IL.

A 2010 Tanglewood Music Center Fellow, she also attended the summer music festivals at the Brevard Music Center and the Banff Music Centre. Her primary teachers include John Miller, Richard Ranti, Suzanne Nelsen, Christopher Millard, Lewis Kirk, and David Seidel.

In her spare time, she enjoys cooking, reading, cycling, wakeboarding, gardening, and traveling. She lives in Minneapolis with her husband and their tuxedo cat.

Having been teaching private lessons since 1996, Heather Bolton has been an oboe instructor at Shell Lake Arts Center since 1997 and happily maintains a studio of seventy to eighty private oboe and piano students.   She attended both the University of Wisconsin at Eau Claire and at River Falls.  These institutions awarded her a bachelor degree in preK–12 instrumental and vocal music education as well as high honors in both oboe and piano performance.  Mrs. Bolton is often asked to assess and work with teachers of all specialties, helped set-up new music programs, revamped existing ones and enjoyed teaching in the public school setting for several years.  As a guest soloist, she has traveled many places around the world and throughout the United States.  Mrs. Bolton can often be seen performing, judging competitions, and working as a clinician. Her sounds can be heard on several recordings with her performing, arranging, and composing.  In 2006, Heather became the owner and full-time operator of Ashland Academy of Music, located in Mahtomedi, MN.  The Academy is 100% Music, open year-round, and serves up to 400 private lessons on virtually every instrument each week throughout its 14 personal studios.  All of the instructors are master educators and performers.  Ashland students receive the highest marks at competitions and contests; are able to easily receive scholarships and admittance into honors programs.  The Academy also hosts an array of master classes and guest artists, facilitates day camps and group classes, and has even had music videos and recording sessions made within.  Aside from teaching and running Ashland, Heather is also actively involved with the music ministry at her church.  She runs the services for two to three weekends each month and leads the children’s choir.  Mrs. Bolton is a member of MMTA (Minnesota Music Educators Association), NMTA (National Music Teachers Association), SPPTA (St. Paul Piano Teachers Association), MDRS (Midwest Double Reed Society), and IDRS (International Double Reed Society).

Dr. Paul J. Budde is an Assistant Professor of Music at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls, where he teaches Music Education I (Elementary), Music Education II (Secondary), Music for Elementary Teachers, and World Music, as well as supervises music students during Student Teaching. Previously, Budde served as an adjunct Professor of Music at Gustavus Adolphus College, Inver Hills Community College, Mankato State University, St. Cloud State University, and the University of St. Thomas, where he taught Music Education, Music Appreciation, Music Theory, History of Rock & Roll, World Music, and Applied Tuba/Euphonium; directed Tuba-Euphonium Ensemble; and supervised student teachers. In addition, he taught middle and high school music in the public schools of Wisconsin and Minnesota for eight years. As an instructor, Budde is passionate about finding ways to blend the best of traditional music education with forward-looking ideas that align with the ever-changing needs of students in the 21st century.

Dr. Budde’s research trajectory involves investigating various teaching methods in an effort to find more effective ways to teach tonguing/articulation to young musicians. His dissertation study, An Analysis of Methods for Teaching Middle School Band Students to Articulate (University of Minnesota, 2011) was a first step in this regard. He was the creator and chairperson of Tubonium, a two-day tuba and euphonium workshop that brought low-brass enthusiasts and world-renowned guest artists to this Minnesota event. In addition, he released an album titled Practice Room Grooves, which is made up of accompaniment tracks that serves as a means to improve fundamentals during independent practice. He has also served on the Board of Directors for the Minnesota Band Director’s Association.

