Music Department - St. Cloud State University

Music Department - St. Cloud State University

Outstanding Alumni

We are very proud of our St. Cloud State music alumni. If you would like to be listed on our Outstanding Alumni webpage please email

Successful Masters Degree Graduates (pdf 19.3k) Graduates of the program and their achievements.

Peggy Kriha-DyeOutstanding Alumni

Professional Singer

A native of Brainerd, Minnesota, she received an undergraduate degree in music from St. Cloud University, a master's degree from the Manhattan School of Music, and spent two years as a member of the Juilliard Opera Center. She is also the recipient of the SCSU Outstanding Alumni Award.

She made her San Francisco Opera debut in the summer of 1996 as Musetta in La Bohème, subsequently appearing with the Company during the 1996-97 season in Die Fledermaus (Adele), the West Coast premiere of Harvey Milk, and Salome. She has also performed here in Madama Butterfly (1997); Death in Venice and Le Nozze di Figaro (1997-98); the 1998 Femmes Fatales staging of L'Incoronazione di Poppea (Damigella); A Streetcar Named Desire (one performance as Stella), Manon, Peter Grimes and Betrothal in a Monastery (1998-99); as well as in Louise (1999).

She was also recently praised for her performances of Nannetta in Falstaff with Utah Opera, as well as for Despina in Così fan tutte, Susanna in Le Nozze di Figaro, Musetta in La Bohème and Zerlina in Don Giovanni with Festival Opera of Walnut Creek. Upcoming engagements include Adina in L'Elisir d'Amore with Festival Opera, Stella in Streetcar with the Pittsburgh Symphony, in addition to Barber's Knoxville: Summer of 1915 and Villa Lobos's Bachiana Brasileria No. 5 with the Napa Valley Symphony.

Winner of a prestigious scholarship grant from The Liberace Foundation, Kriha Dye was a participant in the 1993 Merola Opera Program who sang the role of Nannetta and her first Fledermaus Adele. In 1995, she appeared as Barbarina in the Merola Program staging of Le Nozze di Figaro, repeating the part and singing the role of Susanna on the subsequent Western Opera Theater tour.

Peggy Kriha Dye ’91 performed the lead role in the April production of Jean-Baptiste Lully’s "Armide" at the Opera Atelier in Toronto. A Toronto daily newspaper, the Globe and Mail, gave Dye a glowing review:

“Opera Atelier couldn’t have done better, for the title role, than soprano Peggy Kriha Dye. Her talents come as no surprise: This is her 10th production with the company, and she’s well known for her command of baroque style. On Tuesday night, her phrases were well shaped, intonation was excellent in all registers and her sheer stamina was impressive. (She’s on stage, singing, for most of this opera’s five acts.) Adding to all this was her dramatic mastery of this complex role. Her Armide was wary yet trusting, impervious yet vulnerable, and fearsome yet pitiable – all at the same time.”


Joey Ripka - Outstanding AlumniJoey Ripka

Award-Winning International Organist

St. Cloud State University alumnus Joseph Ripka, who earned his bachelor's in piano and organ in 2004, was awarded first prize at the Dublin (Ireland) International Organ Competition on Saturday, June 28. The prestigious competition, which began with 16 quarter-finalists selected from recorded auditions of applicants from around the world, involved a week-long series of competitive rounds that narrowed the field of 16 quarter-finalists to eight semi-finalists, then three finalists.

Ripka was announced as the first-place winner following a public performance by the finalists at Dublin's renowned Christ Church Cathedral, Dublin. His award includes a prize of 5,000 Euros and a recital tour that will include King's College, Westminster Cathedral and St. Paul's Cathedral in London, as well as other venues in Ireland, the Netherlands and the U.K. Hear Ripka performing the final movement from from "Symphony No. 5" by LouisVierne during the second round in the Dublin competition.

Ripka is pursuing the artist's diploma in organ at the Oberlin Conservatory after completing his masters degree in piano and organ at the University of Kansas in 2006. Prior to his triumph in Dublin, he won first place in the San Marino (Calif.) Organ Competition in January and first place in the Fort Wayne (Ind.) National Organ competition in March.

At St. Cloud State Ripka studied organ with Professor Emeritus Charles Echols and piano with Professor Carmen Wilhite. He taught piano for a year at Saint John's University, Collegeville, Minn., and was church organist at St. John's Episcopal and Salem Lutheran Church, St. Cloud, Minn. He is currently studying organ with Professor James David Christie at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music, Oberlin, Ohio.


Bruce Pearson Outstanding Alumni

Regarded by many as the single most important publication for beginning band instruction, his "Standard of Excellence Comprehensive Band Method" is on music stands all over the world and is now published in English, Chinese, Spanish and Italian.

Following graduation from SCSU in 1964, Pearson spent more than 30 years in elementary, secondary and college classrooms. His work has earned him such prestigious awards as the Midwest International Band and Orchestra Directors Clinic Medal of Honor and the 2001 SCSU Distinguished Service to Music Award.

"We ... have the greatest job in the world! We have the privilege of providing inspired influence by helping young people to love music, love learning, love others and love themselves, all while making beautiful music."

St. Cloud State Outlook Magazine Article "Hitting a High Note" - Oct, 2005

2008 Commencement Address


Troy RogersOutstanding Alumni

Composer, Sound Artist, Instrument Designer

Troy Rogers is an emerging artist whose output includes music for soloists, chamber ensembles, orchestra, dance, theater, digital media and homemade music robots. After receiving his Bachelor of Arts in Music from St. Cloud State University in 2001, Troy moved to the University of Oregon where he received a Master of Music in Intermedia Music Technology in 2005.

While completing his master's degree, he spent time as a composer/researcher at Simon Fraser University's Sonic Research Studio exploring acoustic ecology and soundscape composition. More recently, at the University of Oregon, Department of Computer and Information Sciences' Cognitive Modeling and Eye Tracking Laboratory, he collaborated with researchers Anthony Hornof and Tim Halverson to create an audio/visual piece controlled by eye movements. He is currently a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Virginia, pursuing a degree in Composition and Computing Technologies at the Virginia Center for Computer Music.

In the Spring of 2006 he returned to St. Cloud State University as the keynote speaker for the Student Research Colloquium.

Troy's Keynote Address, Not either/or but both/and:  compositional and performative gestures in the spaces between complementary domains will include discussion and demonstration of his work on PercusBot Study No. 1 (music for his computer-controlled robotic percussion ensemble), EyeMusic v1.0 (a work in which the performance is controlled in real-time by eye movements), and other compositions.

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