Music Department - St. Cloud State University

Music Department - St. Cloud State University

Outstanding Alumni - Choir


Outstanding alumniAlan Bryan

Professional Singer

Alan Bryan  has sung with the Eastman Opera Theater in New York, Denver Lyric Opera, North Star Opera, Musica Nova, Minnesota Opera and with numerous other companies and orchestras throughout the United States. He has more than 40 leading opera roles to his credit, regularly premieres new works and has performed recitals across the country. As director of opera theater at the University of St. Thomas he has coordinated and directed the premieres of five new student operas in the last decade. One of these premiere productions, "Belissa" by Albert Biales, was selected by video audition to be performed next season by the Estonian National Opera in Tallinn. Dr. Bryan received his D.M.A degree from the Eastman School of Music in New York.

Outstanding Alumni

Jenny ( Olson ) Dufault

Instructor of Music, Minnesota State University - Moorhead

Jenny Dufault is a native of Williston, North Dakota. She joined the Minnesota State University - Moorhead team in 2000 after studying at Boston University. Jenny has earned her Master of Music degree from SUNY Potsdam's Crane School of Music and her Bachelor of Science degree in Music Education from St. Cloud State University. She is in the process of completing her PhD in Music Education from the University of Minnesota.

At MSUM Jenny’s responsibilities include: 1) the elementary music education method courses 2) supervising student teachers during their elementary experience 3) teaching applied voice and 4) organizing the MSUM  Kodály Orff-Schulwerk summer graduate certification program. She also helps co-advise the MENC student organization and  advises music education majors. Jenny is member of the Fargo/Moorhead Opera board and is an advisor to the FM Symphony educational committee.  She is also an officer for the Northern Plains Kodály Chapter.

Outstanding Alumni

Sigrid Johnson

Manitou Singers, Conductor / Artist in Residence, Voice

Sigrid Johnson received a B.M. in vocal performance from St. Cloud State University and an M.M. in voice performance from the University of Michigan. She is the conductor of the Manitou Singers.  Before her appointment at St. Olaf, she was on the music faculties of Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter and at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis. Ms. Johnson is also the Associate Conductor of the Ensemble Singers and Chorus for Philip Brunelle’s VocalEssence, formerly known as the Plymouth Music Series of Minnesota.

In January through March 1999, Ms. Johnson conducted the National Lutheran Choir of Minneapolis.  Ms. Johnson has served as Conductor of the Dale Warland Symphonic Chorus and the Associate Conductor of the Dale Warland Singers.  She has prepared symphonic choruses for Neemi Jarvi, Sir Neville Mariner, David Zinman, Stanislaw Skrowaczewsky, Gerard Swartz, Edo de Waart, and Leonard Slatkin among others. In August 2002, she was one of the featured lecturers for the Sixth World Symposium on Choral Music.  In October 2004, Mrs. Johnson was a featured lecturer and clinician at the Australian National Choral Directors National Conference in Adelaide.  In 2006 she was a member of the esteemed jury for the Bela Bartok International Choral Competition in Debrecen, Hungary and in 2008 she will be a lecturer on choral sound for the Eighth World Symposium on Choral Music in Copenhagen.

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.”

Gina Mathison

Professional Singer

Gina Mathison has a BS in vocal Music Education, from St. Cloud State University. She has taught eight years of music and has been a private voice and piano teacher for eleven years. She currently is studying voice with Dr. Alison Feldt at St Olaf. She has performed with the Minnesota Opera Chorus for Turandot in 1995, played Melissa Frake in LTO’s “State Fair”, performed with the Owatonna Community Chorus for the “Creation” in 2004 and “The Seven Last Words of Christ”in 2005.

Outstanding AlumniMary Beth Molenaar

Northwestern University Preparatory Academy Director, Piano Division Coordinator

Dr. Molenaar holds a Masters and Bachelor of Music degrees in piano performance from St. Cloud State University in Minnesota and the University of Wisconsin respectively. She also graduated with a Doctor of Music degree in Piano Performance and Pedagogy from Northwestern University. In addition to piano, her training includes instruction in organ and harpsichord.

Dr. Molenaar has received numerous honors and awards including the Outstanding Service to Music Education in Minnesota Award, and the Outstanding Young Alumni Award from St. Cloud State University. Her teaching experience includes working with students of all ages and levels in both individual and group piano instruction on the faculty at St. Cloud State, at the University of Wisconsin, and at Northwestern. Dr. Molenaar has a full-time position as Lecturer at Northwestern University.