Dr. Budde is an active performer (tuba) and clinician. He is a member of the St. Anthony Brass Quintet, an ensemble that represented the United States during performances at the 2014 Harbin Summer Music Festival in China. In addition, he has performed in numerous Twin Cities ensembles, including the Minnesota Orchestra, St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, National Lutheran Chorale, Lake Wobegon Brass Band, and VocalEssence. Budde’s collegiate tuba quartet, The Pistons, was the first-place winner of the first-ever International Tuba/Euphonium Quartet Competition in 1992. His primary tuba instructors have been Jerry Young and Ross Tolbert, but he has also studied with Arnold Jacobs, Sam Pilafian, and Patrick Sheridan.

Dr. Budde, who currently lives in Lakeville, MN with his wife Kimberly and their four boys, earned a Bachelors Degree in Instrumental Music Education from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire (1993), a Masters Degree in Tuba Performance from the University of Minnesota (2004), and a Ph.D. in Music Education from the University of Minnesota (2011).

Nyla Clements graduated with honors from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee in 2012 with a degree in Music Education. While at UWM, she studied clarinet under the instruction of Todd Levy--Principal of the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra and the Santa Fe Opera.  

Clements is currently the director of elementary bands in Mukwonago, WI.  She also co-teaches at the high school as a woodwind technician and is the music director for the marching band. Clements started a private clarinet studio in 2016 and it has been steadily growing with some wonderfully talented and driven students.  Clements makes a point of continuing to perform in the area as an active member of the Milwaukee chapter of the American Legion Band and constantly seeks out other performing opportunities including church masses, chamber ensembles, and local musical theatre.

Brandon Delbow is the Middle School Band Teacher at Minnehaha Academy in Minneapolis. He teaches concert band classes and small group lessons for all band students grades 5-8, an integrated arts course to all 6th graders, and before-school jazz band.  He also maintains a small studio of private trumpet students and beginning instrumentalists. Delbow is a 2014 graduate of the University of St. Thomas (St. Paul, MN), where he studied with Mr. Chris Volpe and received a BM Education degree as well as a K-12 Instrumental teaching license. 

Delbow performs primarily on trumpet as a member of the Centennial Community Band (Circle Pines, MN) under the direction of Barry Zumwalde and is an active trumpeter at multiple area churches.  He plays occasionally for school and community theater productions and has been known to guest-conduct and perform with the University of St. Thomas Brass Choir.

Nick Fox is a performing percussionist and teacher. He is pursuing a D.M.A. in percussion performance at Bowling Green State University in Ohio.  He has received degrees in percussion performance from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater (B.M.) and Northern Illinois University (M.M.). He is a founding member of the percussion duo Undue and the percussion quartet, Tofu Dump Truck. These groups focus on contemporary chamber works and the commissioning of new pieces. Undue finished a concert tour in 2015, which involved performances and masterclasses at seven universities in four states. Fox recently finished a Midwest tour as a solo performer in 2016; this tour included five concerts at universities throughout Wisconsin, Illinois, and Minnesota. In 2012, Fox was awarded an undergraduate research grant. This helped to commission a piece by composer Matthew Burtner (Song for Low Tree). This work was presented at the National Conference for Undergraduate Research at Weber St. in Ogden, Utah, and at the state conference held at UW-Whitewater. Since 2012, Fox has worked with Burtner to record several of his percussion quartets: Syntax of Snow, Siku Unipkaaq, and The Winter Raven. He has commissioned five more works from various composers in the past four years. Fox performed at the 2013 Latino Music Festival and Chicago Arts Club in 2014 with Ensemble Dal Niente in Chicago, Illinois. Fox performed at the opening concert of the 2012 Unruly Music Festival in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He was chosen as a member of the Wisconsin All-Star Percussion Ensemble several times, performed at CMENC (College Music Educators National Conference), and has presented many recitals throughout his professional/educational career.

