Margaret “Peg” Kennedy-Dygas was appointed Dean of the College of Fine Arts at Ohio University in May, 2013. Born and raised in Ohio, she earned the Bachelor of Music degree in Voice Performance from the Cleveland Institute of Music, where she was a member of the Honor Group and held Rockefeller and Ranney scholarships. She received the Master of Music in Voice Performance degree and the Doctor of Music in Voice Performance and Music History and Literature, with a Minor in Music Theory degree with High Distinction, from the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University, Bloomington.
Dr. Kennedy-Dygas has performed as soprano soloist in opera, concert and recital in the United States, Canada, Italy, Great Britain and Germany. An avid pioneer with new music, she produced and performed Beverly Grigsby’s The Mask of Eleanor (chamber opera for soprano and computer generated sound) in Kentucky and Minnesota, 1987-89. In 1995 she performed Richard Strauss’ Vier letzte Lieder with the Omaha Symphony, Bruce Hangen conducting. Her recital performances have been broadcasted on public radio and television in Kentucky and Nebraska. She has performed numerous works by 20th century composers such as Peter Maxwell Davies, Gwyneth Walker, Randall Snyder, Elwood Derr, John Downey, Duke Ellington, and Robert Beadell. In 1996, in collaboration with composer Daniel Pinkham, she released the compact disk, “Music, Thou Soul of Heaven: Solo Songs by Daniel Pinkham,” on the Arkay Records label. She has successfully raised over $200,000 in grant funds to support creative projects, scholarship of teaching, and technology in the arts.
Her voice students have won numerous prizes and awards from the National Association of Teachers of Singing, Metropolitan Opera National Council, Lyric Opera of Chicago Patrick G. and Shirley W. Ryan Opera Center and San Francisco Opera’s Merola Program, as well as performing professionally in opera and musical theater, and teaching on college and university faculties. Dr. Kennedy-Dygas’ interest in the scholarship of voice teaching led her to participate in the inaugural Peer Review of Teaching project funded by the former American Association for Higher Education (AAHE) in 1994-95. She has presented papers and workshops at national meetings of the National Association of Teachers of Singing, Music Teachers National Association, College Music Society, and the College Art Association. She has published articles and reviews in Journal of Singing, American Music Teacher, The College Music Society Newsletter, Choral Journal, and Notes. From 2003-2006 she was the founder and editor of the VoxBook Project, a collaborative online database of solo vocal recordings and related material from the archives of Hope College and St. Olaf College.
Dr. Kennedy-Dygas has served on the music faculties of University of Kentucky, Lexington; University of Nebraska-Lincoln; Hope College; and University of Louisiana at Lafayette, where she also served as Associate Dean of the College of the Arts. At Hope College, where she served as Chair of the Department of Music, she was awarded the Ruth and John Reed Faculty Achievement Award in 2006 for her accomplishments in building the voice and opera theater programs. At the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, she led strategic planning initiatives, developed strategies to assess student learning in the arts, led interdisciplinary project initiatives, assisted with fundraising, and successfully acquired grant funding in support of technology for the classroom.
In joining the administrative team at Ohio University, Dr. Kennedy-Dygas brings a lifelong passion for making a difference in people’s lives through the arts. Her vision? “The College of Fine Arts will be the nation’s best transformative learning community in the arts by being irresistible and by being relevant. These two imperatives will lead our entire strategic plan into the future.”
Dr. Kennedy-Dygas is married to Douglas C. Dygas. They have three children who will attend Athens City Schools. The Dygas family loves to travel, bike, and explore new experiences together.