In addition to her work in the Music Academy, she teaches pedagogy courses and supervises student teaching experiences for piano pedagogy majors. She remains active as a soloist and accompanist, with performance credits in the Midwest and St. Petersburg, Russia. She serves as an adjudicator for area music competitions, and as a workshop clinician. She is a member of Music Teachers National Association, the Illinois State Music Teachers Association and Sigma Alpha Iota.

Vicki PetersVicki Peters - Outstanding Alumni

Conductor, The Summer Singers - Vocal Music Teacher

Vicki Peters enjoys an active career of conducting, teaching, and singing.  Vicki is currently the artistic director and conductor of The Summer Singers who were invited to sing for the Minnesota 2008 Fall ACDA convention.  She has taught choral music at Fridley High School, and developed and led excellent church choirs, handbell choirs, and orchestral groups at various churches for sixteen years.

In addition, she was the assistant director for the Two Rivers Chorale under the direction of Bruce Phelps and the North High Alumni Choir under the direction of Carl Lipke, and a soloist on European tours with both directors.  Vicki is a private voice teacher, was a project singer for the Dale Warland Singers, and currently is a singer and soloist for The Singers, Minnesota Choral Artists, and the 2010 North Central ACDA Convention.

Vicki graduated from St. Cloud State University in Music Education receiving choral, vocal, and opera scholarships and Phi Kappa Phi membership, and is listed as an Outstanding Alumni of the music department.  She studied voice, choir, and opera with Charles (Chuck) Peterson.  Vicki is also a choral and vocal clinician and judges State Large Group and Solo/Ensemble contests, is a member of ACDA, and serves on the State High School League Contest Music Selection and Review Committee.

Outstanding AlumniCraig Priebe

Assistant Professor of Music Performance - Voice, Opera

Craig Priebe earned a Bachelor of Music degree from St. Cloud State University, Opera Diploma from Die Hochschule fur Musik und Theater in Hannover, Germany, and the Masters of Music and D.M.A. degrees in Voice and Opera Directing from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music.

He was artist-in-residence for Southwestern University in Georgetown, Texas, where he taught voice and directed the opera theatre program, and was formerly on the voice faculty at Northern Kentucky University. He is currently on the faculty at Ball State University.

Anna RooneyOutstanding Alumni

Master of Fine Arts Candidate, University of North Carolina School of the Arts

Anna studied Music Education at St. Cloud State University and graduated in 2010 with the Alice Barg Meinz Most Outstanding Music Student Award. She now attends University of North Carolina School of the Arts in Winston-Salem, NC, where she is an MFA Candidate in Performing Arts Management.

In 2011, she co-founded Peppercorn Children's Theatre in collaboration with the Children's Museum of Winston-Salem. She holds the position of Managing Director, where her duties include grant writing, fundraising, recruiting, and marketing. Peppercorn Children's Theatre employs 12 pre-professional artists and presents 3 original shows every summer. PCT puts an emphasis on community collaboration, so there are new performances and creative opportunities available all summer long for the young (and young at heart) in Winston-Salem.

Outstanding Alumni

Kathleen Shimeta

Professional Singer

Kathleen Shimeta, mezzo-soprano, is a versatile interpreter of art songs, chamber music, oratorio and opera whose work has been enthusiastically received throughout the United States and Europe. She received her Bachelor’s degree from St. Cloud State University in St. Cloud, Minnesota and her Master of Music from the College-Conservatory of Music at the University of Cincinnati.

For several years Miss Shimeta devoted time to discovering and recording works from the rich repertoire of American composer Gena Branscombe (1881-1977).  “Ah, Love I Shall Find Thee: Songs of Gena Branscombe,” now available on Albany Records, is a collaboration of the singer with accompanist Martin Hennessy. Kathleen’s art song recital, “Life, Love, Song! A Visit with Gena Branscombe,” showcases fifteen of Miss Branscombe’s elegantly lyric songs with a vivid first-person dialogue performed and written by Ms. Shimeta and co-authored by Evan Pappas. The concert gives tribute to a woman ahead of her time, a pioneer for today’s women composers. 

