A St. Cloud State University alumnus has been honored as a McKnight Composer Fellow in 2023.
Troy Rogers, who graduated from SCSU in 2001 with a degree in Music, was chosen by the McKnight Foundation as one of four recipients in Minnesota. The four McKnight Composer Fellows were selected from a pool of 55 applicants from around the state.
The fellowships, sponsored by St. Paul-based American Composers Forum, are part of the McKnight Artist Fellowships Program which was created to increase the exploratory opportunity, economic stability and productive capacity of artists by providing unrestricted support for beyond-emerging artists living in the state.
As part of being honored as a Fellow, Rogers will receive an unrestricted $25,000 grant that acknowledges excellence in music composition. He will also have an opportunity to attend an artist residency program coordinated by the Artist Communities Alliance within two years of the fellowship program.
Rogers is deeply involved in the creation, performance and dissemination of early 21st century semi-nomadic robot herder’s music. His Robot Rickshaw was a human-driven cart full of musical robots designed for all-terrain performance scenarios ranging from guerrilla drive-by rapid-fire black-MIDI-burst-spewing dadaist street interventions to extended duration post-human dronecore therapy sessions.
Rogers’ instruments and performances joyfully teeter between mind-bending wonder and catastrophic failure, underscoring both a skepticism for the chances of contemporary civilization surviving its technological adolescence, and yet an unwavering belief in the power and potential in humans as amplifiers of low probabilistic states.
Rogers is not the first person from SCSU to receive this honor, joining Scott L. Miller, a Professor of Music at SCSU since 1993, who received the award in 2001, 2013 and most recently in 2018.
“Troy has established himself in the world of musical robotics and is active not only in Minnesota but around the country, traveling to perform his work and to collaborate with other artists,” Miller said of Rogers. “He is an active member of his community at large and possesses a unique and interesting artistic voice.”