USD music students shine at SDMTA State Conference

VERMILLION, S.D. -- Four music students from the University of South Dakota received accolades at the 57th annual South Dakota Music Teachers Association (SDMTA) State Conference at Vermillion, Nov. 3-5.

Adrian Ries of Elk Point, S.D., a junior piano performance major and a student of Professor Susan Keith Gray, D.M.A., professor of piano, won first place in the MTNA Steinway & Sons Young Artist Piano Competition. He will compete at the divisional level at Boulder, Colo. in January. Ashley Evelyn Mazur, a senior vocal performance and music education major from Paullina, Iowa and a student of Tracelyn Gesteland, D.M.A., professor of voice at USD, won first place in the upper division of the SDMTA Voice Competition.

Additionally, students Danur Kvilhaug and Cody Perk were also recognized at the SDMTA Conference, which featured students from USD, South Dakota State University, Augustana College, Black Hills State University and the University of Sioux Falls. Kvilhaug, a senior music studies major from Lead, S.D. and a student of Susanne Skyrm, D.M.A., professor of piano, was second in the SDMTA Piano Competition, upper division, while Perk, a junior vocal performance major from Yankton, S.D. and a student of Gesteland, received honorable mention in the upper division of the SDMTA Voice Competition.

Founded in 1955 by a group of educators across the state to improve the standards of teaching music, the South Dakota Music Teachers Association is an affiliate of Music Teachers National Association. Members teach piano, organ, voice, strings, woodwinds, brass and percussion to individuals or to small groups. Any music professional or college music student is invited to join. In addition to music competitions, the SDMTA State Conference included workshops and guest artist Adam Golka, a pianist who has amassed a broad performing repertoire in his young career.

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Founded in 1862 and the first university in the Dakotas, the University of South Dakota is the only public liberal arts university in the state, with 206 undergraduate and 71 graduate programs in the College of Arts & Sciences, School of Education, School of Law, Sanford School of Medicine, School of Health Sciences, Beacom School of Business and College of Fine Arts. With an enrollment of nearly 10,000 students and more than 400 faculty, USD has a 17:1 student/faculty ratio, and it ranks among the best in academics and affordability. USD’s 17 athletic programs compete at the NCAA Division I level.

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