Kristin Thelander, now retired (emeritus) served as director of planning for the School of Music, and headed all planning for the new music building that opened in 2016.  She previously served as the director of the School of Music (2000-2009) and as horn professor (1989-2000).  As a hornist, she has had a rich and active performing career on both natural horn and modern horn, appearing as a soloist and chamber musician throughout the United States, Europe, Mexico, Brazil, South Korea, and the People's Republic of China.  She has been a featured artist at many regional and international horn workshops and international brass symposia, and she has performed with summer orchestra and chamber music festivals in Colorado, Oregon, and New York. She has recorded solo and chamber music for Crystal Records, CRI, Vienna Modern Masters, Centaur, Capstone, University of Wisconsin, and The University of Iowa. She has served as Advisory Council member, Secretary-Treasurer, and Vice-President of the International Horn Society. She was a member of the La Crosse Symphony Orchestra and performed locally with the Bon Vivant Horn Quartet.

Thelander served two terms as a member of the National Association of Schools of Music Commission on Accreditation. She was also active as an NASM visiting evaluator for institutional reviews and as an external consultant for university departmental reviews.

Thelander holds a B.M. in horn performance from St. Olaf College, an M.A. in musicology from the University of Minnesota, and a D.M.A. in horn performance from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.