The University of Wisconsin-Barron County (UW-BC) Foundation recently named Ladysmith native Karla (Schreiber) Hulne as its 2017 Distinguished Alumnus award recipient. Hulne attended UW-BC from 2000 to 2002 and was active in the Red Cedar Choir, Communiversity Band, Red Cedar Orchestra, and pit bands for campus theater productions “Big River” and “Fiddler on the Roof.” In 2002 she received a campus Outstanding Service award.
Hulne is director of instrument music for the Blair-Taylor School District, where she directs concert bands for grades 5-12, two jazz ensembles, three handbell choirs, ukulele and guitar ensembles, and leads the marching band and pep band. She also teaches a Youth-Tutoring-Youth program.
In 2009, Hulne founded an advanced-student handbell choir that has performed over 100 concerts as well as shows at Ashley for the Arts, helping raise over $10,000 in donations to the school.
In 2014, she established a reading initiative to encourage literacy associated with Music in our School Month. That same year, she also co-founded the Couleeland Honors Band, the first middle school honors band in the area. This ensemble currently serves 13 schools and up to 200 young musicians a year.
In her free time, Hulne serves with her cats, Luna and Pearl, as a certified pet therapy team with the Coulee Region Humane Society. Luna is a Reading Educational Assistance Animal, and through the “Read to Rover” program they have helped hundreds of students become more independent readers.
Hulne has received the 2014 Ashley for the Arts Humanitarian Award, a 2015 Herb Kohl Fellowship and a 2015 Ellison Award. In 2016, she had two music education articles published in the Journal of the Handbell Musicians of America. In 2017, she accepted a seat on the regional board of the Handbell Musicians of America.