Concert Band Faculty

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 masterclasses 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). 

Nick Fox is an active percussionist and teacher, currently serving as Adjunct Professor of Percussion at Bowling Green State University and Percussion Instructor at Maumee City Schools. Fox is finishing a DMA in contemporary music at BGSU and previously received a Master’s degree in percussion performance from Northern Illinois University and a Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater. He has studied with Dr. Daniel Piccolo, Dr. Gregory Beyer, Tobie Wilkinson, Dr. Patti Cudd, Dr. Jonathan Smith, Dr. Renee Keller, and Michael Mixtacki.

In addition to teaching and solo performance commitments, Fox is a founding member of the Altered Sound Duo (saxophone and percussion) as well as the percussion quartet Landlocked Percussion. Both of these groups focus on prominent contemporary chamber works in the repertoire and Altered Sound Duo actively commissions new works. In 2014, Trevor Saint and Fox formed the percussion duo Undue. This project has lead to the creation of three new works and a Midwest tour including performances/master-classes at seven universities. The following year, Fox organized his solo tour debut including six universities and several arts clubs.

Fox has had the opportunity to perform with many influential artists, such as Jan Williams, Greg Beyer, Stuart Gerber, Tim Munroe, Shara Nova, Dal Niente, Toni Arnold, Erik Griswold, and members of the JACK Quartet. Fox has been awarded grant funding to assist with the commissioning of new works, transportation to music conferences, and summer music festivals such as New Music On the Point in Vermont. As a committed new music activist, Fox has expanded the percussion repertoire through commissions/collaborations with composers Matthew Burtner, James Romig, Jeff Herriott, Kerrith Livengood, Chelsea Loew, and Christopher Burns, just to name a few. 

 

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.

Paul Krasin is a music teacher in Hudson, WI, where he has been teaching for 11 years.  Over the past 11 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, Jazz Band, Brass Ensemble, and Trumpet Ensemble.  

In addition to his public school teaching career, Krasin plays trumpet in area ensembles as well as teaching private trumpet lessons.  He is currently a member of the Sheldon Theatre Brass Band, 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.

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, established a private teaching studio, and is the founding director of the Twin Cities High School Horn Club. Jenna keeps a busy collegiate teaching schedule as professor of horn at both St. Olaf College, (her alma mater,) and 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 is a retired middle school band director/teacher.  She taught for 41 years, six in the Chippewa Falls Catholic School System, and thirty-five 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 retirement, Root is a substitute teacher for band and orchestra in area schools.  Root teaches band lessons one day a week in Glenwood City, WI She maintains a private trumpet studio and performs regularly in area ensembles.  She is a thirty-three-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 has served as a clinician at the “Beyond the Notes” Band Festival at the Kalahari (2019), was the director of the NBA Junior High Honors Band (2019), the Wisconsin Valley Honors Band (2020), and the UWEC Middle School Honors Band (2020).

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.

Jim 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 lessons 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-three-year member of the St. Croix Community Band.  

Root has served for 39 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

Kristin Tjornehoj is a conductor who has positively influenced musicians, students, composers and audiences across the globe. A Wisconsin native, Kris has earned several degrees in Music, including her Ph.D. in Music Education from the University of Minnesota. She has taught tens of thousands of students, from Hudson High School to the University of Wisconsin at River Falls, plus the Shell Lake Wisconsin Arts Camp, Honors Bands, school and community bands and orchestras, here and abroad. In addition to teaching, Kris has been a musician, conductor, collaborator and speaker throughout the U.S., Canada, China, Czech Republic, England, France, Iceland, Israel, Italy, Scotland, Spain and Switzerland. Kris will tell you that music energizes her, that having a purpose-filled life guides her actions. Her passion is collaboration with new composers throughout the world, and thanks to Kris, these international composers have had their works premiered and recorded by her UW River Falls Symphony Band, the St. Croix Valley Symphony Orchestra, and her other regional community bands, choirs, and orchestras. She welcomes international and local guest conductors and soloists, annually commissions new works, and enhances the appeal of Concert Band music here and abroad. She firmly believes in embracing all cultures.  She loves to share her passion, time, and energy in helping students and adults find the enjoyment and value music provides for all people.

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.