Concert Band Faculty


Lisa Kiener-Barnett taught instrumental music at the Elementary and Jr. High levels for 35 years. For the past 27 years she was Director of Bands at Lisle Jr. High School having recently retired in May 2018. Ms. Kiener-Barnett attended DePaul University School of Music in Chicago and Roosevelt University in Chicago. She has served on the Executive Board of the Illinois Grade School Music Association for 30 years and is currently State President for the Northern Division. She is a recipient of the Chicagoland Outstanding Music Educator Award and the Cloyd Meyer Memorial Award for Excellence in Music Education. Ms. Kiener-Barnett is a member of Phi Beta Mu, the International Bandmasters Fraternity and Illinois Music Educators Association, and served as a staff member on the Voyagers International Illinois Ambassadors of Music Summer European Tours. She has also previously served as Concert Band conductor at the Shell Lake Arts Center.

As a member of IGSMA, her Symphonic and Jazz Bands at Lisle Jr. High received Division 1 ratings at both the District and State levels for 27 consecutive years. Ms. Kiener-Barnett remains active as an adjudicator and clinician throughout the Chicagoland area. She is listed in Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers and Who’s Who Among America’s Women. Ms. Kiener-Barnett resides in Lisle, IL with her husband Patrick Barnett and their daughter Sophie, where she also serves on the local school board.

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). 


Praised as a “passionate and gifted soloist” (Libby Larsen) with “flawless technique and intuitive musicianship” (Craig Kirchhoff), Dr. Benjamin Cold is currently Professor of Saxophone at Bemidji State University, where he teaches applied saxophone, instructs saxophone quartets and directs the BSU contemporary music ensemble. As a passionate advocate of new music, he has been involved in the commissions and premieres of dozens of compositions for solo and chamber saxophone, most of which were dedicated to him. His specialty is electroacoustic saxophone, and he works diligently to find creative and unique ways of performing and improvising using live electronics, loop pedals, distortion effects and pre-recorded synthesizer. His work has been performed and recorded on Classical Minnesota Public Radio, National Public Radio, and The Skeptics Guide to the Universe. Dr. Cold's current album, flux-mirror, is planned for release in August 2018.
As a devoted saxophonist, pedagogue and scholar, Dr. Cold maintains an active teaching and performing schedule throughout the United States and Internationally. Throughout his professional career, he has held residencies, taught master classes and given guest recitals and performances across the country at many of the Nation’s top academic institutions including, but not limited to the University of Minnesota, Bowling Green State University, Kansas State University, North Dakota State University, and the University of North Texas.
Dr. Cold completed his D.M.A. in saxophone performance and pedagogy at the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities, where he studied with Eugene Rousseau. There he was a recipient of the prestigious Berneking Fellowship, the Cohen Fellowship and instructed undergraduate and graduate saxophone quartets. Benjamin Cold received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Wisconsin - Eau Claire, and his M.M. from Kansas State University in saxophone performance and pedagogy. During his graduate education, Dr. Cold expanded his studies to include private instruction in conducting, teaching strategies and score study with KSU – Director of Bands, Frank Tracz, and jazz band rehearsal techniques with KSU Director of Graduate Studies, Frederick Burrack. His previous teachers include Anna Wytko, Nancy Mcmillan and Greg Keel.
Benjamin Cold is a Conn-Selmer Performing Artist and plays on Selmer Series III saxophones. He is also an E-Rousseau Mouthpieces and Legere Reeds Performing Artist and Clinician.

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.

Tina James spent 18 years freelancing in the twin cities area. You may have heard her in Broadway productions such as Wicked, Mary Poppins and My Fair Lady at the Orpheum and State Theaters. She also performed frequently with the Minnesota Opera, VocalEssence and the Duluth-Superior Symphony Orchestra. Previous performing engagements have also included the Utah Symphony Orchestra, Ballet West, Colors of the Baroque, Sinfonia da Camera, Champaign-Urbana Symphony Orchestra, Rochester Symphony Orchestra, St. Cloud Symphony Orchestra and the St. Croix Symphony Orchestra. She has recorded extensively with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, Minnesota Opera and worked for a time recording pilots for feature film scores. Some of her fondest memories are performing with tour groups such as Mannheim Steamroller, Styx and Jackie Evancho. Tina has held faculty positions at Weber State University and St. Cloud State University. She is currently on faculty at the University of Wisconsin- River Falls School of Music. She also maintains a private piano and oboe studio in her home of about 40 students where she enjoys working with several special needs/autistic students. Her greatest accomplishment in life is co-launching three musician daughters into the world with husband Kristofer.

