There is just something wonderful about a homecoming. Kathy Lindberg will be the first to agree with that statement. “I feel like I can breathe here,” she said. “I am so excited to be back.”
Kathy returned to live and work in Cut Bank just a few weeks ago. She has not lived here since she graduated from Cut Bank High School in 1985. She comes back as the new band director for the Cut Bank School District, starting that position this month when the 2019-20 school year begins.
Kathy was born and raised in Cut Bank, living with her parents Arnie and Kaye Lindberg 14 miles north of town. Her parents still live in the house she grew up in.
While in school Kathy was involved in many things and it seemed music was part of most of those “things.” She played in the band all through school starting in fifth grade, picking the trombone as her instrument of choice. “My babysitter played the trombone, so that is why I picked that,” she admitted.
She was into 4-H as a kid too and signed up for as many music-related 4-H activities that she could.
When she graduated from high school, Kathy went to Montana State University in Bozeman and graduated from there in 1990 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Music Education.
“I knew I wanted to get my master’s degree, so I went to University of Florida and earned a Master’s in 1992 in Instrumental Conducting. Go Gainsville Gators!” she laughed.
While there, Kathy was very involved with the marching band and even taught some music classes.
From there, she went to work as the Assistant Band Director at Itawamba Community College in Fulton, Miss. “I was there for four years,” she said. “We had a marching band of 200 students. It was a huge band program.”
Time spent there was worthwhile, but Kathy had more schooling on her mind. She wanted to earn her PhD in music, which she did by going back to University of Florida and completed that degree in 1999.
“I loved it there in Florida,” she shared. But it was time to find a job in the profession she loved and she did at Albion College in Albion, Mich. where she was the Director of Bands. She was there until 2002 when she moved a bit closer to home, taking an Interim Director of Bands at Rocky Mountain College in Billings.
“It was fun to return closer to home,” she said. “It was easy to network and recruit kids for the program at that college. I was there for two years before that position ended and I went to Northwestern Oklahoma State University in Alva, Okla. I was the Director of Bands there and stayed at that small college for four years.”
In 2008, she moved to Atlanta where her brother was and taught private lessons in piano, voice and “pretty much any instrument a student wanted to learn,” she said. “Along with that, I taught music appreciation, jazz history classes at Georgia State and I really loved that.” So much so, that she did that from 2009 to 2019.
But it was Christmas, 2018 and Kathy came home to visit her parents and realized a couple things. One, she wanted to be closer to her parents and two, she missed the simple, non-hectic life of small town living, specifically, Cut Bank living. When she learned there was going to be an opening for a band director, Kathy applied and was offered the position.
“I am so looking forward to literally, getting the band back together,” she said. “The last band director did a great job in teaching the kids and had discipline in her classroom and good ‘musicmanship’ with those kids too and that is so good to see.”
As the new director, Kathy will be teaching band to separate classes of fifth graders, sixth graders, a combined class of seventh and eighth graders and to students in high school.
“This is a brand-new job for me, but it is a homecoming too where I am really not the new girl. It has been fun to reconnect with old friends here, many of them are ones I graduated with in 1985 that still call Cut Bank their home. It is so great to be home, to have the fresh air, be outside and love it and be able to go to Glacier National Park anytime I want.”
Kathy and her college friend from MSU, Brenda Schilling, have become hiking buddies and both are enjoying spending some time hiking in the “Crown of the Continent.”
Kathy’s homecoming is not just about her, it also includes bringing her dog Peaches and cat Kitty with her. They too are now calling Cut Bank home and, like their human mom, they are loving it!