Kayla Nelson


E-Mail: kayla.l.nelson@ndsu.edu
Office: 218C Music Education Building


  • M.M. Western Michigan University
  • B.M. Concordia College

Kayla Nelson is Lecturer of Horn at the Challey School of Music at North Dakota State University. Active as a performer and pedagogue, she has a great passion for her instrument and loves sharing this with others. A favorite way for her to celebrate the horn is leading the student/community horn ensemble, Horns of the North.

In addition to playing with NDSU faculty chamber ensembles, Nelson performs frequently with ensembles in the region, including the Fargo Moorhead Symphony and the FM Opera. She serves as principal horn of the newly revived Fergus Falls Civic Orchestra and was previously acting principal of the Greater Grand Forks Symphony Orchestra. Other groups Nelson has played with include the Traverse Symphony Orchestra and the Southwest Michigan Symphony Orchestra. On the international stage, she has been a featured artist and educator at the Pró-Música Music Festival in Juiz de Fora, Brazil.

As an academic, Nelson has an interest in music and neuroscience as well as the historical development of the horn. Her horn history research resulted in a website that has received worldwide acclaim. Nelson is an active member of the International Horn Society and the International Women's Brass Conference. She was the North Dakota representative of the IHS for several years.

In addition to maintaining a private horn studio, Nelson previously taught at the University of North Dakota. Professor Nelson received her Master’s Degree in horn performance from Western Michigan University, where she was active as a graduate teaching assistant and was awarded the School of Music Graduate Teaching Excellence Award as well as the prestigious All-University Graduate Teaching Effectiveness Award. She received a Bachelor of Music degree from Concordia College in Moorhead, MN where she majored in horn performance and English. Her principal teachers have been Lin Foulk, Bruce Houglum and Erik Vigesaa. She has also performed in masterclasses with notable artists like Hermann Baumann, Sören Hermansson, Douglas Hill, Pat Hughes, Jeffrey Agrell, Bruno Schneider, Berhnard Scully, and David Wakefield.