Diane Hallberg is the director of Band and Orchestra and the head of the Fine Arts Department at the Upper School of Minnehaha Academy in Minneapolis, Minnesota where she recently received a distinguished teaching award. She has led numerous performance tours in the US and overseas with a special interest in incorporating service learning into these experiences. She is active as a clinician and contest judge in the Twin Cities and has served as the director of the high school flute choir for the Upper Midwest Flute Association.  She is a member of the artistic staff of the Greater Twin Cities Youth Symphonies (GTCYS) where she is a section coach and has also been a member of the faculty of the Shell Lake Arts Center Summer Band Camp. Ms. Hallberg performs with the Minnesota Symphonic Winds. She earned her Bachelor of Arts Degree in music education from St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota and has pursued graduate work at The University of Minnesota and The University of St. Thomas.

Dave Herdan is a jazz and classical saxophonist focused on performance and education. Based in Central Minnesota, Herdan is currently Director of Bands at Albany Area Middle School in Albany, MN.  He earned his Master’s Degree in Music Performance - Jazz Studies at Bowling Green State University, and his Bachelor’s Degree in Instrumental Music Education at the University of Wisconsin- River Falls. Dave has taught courses at Bowling Green State University, and is also a former faculty member of Terra State Community College in Fremont, OH, where he taught Applied Saxophone, Clarinet, and Jazz/Contemporary Music. Additionally, he has taught at a number of music camps, and has performed as a featured soloist and guest clinician with ensembles across the Midwest. This diverse saxophonist has performed alongside artists such as Jimmy Heath, Ernie Watts, Mike Stern, Bobby Vee, Cloud Cult, The Shirelles, The Crickets, and Tim Hagans, among others. Herdan actively performs in the Minneapolis/Saint Paul area with many groups, including The Bad Habits Brass, Maple and Beech, and The Eric Loehr Band. He is a member of the Jazz Education Connection of Ohio, National Association for Music Education, Minnesota Music Educators Association, Wisconsin Music Educators Association, and the North American Saxophone Alliance.

Tina James currently freelances in the twin cities area and has maintained a private oboe studio out of her home for over fifteen years. Tina has held faculty positions at Weber State University School of Music and St. Cloud State University. Previous performance engagements have included the Minnesota Opera Co., Duluth-Superior Symphony Orchestra, Vocalessence, Utah Symphony Orchestra, Ballet West, Colors of the Baroque, Sinfonia da Camera, and the Champaign-Urbana Symphony Orchestra. Tina has recorded with the NightPro Symphony Orchestra and has played for several feature film scores. In addition, she is a regular with many touring groups including Mannheim Steamroller and Broadway America (“Wicked”, “Mary Poppins”, etc…) She has received degrees in music performance from the University of Illinois and Louisiana State University and currently lives in Eagan, Minnesota.

Paul Krasin is a music teacher in Hudson, WI.  Over the past 8 years, he has taught middle school band lessons as well as elementary general music.  Krasin received his Bachelor of Music Education from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls in 2006.  During his time at UWRF, he was a very active trumpet player in Wind Ensemble, Brass Ensemble, Trumpet Ensemble, Brass Quintet, and the UWRF Jazz Band which performed with the Minnesota Orchestra in their Swinging Nutcracker concerts. 

In addition to his public school teaching career, Krasin plays trumpet in area ensembles and churches as well as teaching private trumpet lessons.  In his trumpet studio, he teaches all levels students from beginners to very advanced players in all styles of music.  He is currently a member of the UW-River Falls University Band and plays with a brass quintet.  Krasin is also a trumpet instructor at Shell Lake Arts Center during the summer Concert Band camp.

Born in Buñol (Valencia), José Antonio Blasco Lambíes began his musical studies at age 10 in the Centro Instructivo Musical “La Armónica” in Buñol (CIMA), his first teacher being Juan Fuentes Mur and José Luis Peris. Continuing at the Conservatory of Music in Buñol, studying Music Theory, Transposing, Music History, Saxophone, and Pedagogy, in which he got the highest marks. He is also a member of 14 years of CIMA Symphonic Band " La Armónica " and Saxophone Quartet (CIMASAX ).

