Our Staff

Betty Braunstein
Pernambuco Ensemble Director 

Betty is a freelance flute and recorder player living in Ashland, Wisconsin. She performs regularly with the Duluth Superior Symphony Orchestra. She has over 30 years experience teaching as well as planning and providing music for weddings, concert series, and other special events. Betty has taught students at Northland College, Ashland and the University of Minnesota, Duluth. She also coaches adult musicians at the annual Woodland Chamber Music Workshop in Tofte, MN. Additionally, her Silver Spruce Duo (harp and flute) performed for Minnesota Public Radio’s Artist-in-Residence 2013/2014 outreach program. Her recording of Rick Sowash's "Christmas Ceremony" with cellist Josh Aerie is now available on iTunes.
Betty is offering flute/recorder lessons in the Hayward area.

Kurt Hoesly
Individual lessons -violin, viola and cello
Ensemble Director

Kurt started playing violin as a 3rd grader through the Suzuki Program that existed then in Ladysmith, even though he really wanted to play cello.  Since there is no string program in the Ladysmith schools, he joined the band, playing bassoon - and then euphonium and tuba for marching and pep band.  As a college sophomore, he switched from violin to viola, since there was only one other violist in the community orchestra he was playing in at that time.

Since graduating from Saint Olaf College in 1993, he has taught band and orchestra in  several school districts, and along the way has performed on nearly every major instrument of both the band and orchestra (missing only harp, saxophone, and piccolo).  In addition to teaching at NorthWoods Strings, Kurt has a small studio in the Ladysmith area.

Emily Kormann
Individual lessons -violin
Spruce Ensemble Director  
Executive Director  
Emily is finishing her Bachelor of Arts at UW-Superior, majoring in music with an education emphasis. Piano is her primary instrument and violin her secondary.  She has played violin with the Red Cedar Symphony Orchestra and the UW-S Orchestra. Emily also plays mandolin with a local bluegrass band called Northern Crossroads, and regularly plays folk, gospel, and fiddle tunes with her siblings in their family band.
During her high school years Emily was a student member of the NorthWoods String program, taking lessons and playing with the ensembles. She is excited to be back helping with the program. Emily enjoys teaching music and working with kids of all ages.

Kevin McMullin    (Kevin currently isn't taking students due to a recent medical proceedure)
Ebony/Pernambuco Ensemble Director
Individual lessons - violin and viola

Kevin started off playing the tuba, which is what he studied at Northwestern University’s Music school with the late Arnold Jacobs, widely considered to be one of the finest music teachers of his time. While he was at music school he noticed that many other musicians had smaller instruments that were much easier to carry around. He began learning the fiddle under the tutelage of some of this country’s great old time players, Mark Gunther and Chirps Smith among them. He is the fiddle player for Duck for the Oyster and Take 3, and has performed with numerous other bands and musicians as well. He is also the composer of One Nation, a piece that NorthWoods Strings helped premier in 2007. You can find out more about him on his web site: www.kevinmcmullin.com