USD Dominates NATS Competition at NSU

VERMILLION, S.D. – Voice students from the University of South Dakota Music Department earned top accolades at the South Dakota National Association of Teachers of Singing tournament hosted at Northern State University March 25.

Competing against students from Northern State University, South Dakota State University and Black Hills State University, USD won 18 of the 35 awards.

The pianists that accompanied the singers were Diane Van Den Oever, Deanna Wehrspann, Spencer Smith, Teresa Kramer and Marty Balmer. The singing students study under Tracelyn Gesteland, associate professor of voice/opera and Katie Pacza, visiting assistant professor of voice/opera.

Full results:

Gesteland Studio
1st Place- Graduate Classical Division: Dana Carlson
1st Place- Freshman/Sophomore Classical Men: Eldon Warner
1st Place- Freshman Classical Women: Mikayla Trenhaile
1st Place- Upper Women's Musical Theatre: Marlise Ahuna
1st Place- Lower Women's Musical Theatre: Bailey Quade
1st Place- Lower Men's Musical Theatre: Eldon Warner
2nd Place- Junior Classical Women: Emily Vidler
2nd Place- Freshman Classical Women: Bailey Quade
2nd Place- Upper Women's Musical Theatre: Dana Carlson
2nd Place- Lower Women's Musical Theatre: Maddie Graves
3rd Place- Senior Classical Women: Rachael Biggerstaff
3rd Place- Freshman Classical Women: Maddie Graves
3rd Place- Upper Women's Musical Theatre: Rachael Biggerstaff
Honorable Mention- Junior Classical Women: Elizabeth Wensmann
Hon. Mention- Upper Women's Musical Theatre: Kayla Hernandez
Hon. Mention- Lower Women's Musical Theatre: Abby Beach

Pacza Studio
2nd Place- Junior/Senior Classical Men: Brody Krogman
3rd Place- Sophomore Classical Women: Katie Zimmer


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.


Michael Ewald
USD News