The College of Music Distinguished Alumni Award
The College of Music Alumni Association annually seeks and accepts nominations for the College of Music Distinguished Alumni Award. The purpose of the award is to recognize a graduate of the college who is making, or has made, an outstanding contribution to the music profession.
To nominate someone for this award, please download an application here [PDF].
Past Award Winners
Having been referred to as “the young woman from East Lansing who could sing anything,” the soprano is noted for her collaborations with prominent mid-century composers. She was universally praised for her impeccably accurate performances, her singing defined by the effortless quality with which she sang seemingly impossible rhythms and phrases. Many contemporary composers regarded her as the go-to singer for their complex works that challenged classical music audiences.
Professional pianist, entrepreneur and Rotarian, received the Secretary of State Award for Outstanding Volunteerism Abroad from John Kerry. She is the founder of the Kolkata Classics Trust in India and the Pitch Pipe Foundation 501(c)(3), which links great artists to great need. Heemstra also earned her Master of Music from The Cleveland Institute of Music.
James Roe is an accomplished musician, arts administrator, and president and executive director of the Orchestra of St. Luke’s in New York City. He has served as president and CEO of the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra, executive and artistic director of The Helicon Foundation, and as acting principal oboe of the NJSO. Roe earned his master’s from The Juilliard School.
B.M. Music Education; B.M., Music Performance; PhD Music Education
Stroker is the dean of Boyer College of Music and Dance and School of Theater and vice provost for the arts at Temple University. He also serves as dean of the School of Theater, Film and Media Arts.
MM ('66), Music Education; PhD ('71) Music Education
Carter, educator, composer, and performer, was president of Columbia College Chicago from 2000 to 2013. He held academic appointments at Berklee, Governors State, and Maryland before serving as the director of entertainment arts for Walt Disney Entertainment for four years.
BM ('84), Piano Performance
Kathryn Brown is the associate head of the Piano Department at the Cleveland Institute of Music. She performs internationally as a recitalist, chamber musician, and concerto soloist.
BM ('82), Vocal Performance and Music Education
Janet Williams is a vocalist, educator, and author of Nail Your Next Audition: The Ultimate 30-Day Guide for Singers.
Anton E. Armstrong
DMA ('87), Choral Conducting
Anton Armstrong is the Harry R. and Thora H. Tosdal Professor of Music at St. Olaf College and conductor of the St. Olaf Choir.
H. Warren Henry
PhD ('95), Music Education
H. Warren Henry is the associate dean for academic affairs and former chair of music education at the University of North Texas.
MM ('74), Vocal Performance
Henry Butler is a musician, composer, and jazz pianist.
William D. Brohn
BM ('55), Music Theory
William Brohn won a Tony Award in 1998 for Best Orchestration (Ragtime) and was nominated for the same award in 2002 for Sweet Smell of Success and in 2004 for Wicked.
BM ('92), Trumpet Performance
In 2002, Tage Larsen became the first African-American instrumentalist appointed to the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. He is currently on the trumpet faculty at the DePaul University School of Music.