From College Friends to Music Professionals: The Journey of Alex Terpkosh and Manny GreenAlex Terpkosh and Manny Green met during their freshman year At Gustavus and quickly became great friends.
Posted on June 25th, 2024 by

Alex Terpkosh and Manny Green met during their freshman year At Gustavus and quickly became great friends. Green ’23 was an Instrumental Music Education major with Honors in Conducting, while Terpkosh ’23 was a double major in Music and Biology. They bonded over long sight-singing sessions and shared music experiences, helping each other through the ups and downs of college life. Their friendship grew stronger with each passing year, creating a foundation that will support them long after graduation.

For Green, choosing Gustavus was easy. “I knew Gustavus had a good music program, but I didn’t know much about the school,” says Green. “I had the chance to tour campus and I felt very welcome; also, my high school band director (a St. Olaf grad) recommended Gustavus, which made me very confident about my choice.”

At Gustavus, students have the opportunity to explore various academic disciplines before committing to a major. This flexibility allows them to experiment with different fields of study, taking courses in diverse areas such as the arts, sciences, humanities, and social sciences. The college’s supportive environment, combined with its wide range of course offerings, ensures that students can confidently pursue interdisciplinary interests and develop a well-rounded educational experience.

“The College encouraged me to explore music and biology, two of my passions, which was incredibly valuable,” says Terpkosh. “I was able to work in Biology with two summer programs, one atthe Wildlife Rehabilitation Center of Minnesota and another working with Professor Jon Grinnell in South Dakota researching bison behavior. Meanwhile, I was developing my music knowledge and performing in concerts and tours with the Gustavus Wind Orchestra (GWO). This flexibility not only broadened my knowledge, but also helped me find a unique path that combined both fields.”

In January 2023, the GWO toured to Spain and France, an adventure that created cherished memories for both Green and Terpkosh.

“We spent a lot of time together in Europe, bonding over our shared love of music and exploring new cities,” says Green. “Performing in historic venues was an incredible experience that brought us closer as a group.” Terpkosh adds, “We had the chance to collaborate with local musicians, which was both challenging and rewarding. Every day was an adventure, whether we were navigating unfamiliar streets or sharing laughs during rehearsal breaks. The connections we made and the experiences we shared have had a lasting impact on all of us.”

Having laid the foundation of their friendship and academic pursuits at Gustavus, Terpkosh and Green have since embarked on promising professional journeys, both involving their shared love of music. Terkposh is currently doing his masters degree in conducting at Bard Conservatory in New York, and this summer he’s working as one of the orchestra managers for the Aspen Music Festival in Colorado. Green has just started as the band director for Crookston Public Schools in Crookston, Minnesota.

“Gustavus academics along with the faculty’s willingness to go above and beyond gave me more than enough experiences that tie directly into the field I’m working in today”, says Green.


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