Dr. Kristin (Skoglund) Tjornehoj '80

Dr. Kristin (Skoglund) Tjornehoj '80

Dr. Kristin (Skogland) Tjornehoj '80

When Kris Skoglund was a senior at New Richmond (Wis.) High School, she had settled on two different colleges before landing at Luther. After making a second visit to Luther and meeting Luther College Concert Band conductor professor emeritus Fred Nyline, who inspired in her that a career as a female conductor was possible, she then decided on Luther. To this day Kris stays in touch with her former mentor. She is grateful for the other wonderful music faculty that she met at Luther including Maurice Monhardt, John and Virginia Strauss, and, of course, the late Weston Noble ’43.

Kristin began her teaching and conducting career at Hudson (Wis.) High School, and quickly became enmeshed in the area music community. She met her Luther alumnus husband, Dan Tjornehoj ’79, at a Luther friend’s wedding, and the pair were married in 1983.

She earned the M.M. degree in 1989 from the University of Minnesota, and began teaching and conducting at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls in 1989. She earned the Ph.D. in music from Minnesota in 2002. She is full professor of music UW-River Falls and served as department chair from 2014 to 2019.

She has been recognized for her teaching a number of times by UW-River Falls: Outstanding Music Educator, 1992; Outstanding Faculty-Excellence in Service Music Profession, 2010; Outstanding Faculty-Excellence in Service Community Service, 2015; College of Arts and Science Community Service Award, 2018, 2019.

Tjornehoj is active as a musician, conductor, educator and speaker, which has taken her across the U.S., Canada, China, Czech Republic, England, France, Germany, Iceland, Israel, Italy, Scotland, Spain, Switzerland and the Netherlands. The list of invitations as a guest conductor are too numerous to list, but highlights include The UNESCO International Year of the Woman (Spain, 2017), and the American Spring Festival (Prague, Czechoslovakia, 2015 and 2017).

She maintains a musical life including conducting in both professional and educational settings and is the director of the Symphony Band at UW-River Falls, and the St. Croix Valley Symphony Orchestra. She is also a member and co-leader of The Three Rivers Concert Band, an ensemble of college and adult level musicians that travels and performs abroad. She has been director of the Shell Lake Arts Center Band/Piano Camp for the past 15 years. Kris has also been active in church music, leading the choir at Shepherd of the Valley Lutheran Church since 1984.

Dedicated to the creation of new compositions, her credits of commissioned works or premiers by composers includes Jacob Beranek, Joel Blahnik, Todd Coleman, Michael Colgrass, Gregory Fritze, Javier Pérez Garrido, Lars Jansson, David Maslanka, Johan de Meij, Joanne Metcalf, Craig Naylor, Anthony O'Toole, Stan Niewenhuis, David Revill, Michael J. Roy, Jared Spears, Jack Stamp, Michael Torke, Joseph Turrin, Amy Williams, Charles Young, John Zdechlick, and Luther alumnus, Daniel Kallman ’78.

Kristin is an active member in several professional scholarly and musical organizations including the Wisconsin School Music Association, the World Association of Symphony Bands and Ensembles, American String Teachers Association, National Band Association, and the National Association for Music Education. She has numerous published articles in professional publications, and has been a guest lecturer/presenter at numerous national and international conferences.

Her energetic and insightful leadership is sought out by boards and committees throughout the greater St. Croix Valley including ArtReach St. Croix, Hudson Hospital Foundation, Phipps Center for the Arts, St. Croix Valley Foundation, and the newly founded Zephyr Theatre. She is also the founder of St. Croix Sounds, a non-profit that supports music productions.

At Luther College, Kristin serves as class agent for the Class of 1980 and was a member of her reunion giving committee in 2015 and 2020. She has served on the summer faculty at the Dorian Music Camps and as an adjunct faculty member for music education/student teaching. She received the prestigious Carlos A. Sperati Award in Recognition of Meritorious Achievement in the Field of Instrumental Music in 2006.

Kristin and Dan live in Hudson, Wisconsin, and are parents of three adult children, John, Jamie, and Jessica (Jake Drewiske), and new grandparents to Kennedy Rose Drewiske.