Recent performances include the Library of Congress in celebration of the 100th anniversary of the MacDowell Colony and the women composers of that artistically famous group. Other performances include the University of Maryland, and Eastern Nazarene College in Quincy, MA. In March 2008 Miss Shimeta performs “Life, Love, Song! A Visit with Gena Branscombe” at Washington, DC’s National Gallery of Art, New York’s Hofstra University and with the Cantata Singers of Elmira, NY

Ms. Shimeta was selected to participate in renowned photographer Steffen Thalemann’s exhibit, “Outside the Box” based on the life of Albert Einstein. The exhibit focuses on portraits of known and unknown personalities: people who have left their mark on society with innovative thinking. Visit her online at

Robert Sieving

Retired High School and College Choral Educator, Composer/Arranger

Robert Sieving lives in the Twin Cities area after retiring from a career as a high school vocalOutstanding Alumni music teacher and choir director in St. Cloud, Minnesota. Mr. Sieving's Apollo High School choirs appeared in state conventions of the Minnesota Music Educators Association, state and regional conventions of the American Choral Directors Association, numerous collegiate and international choral festivals including Vienna and Mexico City. In Minnesota, his choirs have appeared with the Dale Warland Singers, the Minnesota Orchestra and the King's Singers, as well as internationally known conductors such as Bob Chilcott, Eric Ericson, Paul Salamunovich and Sir David Willcocks. He studied conducting with the late B. R. Henson at Oklahoma University; his degrees are from St. Cloud State University.

Active in the American Choral Directors Association (ACDA), Sieving has served as President of ACDA of Minnesota and is a past recipient of that organization's Conductor of the Year Award. He has been recognized with a number of awards for educational excellence, among them the Plymouth Music Series Award for Creative Programming and is listed in Who's Who Among America's Teachers. Mr. Sieving is active as a composer and arranger of choral works as well as music for string orchestra. His music may be seen and heard on a number of publisher's web sites, with over 75 works presently in publication.

Outstanding Alumni

Timothy Tharaldson

Composer, Conductor and Singer

Timothy Jon Tharaldson is a composer, conductor, and singer based in Colorado. One of the choir directors at Rocky Mountain High School in Fort Collins, Colorado, Timothy is in growing demand as a clinician and composer. From 2003 to 2007 he was the artistic director of Longmont Chorale, a community chorus of 100 singers.

He has compositions published by Hal Leonard and Santa Barbara Music Publishing as well and self publishing through his own publishing company High Pants Guy Music. Some of his recent commissions have been from the Longmont Chorale, Southwest State University, Rocky Mountain High School, Jefferson High School. In the fall of 2008 Timothy was honored to receive a commission from his undergraduate alma mater St. Cloud State University to write a piece for the inauguration of St. Cloud State University’s new president Earl H. Potter III. The piece, Verses Left to Write, with a text by Ethan Wittrock, was premiered to wonderful acclaim and will be available through Santa Barbara Music Publishing in June of 2009. Timothy was recently selected of one of seven finalists for the 2009 Essentially Choral Competition sponsored by Vocalessence and the American Composer’s Forum.

An accomplished singer, Timothy is a member of Kantorei, one of the nation's premier choral ensembles, conducted by Richard Larson. He has studied conducting with Galen Darrough, Steven Deitz, Jeff Douma, and Howard Skinner.

Timothy is a member of the American Choral Directors Association (ACDA), the American Composers Forum (ACF), he is a registered composer and publisher for The American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers (ASCAP). He holds a Bachelor of Music degree from St. Cloud State University; a Master of Music degree from University of Northern Colorado; and is currently pursuing a Doctorate of Arts degree in Choral Conducting and Composition from the University of Northern Colorado.

Premier of new composition performed by Kantorei
Concert review by the Denver Post:

Outstanding AlumniMichael Zemek

Assistant Professor of Music, Augustana College

A graduate of St. Cloud State with a Masters degree in Choral Conducting, Dr. Zemek now teaches at Augustana College (IL) where he conducts the Jenny Lind Vocal Ensemble and Chamber Singers, teaches music methods, conducting, and supervises music education students.

Recently, he presented a session titled "Cast Your Nets: Strategies for Establishing High School Choral Programs in Worship" at the National American Choral Directors Association convention in Miami, Florida. The presentation centered around the topic of involving senior high youth in church music settings.

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