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Kurt Runestad

Kurt Runestad


Phone Number: 402.826.8279
Department: Music
Office: CM112
Email: [email protected]
Primary 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 teaches three of Doane’s four choral ensembles, including the acclaimed Doane Choir, which under his leadership has performed throughout the United States as well as in 13 countries on four continents—most recently Costa Rica in May of 2022.  He also serves Doane University as the music department chair.  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 has published several arranged transcriptions of pieces by the Soweto Gospel Choir.  Runestad has twice received the “Outstanding Teacher of the Year” award from Doane’s Student Congress, and has also been awarded Doane’s Ardis Butler James faculty fellowship.  He lives in Lincoln, Nebraska with his wife Carly Woythaler-Runestad, and they have two children, daughter Avery (15) and son Owen (12).  Outside of music and parenting, Runestad also enjoys reading, (mostly) organic gardening, camping, and travelling.  In the summer of 2021, the Runestads road-tripped to marvel at the Redwood trees of northern California, with stops along the way at Dinosaur National Monument and Lassen Volcanic National Park.