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Tracelyn Gesteland

Tracelyn Gesteland
Associate Professor
Music, College of Fine Arts
UFA Warren M. Lee Center for the Fine Arts 127
Phone: 605-677-5719
Dr. Tracelyn Gesteland, mezzo-soprano, is an active performer on the opera, concert and recital stage. Referred to by reviewers as “remarkable” and “an engaging and versatile singing actress,” she enjoys interpreting standard repertoire in addition to championing contemporary music. On the operatic stage, Gesteland has created several roles in world premiere productions including the title role in Strega Nona with Houston Grand Opera; the Nurse in Diagnosis: Danger and the Haunted Woman in Walking on Air with the Contemporary Opera Lab of Winnipeg, Canada; and Hortence in Die Operette mit Schlag with the Lone Star Lyric Theater Festival. She has also performed many major standard roles including Meg in Little Women, La Ciesca in Gianni Schicchi (Stoughton Opera); Prince Orlofsky in Die Fledermaus, Lola in Cavalleria Rusticana, La Mère d'Antonia in Les Contes d'Hoffmann (Atlantic Coast Opera); Rosina in Il Barbiere di Siviglia, the title role in Carmen (Vocal Arts Group of Chicago); Mother in Hansel and Gretel, Joanne in I Can't Stand Wagner (Sounds of South Dakota); Announcer in Gallantry (Lone Star Lyric); Mother in Amahl and the Night Visitors (Houston Opera Project); Aréthuze in La Descente d'Orphée aux Enfers (Ars Lyrica Houston); Ramiro in La Finta Giardiniera, Hermia in A Midsummer Night's Dream, and Princess Linetta in The Love for Three Oranges (Moores Opera Center). Most recently, she performed the role of Zweite Dame in Die Zauberfloete with Sounds of South Dakota and the South Dakota Symphony Orchestra starring Samuel Ramey. On the concert stage, Gesteland has appeared with the South Dakota Symphony performing Rosina's arias and duets from Il Barbiere di Siviglia and as the mezzo soloist in Handel’s Messiah. Other recent concert performances include featured appearances with the Sioux City Symphony Orchestra, Nachitoches-Northwestern Symphony, Elgin Opera, Harrower Opera, Rawlins Piano Trio, and National Opera Association (U.S.A.). She has also performed as a professional chorister in the Chicago Symphony Chorus under the batons of Barenboim, Mehta, Boulez, Penderecki, and Wolff. An avid recitalist, Gesteland performs frequently by invitation, most recently at the historic Lambs' Club in New York City, as part of the Music at St. Paul's concert series in Englewood, New Jersey, and as a featured performer at the Lone Star Lyric Theater Festival in Houston, Texas. She has also given recitals in Chicago and New Orleans as well as venues in Ohio, Kansas, Mississippi, North Carolina, Nebraska, Wisconsin, Iowa, and Winnipeg, Canada. Dr. Gesteland currently serves on the music faculty of the University of South Dakota, the state's flagship university. She instructs Applied Voice for graduate and undergraduate students, Vocal Pedagogy, Song Literature, and Diction and directs the USD Opera. She directs the South Dakota Vocal Arts Festival and serves as the District Governor for the South Dakota district of the National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS). She has given scholarly presentations for several organizations, including the 2013 International Congress of Voice Teachers in Brisbane, Australia; the Hawaii International Conference on Education in 2013; the National Opera Association’s national convention in 2011; regional College Music Society conferences in 2010 and 2011; the South Dakota Music Teachers Association in 2011; and the University of South Dakota’s Choral Director’s Institute from 2009-2013. She was chosen as an opera directing apprentice for the Harrower Opera Workshop in Atlanta in 2009 and was the stage and music director of USD Opera’s “Dido and Aeneas,” which won second prize in the American Prize Competition for Opera Performance and third prize in the National Opera Association’s Collegiate Opera Production Competition. She holds music degrees from the University of Houston's Moores School of Music (D.M.A.- Vocal Performance), Roosevelt University (M.M.- Vocal Performance and Pedagogy), and the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point (B.M.- Music Education with a Drama minor).
Teaching Interests:
Applied Voice, Opera, Vocal Pedagogy, Lyric Diction, Song Literature
Research Interests:
Vocal Performance, Opera, Vocal Pedagogy and Voice Science, Vocal Literature
  • DMA-- Doctor of Musical Arts, Vocal Performance, University of Houston, 2007
  • MM-- Master of Music, Vocal Performance and Vocal Pedagogy, Roosevelt University, 1999
  • BM-- Bachelor of Music, Choral and General Music Education, University of Wisconsin- Stevens Point, 1994
  • "Opera for Young Audiences" at the National Opera Association's national convention, CFA Dean's Office, (2011 - 2011)
  • Contemporary Opera Lab, College of Fine Arts Dean's Office, (2011 - 2011)
  • Dueling Divas, College of Fine Arts Dean's Office, (2010)
  • Linton Fund Guest Artist Award, The University of Mississippi, (2010)
  • Teaching Improvement Grant, Center for Teaching and Learning, (2013)
  • Gesteland, T., (2007), Opera for Young Audiences: A Study of the Operatic Writing of Mary Carol Warwick for Houston Grand Opera's "Opera to Go", Pro Quest.
Awards and Honors:
  • Walter A. and Lucy Yoshioka Buhler Endowed Chair, 2014
  • Finalist (Stage and Music Director), The American Prize in Opera Performance, 2014
  • Nominated for the 2013-14 Belbas-Larson Excellence in Teaching Award, USD, 2014
  • Second Place (Leading Performer), National Opera Association's Production Competition- Professional Division, 2013
  • Second Prize (Stage and Music Director), The American Prize in Opera Performance, 2013
  • Featured Artist- "Singing and Other Sins", Hawaii Public Radio, 2013
  • Nominated for the 2012-13 Belbas-Larson Excellence in Teaching Award, USD, 2013
  • 3rd Prize- Opera Production Competition (Stage and Music Director), National Opera Association, 2012
  • Nominated for the 2011-12 Belbas-Larson Excellence in Teaching Award, USD, 2012
  • Nominated for the 2010-11 Belbas-Larson Excellence in Teaching Award , USD, 2011
  • Nominated for the 2009-10 Belbas-Larson Excellence in Teaching Award , USD, 2010
  • Stage Directing Internship, Harrower Opera Workshop, Atlanta, GA, 2009
  • Moores School of Music Vocal Fellowship, University of Houston, 2004
  • Scholarship, Houston Music Teacher's Association, 2004
  • Honorable Mention, National Association of Teachers of Singing Competition-- Illinois Region, 2000