He moved to Las Palmas de Gran Canaria where he worked intensely in the musical and educational fields, which are summarized below:

He was a founding member of the Saxophone Quartet of the Conservatorio Superior de Música in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, performing numerous concerts in the archipelago.

Involved in several concerts with the Philharmonic Orchestra of Gran Canaria and among other musical groups, performed as saxophonist with Concert Band " Damián Sánchez " of Alcobendas, Municipal Band of Ceuta , " La Artesana "  of Catarroja, Municipal Band of Fuenlabrada , Musical Society " La Paz "  of Siete Aguas, Municipal Band of Meco and Young Soloists Canarios. Collaborates with the Symphonic Band of Madrid as a substitute teacher and is Saxophone Soloist for the Musical Instructional Center "La Armónica " of Buñol.

Among the symphonic groups directed by José Antonio Blasco Lambies, are: Youth Band of CIM "La Armónica ", High School Band of " Buñol ", Musical Union Higueruelas (Valencia) , Cultural - Artistic Association " Benito García de la Parra " ( Bargas -Toledo ) and Guest Director: Banda Municipal de Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Musical Association " Manuel de Falla " of Illescas ( Toledo) and Symphonic Band " La Lira " from Pozuelo de Alarcón (Madrid) ,

In 1999 the Generalitat Valenciana and the city of Buñol, selected the CIMASAX Quartet for a concert tour of Hungary (Liszt Theatre, etc.), in which they obtained excellent reviews both by the organizers, and the audience.

He was coordinator and teacher of advanced courses of the Musical Union de Higueruelas (Valencia) from 1998-1999, and head of the Meetings of Young Musicians "Villa de Magallon " (Zaragoza) in 2012 and 2013.

He has taken courses in saxophone and pedagogy with teachers Jean Marie D. Londeix, Julio Martínez, Sixto Herrera, Pilar Lago, Jose Luis Campos, Concepción Sanuy, and Montserrat Sanuy.

He is Professor of Saxophone at the School of Music at " Lira " in Pozuelo de Alarcón and during the 2005-2006 and 2006-2007 school years was a professor in the " Beatriz Galindo" Institute of Goya Street in Madrid, where he was the promoter of the concerts " Musical Evenings "of the Beatriz.

He has taken several courses with the following professors:

  1. José Collado (Orchestra Conducto), Denise Ham (Professor of Conducting at the Royal Academy of Music in London) , Rafael Sanz (Director of the Municipal Band of Bilbao) , Luis Sanjaime ( Band Director), D. Enrique García Asensio (Director of the Municipal Symphonic Band of Madrid) , Jesús López Cobos (Orchestra Director of the Teatro Real de Madrid), José Rafael Pascual Vilaplana (Music Director of the Symphony Orchestra of Albacete).

Led by the likes of conductors: José María Collado, Francisco Roberto Forés, Francisco Grau, Fernando Bonete, Francisco Tamarit, Abel Moreno , Cristóbal Soler, Luis Sanjaime,  Enrique García Asensio , Julio Martinez, Frank de Vuyst , Hardy Mertens , Franco Cesarini, José R. Pascual Vilaplana .

He has performed practically throughout Spain, giving concerts in the most important concert halls and auditoriums, such as:  National Music Auditorium in Madrid, Palau de la Música in Valencia, Teatro Monumental in Madrid, Teatro de la Zarzuela, Teatro Manuel de Falla of Granada and Cádiz , Jameos del Agua Auditorium (Lanzarote ) , Palacio de Congresos de Sevilla , Seville Cathedral , Leon Cathedral , Church of Los Jerónimos in Madrid; and abroad, Opera de Nice (France) , Liszt Theater (Budapest) , Bruges, St. Peter Square (Rome), and in 2000,  the Jubilee year, was selected to perform together with others of various nationalities in the Vatican , more specifically in the Paul VI room.

