Monday, September 1, 2008
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 in June. The prestigious competition included a week-long series of competitive rounds that narrowed a field of 16 quarterfinalists to three finalists.
Ripka was announced as the first-place winner following a public performance at Dublin's renowned Christ Church Cathedral. He was awarded 5,000 Euros and a recital tour of 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.
The musician is pursuing the artist’s diploma in organ at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music after completing his master’s degree in piano and organ at the University of Kansas. While studying the organ at St. Cloud State, Ripka 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.