Carlson Places Second at West Central Regional MTNA Competition

VERMILLION, S.D. – Dana Carlson, graduate student in vocal performance from Somerset, Wisconsin, placed second at the Music Teachers National Association (MTNA) West Central Regional competition Jan. 6-8 in Boulder, Colorado.

Performing a 30-minute musical program in front of a three judge panel, Carlson competed against students from Minnesota, Iowa, Missouri, North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas and Colorado. Professor Susan Keith Gray served as pianist for the competition.

“Dana is a very talented and extremely motivated young lady,” said Professor Tracelyn Gesteland, who mentors Carlson in voice studies. “She is a major asset to our program and is completely deserving of this recognition. I am incredibly proud of her and the work she’s done.”

Carlson previously won the South Dakota MTNA competition qualifying her to the regional competition. Selected as an alternate, Carlson would perform in the national competition in Baltimore, Maryland, if the first place finisher is unable to attend.


USD's College of Fine Arts encourages students to pursue their chosen professional field in art, music or theater through their study with nationally recognized faculty who are working professionals. Students learn and grow to be professional fine artists with great job potential anywhere in the country. The college offers opportunities for additional real-world experiences through work with guest artists, study tours abroad and opportunities at the National Music Museum and the University Art Galleries on the Vermillion campus and the Black Hills Playhouse in Custer State Park. The college brings more than 80 guests artists to campus annually to work with students.


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 205 undergraduate and 73 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.