He has directed soloists such as Pedro Iturralde, Francisco Guillen, (O.N.E.), Javier Martinez (O.R.T.V.E. ) Ximo Vicedo (O.R.T.V.E.), Vicente Alberola (O.S.M.), Pepe Peñalver (BSMM),  Manolo Escobar, etc. in addition to performing in educational concerts with the Puppet Company "Per Poc ".

In 2008 the Alfasur Publishing House awarded him the ZIGZAG DE CULTURA AWARD of Pinto, voted unanimously by the jury; several composers have commissioned him to premiere their works, some of them have also expressly dedicated works to him and to the Pinto Band. He is in possession of the Diploma of Honor awarded by Young Canarian Soloists, and the Scroll of Honor of the Brotherhood of Solitude (Guadalajara).

In 2014, he directed a Monographic Concert by the composer Óscar Navarro in the National Auditorium of Madrid.

He has a degree in Orchestral Conducting from the Royal Academy of Music in London, in the School of Advanced Musical Studies in Huelva (Spain).

He is currently Music Director of the Municipal Band of Pinto, since 2001, as such, was the winner of the Second International Band Contest " Vila La Senia " Tarragona, and the Third National Band Contest "Villa de Dosbarrios " (Toledo).

Since May 2016, he has been the Principal Conductor of the Municipal Symphony Band of Madridejos (Toledo), obtaining First Prize and Honorable Mention unanimously by the jury in the IV Band Music Contest of Mota del Cuervo (Cuenca) in its 2017 edition.

He is currently a Brigade Musician in the Symphonic Band of the Navy Infantry Group of Madrid and Professor at the Central Academy of Defense, at the School of the Military Music Corps of Spain.

Jenna McBride-Harris, instructor of horn at the University of Northwestern, has enjoyed a varied freelance career performing and teaching in Ohio, Minnesota, and more recently last summer as one of the horn faculty instructors at Interlochen Arts Camp in Michigan. After earning her Bachelor of Music degree from St. Olaf College in Northfield, MN, McBride-Harris moved to Ohio where she earned her masters and doctoral degrees at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music and The Ohio State University respectively. In Ohio, she held positions as second horn in the Canton and Kentucky Symphony Orchestras and enjoyed performing with the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra, Dayton Philharmonic, and West Virginia Symphony Orchestra among others. She was also a founding member of two chamber ensembles; the Ohio River Brass Quintet, and JplaysH, a horn and harp duo. Since moving back to the Twin Cities in August of 2017 she has presented masterclasses all over the metro area, has enjoyed performing with the Minnesota Orchestra and Minnesota Opera, and has established a private teaching studio in St. Paul. McBride-Harris is also a founding member of two new Twin Cities-based chamber ensembles, the North Star Winds and Minnesota’s premier horn trio, SixtyThreeFeet. This summer Dr. McBride-Harris became the founder and director of the Twin Cities high school horn club, an organization that fosters learning and community amongst young hornists in the metro area through playing and performing fun and challenging music for large horn ensemble.

Melissa Morey is a free-lance professional horn player, teacher, and singer, who holds a Master of Music degree in horn performance and pedagogy from the University of Wisconsin-Madison where she studied with Douglas Hill. Morey earned a Bachelor of Music degree in vocal music education (with departmental distinction) from St. Olaf College where she studied horn with Priscilla McAfee and voice with Margaret Eaves-Smith, and was a member of and soloist with the St. Olaf Choir, St. Olaf Band, and St. Olaf Orchestra.

Morey has performed in numerous professional vocal and instrumental groups throughout the Twin Cities region, most notably the Minnesota Orchestra and the Dale Warland Singers, and currently serves as the principal horn for Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra.

In addition to running Morey Horn Studio (her home teaching studio of about 50 private students), Morey is also 1/3 of the Mélange à Trois horn trio (Cara Wilson - violin, Stephen Self - piano), and teaches at Gustavus Adolphus College (St. Peter) and Concordia University-St. Paul.

