Kenneth G. Bloomquist was born in Boxholm, Iowa on December 29, 1931. In 1953, he graduated from the University of Illinois with a Bachelor of Music Education, and later in 1957 went on to complete a Master of Music Education at the University of Illinois. As a graduate student, he served as a Graduate Assistant in the School of Music and Bands as a trumpet instructor, while also working as a part time instrumental teacher in local elementary and high schools. Upon graduating with his Masters degree, he served as the Supervisor of Music and Director of Bands for the Taylorville, Illinois Public School System.
In 1958, Bloomquist accepted a position as the Assistant Director of Bands at the University of Kansas, and later went on to become the Director of Bands in 1968. During this time he also served as a guest conductor of many All-State Bands, High School Honor bands, Professional and University Bands, and Community Bands throughout the country.
In 1970, Bloomquist joined the Michigan State University faculty as the Director of Bands, conducting MSU's Spartan Marching Band for seven years, as well as the MSU Wind Ensemble and Symphony Band. He went on to become the Director of the School of Music in 1978 (now College of Music). As the Director, he played an integral role in formulating the designation of the Department of Music into the School of Music, as well as the Doctoral of Musical Arts degree programs in Instrumental and Choral conducting, planning the development of a year-round Youth Music Program for pre-college students as a part of the School of Music curriculum, and promoting the elevation of the Music Therapy program as a "Unit of Excellence," which helped it to secure funding for renovations to the music building for out-patient service. In 1988, Bloomquist stepped down from the Director of Music position, continuing on as the Director of Bands until his retirement from the University in 1993. Following retirement, Bloomquist continues to serve as Director of Bands Emeritus at Michigan State University.
While at MSU, Bloomquist also served in a variety of organizations in many capacities. Beginning in 1970 he also served on the Board of Directors of the National Band Association, and was elected National President of the Association from 1980 to 1982. He was awarded membership in the American Bandmasters Association in 1973, and was elected President in 1995, serving until 1996. From 1978 to 1986, he served on the Board of Directors of the Lansing Symphony Orchestra Band. Other significant awards include the American School Band Directors Association Harding Award, the Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia Orpheus Award, The National Band Association Citation of Excellence, induction into the National Band Association's Academy of Wind and Percussion Arts, and the National Band Association Hall of Fame in 2003. In 2004 he was awarded the prestigious Medal of Honor award from The Midwest Clinic, an International Band and Orchestra Conference. He also has many significant publications, including "The Anatomy of a Rehearsal," published in five parts by The Instrumentalist in 1981, "School Band Movement Phase II," published in 1982 by The Gemeinhardt Corporation, and "Pedal Tone Study for Trumpet," published by The Getzen Company in 1962.
Bloomquist married Ann Murphy, who served as Chorus Master of the Opera Company of Mid-Michigan for seven years, on February 14, 1954. The couple went on to have three children, Leslie Ann, Laurie Kathleen, and Daniel John. They now reside in Northport, Michigan. Bloomquist remains active as a conductor, adjudicator, and clinician throughout the United States and internationally, acting as conductor on various cruise ship concert bands and with the MSU Alumni Band.