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Kurt Runestad

Kurt Runestad


Phone Number: 402.826.8279
Department: Music
Office: CM112
Campus: CRETE
Credentials: BA, MA, DM


Where words fail, music speaks. - Hans Christian Anderson


  • B.A. in music education, St. Olaf College (Northfield, MN)
  • M.A. in choral conducting, The University of Iowa (Iowa City, IA)
  • D.M.A. in choral conducting, The University of Iowa (Iowa City, IA)

It has been Dr. Kurt Runestad's privilege to teach at Doane University since the fall of 2004.  He conducts or co-conducts three of Doane's four choral ensembles, including the acclaimed Doane Choir, which under his direction has performed in twelve countries on four continents, and throughout the United States.  A native of Wayne, Nebraska, Runestad graduated from St. Olaf College (Northfield, Minnesota) with a B.A. in music education, taught 10 years in the public schools of Iowa and Minnesota, and earned two graduate degrees in choral conducting from the University of Iowa.  He is a frequent clinician, arranger, and adjudicator for choirs throughout the Midwest, and his transcription of the Soweto Gospel Choir's Khumbaya is published by  Recent CDs by the Doane Choir (Colors of the Midwest) and Doublewide (Doublewide and Downpour) are available for purchase on both iTunes and Amazon, and there are performances by most of Doane's choral groups on YouTube.  Runestad has twice received the Outstanding Teacher of the Year award from Doane's Student Congress, has been awarded Doane's Ardis Butler James faculty fellowship, and will be on sabbatical spring 2019, working on some more Soweto Gospel Choir arrangements.  He lives in Lincoln, Nebraska with his wife of 22 years, Carly Woythaler-Runestad, and they have two children, daughter Avery (11) and son Owen (8).  Outside of music and parenting, Runestad also enjoys reading, (mostly) organic gardening, backpacking and camping, and travelling. When he turned 50 last March, he spent a week with his brother backpacking on the Ouachita Trail in western Arkansas.