Morey lives in Minneapolis with her husband, Nicholas Ellison, and three music-loving pets.  

Casey Palbicki is an active performer, clinician, and music educator in the Midwest. He teaches a multitude of instruments within the drumming world as well as electric/upright bass, and piano. Casey also excels in teaching music theory, classical/jazz composition, and has led hand drumming and drum circle clinics for high schools, universities, and public audiences across the U.S. Casey is currently working on a Ph.D in Music Composition at the University of Minnesota, where he also teaches various courses in music. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Percussion Performance from the University of Wisconsin – River Falls, and a Master’s degree in Jazz Pedagogy from the University of Northern Iowa where he directed percussion ensembles and the jazz big band group “The Inglorious Jazzers.” Casey has had the opportunity to perform and study with artists such as Peter Erskine, Carl Allen, Matt Wilson, Donny McCaslin, John Clayton, Steven Bryant, Eric Whitacre, Fred Sturm, Ernie Watts, Michael Colegrass, Cake, Rhythmic Circus, and two artists from NBC’s “The Voice” Jesse Larson and Nicholas Mrozinski. Casey also teaches individual percussion and bass study at Sound Check Music School in the Twin Cities. He is a member of the Jazz Educators Network, the American Composers Forum, the Film Composers Society of Minnesota, and American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP).

Aimee Pashby teaches high school band at Rice Lake High School where she conducts two concert bands, two jazz ensembles, a jazz combo, and marching band.  Prior to teaching in Rice Lake, Mrs. Pashby taught 5-12th grade instrumental music in Shell Lake for 12 years.  She also taught music for two years in the Department of Defense Schools in Baumholder and Bad Kreuznach, Germany. Mrs. Pashby holds a Bachelors of Music Education degree from UW-Eau Claire and a Masters degree in conducting and band pedagogy from American Band College of Sam Houston State University. She has previously been the flute and oboe coach for the Wisconsin State Middle Level Honors Band and the Wisconsin State High School Honors Band, and the woodwind coach for the State Middle Level Honors Orchestra. In addition to teaching at Rice Lake High School, Mrs. Pashby also maintains a private piano and wind instrument studio, which includes students from the surrounding area.

Connie Root recently retired after 41 years of being a middle school band director. She taught 6th and 8th-grade concert bands, as well as lessons to 6th through 8th graders in Hudson, Wisconsin.

Root received her Bachelor of Music Education from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire in 1976 and her Master’s Degree in Arts Education from UW-River Falls in 2008.  In addition to public school teaching, she maintains a private trumpet studio and performs regularly in area ensembles.  She is a thirty-one-year member of the St. Croix Valley Community Band and performs with the UW-River Falls University Band.  Ms. Root is a faculty member at the Shell Lake Arts Center, teaching trumpet at the summer’s Concert Band Camp.

Root is an active Wisconsin School Music Association (WSMA) master level adjudicator and has also served as a clinician for area school district festivals.  She has served three terms for the Wisconsin Music Educators Association (WMEA) as Vice President of the Northwest region of Wisconsin, and has been active with the Wisconsin Honors Project, serving as brass coach for the High School Honors Orchestra, Coordinator of the Middle Level Honors Band, and State Chair of the Middle Level Honors Project.  Mrs. Root was chosen by the UW-River Falls faculty as Outstanding Music Educator of the Year, is a recipient of the Hudson Education Foundation’s “Star Excellence” Education award, was chosen as the Wisconsin music teacher that “Makes a Difference” from the National School Band and Orchestra magazine, and was recently selected as the recipient of WMEA’s Michael G. George Distinguished Service Award.

Mr. Root earned his Bachelor of Music Education from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire in 1978.  After 15 years of public school teaching in Wisconsin, Jim began teaching private lesson and maintains a very active piano, percussion, guitar, and brass private lesson studio in the St. Croix Valley.  Jim enjoys composing and arranging for his students in various music ensembles and venues.  His students consistently earn superior ratings at solo and ensemble festivals and many of his students have become members of the State Honors Band & Orchestra programs in both Wisconsin and Minnesota. 

