Department of Music

Hugh Givens

"I always find it exciting to watch the light come on when a student makes that occasional connection between theory and application. Sharing my love of the art form and aiding students to express themselves through musical performance are my goals as a teacher. I love to sing, but nothing gives me more pleasure than watching one of my students presenting a successful performance."

Professor Givens joined the St. Cloud State University voice faculty in the fall of 1987. He received his undergraduate degree in Music Education from Glenville State College, his Masters in Vocal Pedagogy from West Virginia University and his Doctor of Music Arts in Performance and Literature also from WVU.  Professor Givens has been teaching voice students, directing opera programs and conducting choirs and ensembles for over 25 years and remains devoted to the success of his students. 

In addition to his teaching career, Givens has made concert appearances with many orchestras across the U.S.  Most noted have been his performances of Verdi’s “Requiem”; Beethoven’s “Ninth Symphony”; Bach’s “Missa Solemnis”, “Christmas Oratorio” and “St. Matthew Passion”; and numerous performances of Handel’s “Messiah”. Regionally he has performed with the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, Minnesota Orchestra and the Duluth Symphony.  Givens has also performed with the Opera Company of Boston with Sarah Caldwell, Edmonton Opera, Virginia Lyric Opera, Minnesota Opera Company and the Lyric Opera of Kansas City.  Givens has also several premieres to his credit including song cycles by Eric Kitchen and Bryan Hayes and the opera “From the Towers of the Moon” by Robert Moran. 

Givens was the winner of the Bair Award from the National Opera Association in 1991.  He also was the recipient of a role preparation grant from the William Matheus Sullivan Foundation from 1992-1997 and was a District Metropolitan Opera Competition Finalist in 1980.