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Conductor Kris Tjornehoj of Hudson leads musicians to Spain

Part of the group performed in the Cuella Concert. In several locations, the band also performed with bands from Spain. (Submitted photo)1 / 4
Dr. Kris Tjornehoj of Hudson is a professor of music at UW-River Falls, 2 / 4
Band members get instructions, and a taste, of the Spanish dish known as paella. It is essentially a rice dish from Spain and may contain a variety of items, everything from beans or peppers to chicken and seafood. (Submitted photo)3 / 4
The Three Rivers Concert Band poses for a group shot with the city of Toledo, Spain, in the background. A group of 47 people, many from western Wisconsin, combined forces to create a touring band. (Submitted photo)4 / 4

Hudsonite Kris Tjornehoj, a professor of music at UW-River Falls, was involved in the creation of the Three Rivers Concert Band and recently took the group to Spain. Tjornehoj directs the new group.

Three Rivers Band is comprised of adults and college students who hail from the St. Croix River Valley and Mississippi River and to the Minnesota River. The group is the creation of Tjornehoj and Amy Roisum–Foley of Le Sueur, Minn., (Minnesota State Mankato). Roisum-Foley is the director of bands and associate professor of music at Minnesota State University, Mankato, Minn.

“The idea of collaboration across age and location was intriguing and provided a broad base to draw musicians and art lovers for the 2014 tour of Spain,” Tjornehoj said.

She said a call to musicians from the St. Croix Valley Community Band, University of Wisconsin-River Falls Symphony Band, and similar groups in Minnesota resulted in a group of 47 people who combined forces to create a touring band.

Hudsonites on the trip included: Debbie Vogler, Danielle Vogler, Carl Meincke, Judy Meincke, Kris Tjornehoj, Dan Tjornehoj, Jessica Tjornehoj and Jamie Tjornehoj.

The Three Rivers Band toured Spain in June, collaborating with bands on and off the stage in Pinto, Valencia, Bueno and Amposta. The group left June 12 and returned June 21. Host Tony Blasco Lambies arranged for the joining of musicians from the U.S.A. and Spain.

Lambies is a member of the Navy Band in Madrid, Spain and a saxophone player in the Liter Band of Bueno. He also serves as the conductor of the Pinto Band and was recently at UW-River Falls as a guest conductor in March 2014.

“The anticipation of hosting performances of the Pinto band in the St. Croix Valley region is one of the benefits of this cultural exchange,” Tjornehoj said.

Members of the band toured Madrid, Toledo, Valencia and Barcelona during the 10-day tour. Highlights included meals with Spanish band members following concerts, guided tours of each city, plus free time to explore art museums and special events like Flamingo Dance shows.

Tjornehoj met with composers and conductors from Spain to exchange ideas and musical insights. One of the results is a composers’ conference that is scheduled for Oct. 24-26 at UW-River Falls. Chamber music scores will be evaluated and winners chosen with pieces performed by professional groups during the conference.

“A similar festival took place hosted by fellow conductor/composer Gregory Fritz in Bueno in July 2014 and serves as the inspiration for the conference at UW-River Falls,” Tjornehoj said.

Tjornehoj commissioned a new composition for band with Spanish composer Oscar Navarro for a future concert and guest conducting opportunities to share the sounds of Spanish rhythms and melodies.

The group is already planning a tour in June 2016 to the Czech Republic and Poland for cultural exchange and concert collaboration for musicians and arts patrons. Anyone interested in participating as a musician or patron, contact Tjornehoj at or call (715) 410-7416.