The St. Croix Community Band will be coming to the UW-River Falls amphitheater on July 26 for a free performance–part of the “Chill on the Hill” summer concert series.
The community band is one of the last performances in the series–a project funded jointly by the Kinnickinnic River Land Trust and the Royal Credit Union–and it is conducted by Director Kristin Tjornehoj, who is also chair and professor of music at UWRF.
“I started the community band when I graduated college,” said Tjornehoj. She has been conducting for 29 years since she founded the community band in 1982, working all that time with a collection of about 80 music enthusiasts from across the River Falls/Hudson area. Ages in the band range, she said, from around 15 to 80, and the band has played at a variety of venues including a trip to the Czech Republic in 2008.
Hal Watson of the KRLT Board of Directors said that the organization’s purpose in sponsoring the event is to bring the community together in celebration of the Kinnickinnic River. “We really wanted to create a family-friendly event where we could connect with people in the community,” Watson said. “We’ve never done that before and this seemed like a good time.”
The theme for Chill on the Hill is “Celebrating Nature,” an effort on Tjornehoj’s part to honor the National Park Service which, according to nationalparks.org, will be turning 100 years old on August 25. “We want to make this a big deal and celebrate the national parks and our community,” Tjornehoj said. “I hope that we will make [our audience] respectful of our national parks.”
Song selections will include a medley–compiled by Milwaukee native Pierre La Plante–featuring the songs “Shenandoah,” “Across the Wide Missouri,” “Down the River” and “The Glendy Burk.” Marches and contemporary music will round out the concert, in addition to a solo rendition of “America the Beautiful” performed by Broadway singer Jennifer Burleigh-Bentz–co-owner of Brickhouse Music in downtown River Falls.
“We hope to do this again,” Watson said. “We hope this event will inspire people to volunteer to do something positive for the river.”
– Article by Sophia Koch