Dr. Kira Knutson is an assistant professor of music at Concordia College in Moorhead, Minnesota where she conducts The Concordia Chapel Choir, Kantorei, and Cantabile. Dr. Knutson teaches courses in conducting, aural skills, voice technique, and serves as campus supervisor for student teachers. In addition to her work in the classroom, Knutson advises the student chapter of the American Choral Director’s Association and is an associate editor for MN ACDA’s Star of the North publication. She is an active guest conductor, clinician, and adjudicator, having most recently conducted North Dakota ACDA’s Middle Level Treble Honor Choir.
Alongside her work at Concordia, Dr. Knutson serves as Organist and Choirmaster at Gethsemane Episcopal Cathedral in Fargo, North Dakota. Before returning to her home state of Minnesota, Knutson served on the conducting staff at Harvard University as Resident Conductor of the Harvard-Radcliffe Collegium Musicum and was Assistant Conductor for the Boston Choral Ensemble. Additionally, Dr. Knutson has held teaching positions at The University of Minnesota – Twin Cities and was a visiting instructor and interim director of choirs at Macalester College where she toured domestically with the Concert Choir.
Dr. Knutson has previously led congregational music at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Minneapolis, Farmington Lutheran Church, as well as churches in Massachusetts and Rhode Island. During her time in Massachusetts, she taught general music and chorus at the middle and high school levels (Beaver Country Day School) before starting a new music program at the Health and Human Services High School in Lawrence, MA. Knutson is a two-time recipient of the Sontag Prize in Urban Education for her work in Lawrence, MA.
An accomplished vocalist, Knutson has sung with Lorelei Ensemble, Boston Modern Orchestra Project, Boston New Music Initiative, Vox Futura, Twin Cities-based Border CrosSing and the Bach Roots Festival. Knutson will sing as part of the Oregon Bach Festival Chorus this summer, performing Bach’s Mass in B Minor, St. John Passion, and St. Matthew Passion. Knutson was the chorusmaster for University Opera Theatre productions of Mozart’s Idomeneo and Offenbach’s Orpheus in the Underworld during her time at The University of Minnesota and recently prepared the chorus for Fargo Moorhead Opera’s production of Don Giovanni.
Knutson holds a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in conducting with a secondary area of study in vocal performance from The University of Minnesota – Twin Cities where she studied with Kathy Saltzman Romey, Matthew Mehaffey, and Wendy Zaro-Mullins; a Master of Music degree in choral conducting from Boston University where she studied with Ann Howard Jones; and a Bachelor of Arts degree in music from St. Olaf College where she studied with Anton Armstrong.