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.

Joel Matter received his degrees in Music Education from Illinois State University (BME 2001) and the University of Illinois (MME 2007).  Mr. Matter began his teaching career at Maine South High School located in Park Ridge, IL where he served as the Director of Bands for 12 years where he conducted three concert bands, the marching band, jazz band, and the pit orchestra. Mr. Matter’s bands received high marks at local and state festivals as well as collaborating with composers David Maslanka and Kimberly Archer.

Currently, Mr. Matter is the Director of Bands for School District 69 located in Skokie/Morton Grove, Illinois. Working with grades 4-8, he directs the Lincoln Jr. High Concert Band, Jazz Band, and the 4th and 5th-grade beginning and intermediate bands.  

Jenna McBride-Harris enjoys a varied freelance career performing and teaching in the greater Twin Cities metro area. 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 OrchestraDayton Philharmonic, and West Virginia Symphony Orchestra among others. Jenna relocated to the Twin Cities in August of 2017 where she has presented dozens of masterclasses, has enjoyed performing regularly with the Minnesota Orchestra and Minnesota Opera, has established a private teaching studio in St. Paul and is the founding director of the Twin Cities High School Horn Club. McBride-Harris is also a founding member of two new Twin Cities-based chamber ensembles, the North Star Winds and Minnesota’s premiere horn trio,SixtyThreeFeet. Jenna keeps a busy collegiate teaching schedule as adjunct assistant professor of horn at St. Olaf College, and as instructor of horn at the University of Northwestern—St. Paul and at the College of Saint Benedict/Saint John’s University. 


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 also serves as a clinician for area school district Festivals and Honors Bands. Ms. Root was the conductor of the NBA Junior High Honors Band in 2019.

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.  

Ms. 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 is a 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 35 years as an active Wisconsin School Music Association adjudicator and clinician for area school district festivals.  He has served as president of the New Richmond Fine Arts Center Board and as President of the St. Croix Valley Music Educators Association. He teaches trombone, euphonium, and advanced music theory and arranging at the Shell Lake Arts Center summer Concert Band Camp.

Program Director

Dr. Kristin Tjornehoj is the Director of Bands and Orchestra at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls where she conducts the UWRF Symphony Band and teaches courses in Conducting, World Music, and Instrumental Literature. Dr. Tjornehoj leads the St. Croix Valley Community Band and the St. Croix Valley Symphony Orchestra and enjoys working with musicians of all ages. She serves as the director of the Shell Lake Arts Center Concert Band Camp in the summer. Kristin is also a church music director and performs on a regular basis on piano and saxophone.

Active guest conductor, clinician, and adjudicator, Dr. Tjornehoj has accomplished statuses such as large these throughout the U.S. and abroad. in these capacities throughout the United States and abroad. Serving as a guest conductor for the Prague Castle Spanish Hall Concert, Dr. Tjornehoj collaborated with the Czech military band: Hradní stráže a Policie ČR (Václav Blahunek, director) in 2015 and 2017. She led performances in Pinto and Madridejos, Spain as part of the UNESCO International Year of the Woman in March of 2017. For over 25 years, Dr. Tjornehoj has produced academic courses and music tours internationally. In 2013, she co-founded the Three Rivers Concert Band; a group of college student and adult musicians from Minnesota and Wisconsin. This band has participated in international performance tours throughout the years. To date, her band has traveled to Spain, Hungary, Austria, and the Czech Republic. Most recently the ensemble performed in Switzerland, France, and Italy. Plans are being made to lead the musicians and friends to The Netherlands, Germany, Belgium, and Luxemburg. Kristin resides in Hudson, Wisconsin with her husband Dan, and her 3 adult children. She enjoys her free time by skiing and biking in northern Wisconsin.

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.