Mr. Root performs regularly as a soloist in many ensembles; performing at concerts, weddings, musicals, and community events throughout the Midwest. In addition, Root is a thirty-one-year member of the St. Croix Community Band. 

Root has served for 38 years as an active Wisconsin School Music Association adjudicator and clinician for area school district festivals.  He teaches trombone, euphonium, and advanced music theory and arranging at the Shell Lake Arts Center summer Concert Band Camp.  He has served as president of the New Richmond Fine Arts Center Board and as President of the St. Croix Valley Music Educators Association.

Program Director

Kristin Tjornehoj holds a Ph.D. in music education and an M.M. from the University of Minneapolis, and a B.M. degree in music education and performance from Luther College in Decorah, Iowa.   Dr. Tjornehoj is a full professor and chair of the department at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls. At UW-RF she has taught courses in wind conducting, music education, instrumental literature, music appreciation, and world music. 

She is active as a conductor and clinician/lecturer, which has taken her across the U.S., Canada, China, Czech Republic, England, France, Iceland, and Scotland.  She maintains a busy conducting/lecture schedule in both professional and educational settings and is currently the leader of the Symphony Band, St. Croix Valley Symphony Orchestra, St. Croix Valley Community Band, and the adult choir at Shepherd of the Valley Lutheran Church in Afton, MN.  She has led ensembles on performance tours throughout the United States and abroad. Recent experiences include World Music and Music Appreciation study groups throughout Europe with a UW-River Falls International Traveling Classroom in February touring Edinburgh, London, and Paris.

Dr. Tjornehoj is the co-founder of the Three Rivers Concert Band.  This ensemble boasts a multi-generational, high-quality group of performing musicians from Wisconsin and Minnesota.  The group collaborates for concerts and cultural experiences both at home and abroad.  Repertoire selections represent the country of exploration, plus popular music of the United States.   

Dedicated to the creation of new compositions, her credits of commissioned works or premiers by prolific composers includes Joel Blahnick, Todd Coleman, Michael Colgrass, Gregory Fritze, Lars Jansson, Daniel Kallman, David Maslanka, Johan de Meij, Joanne Metcalf, Craig Naylor, David Revill, Michael J. Roy, Jared Spears, Jack Stamp, Michael Torke, Joseph Turrin, Amy Williams, Charles Young, and John Zdechlick.  Dr. Tjornehoj collaborates with composers and performers on a regular basis, producing concerts for wind symphony, orchestra and chamber ensembles. 

A participating member in several professional scholarly, music and community organizations, she currently serves on boards/committees throughout the greater St. Croix Valley as an arts advocate including St. Croix Valley Foundation, Phipps Center for the Arts, and ArtReach St. Croix.

Dr. Tjornehoj is the director of the Shell Lake Arts Center Concert Band Camp.  She is dedicated to working with middle and high school level students with clinics, master class settings, and as a guest conductor.  

Jill Westermeyer teaches private clarinet lessons in her home studio and middle school band in St Anthony, Minnesota. She also frequently serves as a contest judge and plays clarinet in the Minnesota Symphonic Winds. From 2001 to 2014, she taught band at the Minnehaha Academy Upper School in Minneapolis. Prior to teaching at Minnehaha Academy, she taught middle school band in Ankeny, Iowa and 4-12 grade band in Parkston, South Dakota. Westermeyer grew up in Spanaway, Washington where she studied clarinet with Dileep Gangolli. She graduated cum laude from St. Olaf College with a Bachelor of Arts in Music Education. While attending St. Olaf, she studied with JoAnn Polley, and was assistant principal clarinet in the St. Olaf Band and St. Olaf Orchestra. She has done postgraduate work at University of South Dakota, Iowa State University, University of Minnesota and University of Wisconsin River Falls.