Students from USD garner awards at NATS competition

VERMILLION, S.D. -- Three University of South Dakota students received first place awards at the National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS) competition at South Dakota State University on March 23.

Aubrey Sea of Sioux City, Iowa received first place in Women’s Musical Theatre. Sea also placed third in Junior Women’s Classical. Natalie Campbell of Sioux Falls, S.D. was first in Graduate Classical, and Jordyn Bangasser of Sioux Falls, S.D. received first place in Sophomore Women’s Classical and honorable mention in Women’s Musical Theatre.

In all, there were 133 entries from USD, South Dakota State University, Northern State University and Black Hills State. Singers competed in classical and musical theatre divisions. Additional USD finalists at the NATS competition included Laura Bertschinger of Creighton, Neb., second place in Graduate Classical; Walker Rose of Eagle Butte, S.D., second place in Senior Men’s Classical; Brian Rasmussen of Sioux City, second place in Men’s Musical Theatre and third place in Sophomore Men’s Classical; Zach Rohlwing of Des Moines, Iowa, third place in Graduate Classical; Hannah Lambertz of Yankton, S.D., third place in Sophomore Women’s Classical and honorable mention in Women’s Musical Theatre; and Kate Wietzema of Sibley, Iowa, third place in Freshmen Women’s Classical. Ashley Hogarth of Sioux Falls received honorable mentions in Senior Women’s Classical and Women’s Musical Theatre and Patricia Richards of Des Moines received honorable mention in Women’s Musical Theatre.

Bangasser, Bertschinger, Hogarth, Lambertz, Sea and Wietzema are all students of Tracelyn Gesteland, D.M.A., assistant professor of Voice/Opera. Campbell, Rose, Rasmussen and Rohlwing are students studying with Brandon Hendrickson, D.M.A., assistant professor of Voice/Opera. Richards is a student of Matthew Nesmith, M.F.A., assistant professor of Musical Theatre.  Pianists accompanying the USD singers at the competition were Campbell, Rohlwing, Qiao Zheng Goh of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; Christopher Larson of Holstein, Iowa; Brynn Nelson of Albion, Neb.; Spencer Smith of Hermosa, S.D.; and Karl Graber and Parker Knox of Vermillion.

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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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